The best advice I can give you before we discuss tips for a killer collection plan is to automate your accounts receivable and credit system if you haven’t done so already. Managing accounts receivable and credit with a manual system is like fighting with one hand tied behind your back. Keeping this advice in mind here are our top 5 tips for developing a killer collection plan.
Know your customers. Do thorough credit checks and update them periodically or as required. Set realistic credit limits and manage them, otherwise they are a waste of time and effort. Credit limits should be used to limit accounts receivable exposure, but they can also be used to leverage payments from slow pay accounts.
Use the work flow feature in an automated accounts receivable and credit system to expedite the receipt and transmission of electronic documents needed to make credit decisions. Work flow can make managing credit limits easier and more efficient.
The longer it takes to issue an invoice the more likely you are to have problems collecting it. Issue invoices as soon as possible, and make sure they are easy to read and error free. Incorrect invoices are a major reason for customer disputes. It takes much more time to resolve a customer dispute than to issue an error free invoice.
Use the invoice template feature in an automated accounts receivable system to create easy to read and error free invoices. Invoice templates also save time by eliminating the need to recreate invoices over and over again.
Make it easy for your customer to pay you so you don’t have to spend time on collections. Offer online payment options including: credit cards, Automated Clearing House (ACH) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).
With an automated accounts receivable system you can add a hyper-link to your invoice template connected to a secured payment portal. Customers have no excuse to delay payment until a check can be cut and mailed when you offer online payment options.
Customers who receive frequent reminders and copies of invoices and account statements are more likely to pay your invoice on a timely basis.
Use an automated accounts receivable system to set automated reminders to alert you to action required on an account. Automated reminders can also be used to send past due notices, copies of invoices and statements, and collection letters.
Customer disputes are a major reason for delays in payment. Missing documents and miscommunications are frequently the cause of customer disputes. Quick resolution of disputes is essential to getting invoice payments released.
With work flow you can facilitate the receipt and distribution of electronic documents to customers, sales reps, internal personnel, lawyers and financial institutions to get disputes resolved more quickly.
These 5 tips can help you to develop a killer collection plan. But, remember the success of any collection plan depends on the effort you put into working it.
Automated accounts receivable, credit and collection software is available from Lockstep Collect, the leader in cloud-based software solutions made specifically for businesses selling on credit terms.
If you would like to learn how you can automate your accounts receivable, credit and collection system, please contact Lockstep Collect at www.lockstep.io.