Successful credit control automation - top secrets
When it comes to managing credit control, there is quite a bit to consider...
Firstly, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Can I see how much money is owed to me?
2. Can I see at a glance how much money we expect to collect this week, month etc?
3. Can I see how productive my cash collection processes are?
4. Do I know why we are issuing so many credit notes?
5. Why do you have so many invoices on dispute?
6. Can I see why we are re-sending so many invoices and making phone calls?
7. Does everybody know what's happening if one credit controller is out sick?
8. Do you think with a more automated credit control process, you could improve your cash flow position?
In many cases, businesses use their accounting software to do their credit control, mixed with some manual tasks and processes. Typically accounting software systems are not designed with the levels of automation that specific credit control solutions are.
We decided to put together some of the important things to consider while researching a credit control software solution for your business:
1. Make sure it integrates with your existing accounting software
The last thing you need is to have multiple dis-connected systems. This just adds headaches to existing headaches and can be counter productive. You really want something that is easy to use and easy to integrate.
2. Think about your processes
You should probably have a think about this before you go down the route of getting a product demonstration. Understand what you are currently doing and where the gaps lie. Make sure that the product you look at is capable of handling your processes (and of course improving on them!).
3. Anything Specific
Is there anything specific about your industry or your business that would be relevant when researching credit control software solutions. For example, maybe you have specific head office/branch chasing processes - again just ask the relevant questions and makes sure you can tick the boxes.
4. Set your objectives
Before replacing your old processes with a more automated solution, you should set some objectives such as Increase in Cash Flow, Better Visibility and Reporting of our Debt, our Queries etc, Better Time Management for our Team, Fast Return on Investment. Of course, you should makes these goals SMART.
Not all debt is chased in the same way. Sometimes a little more subtle chasing is required, maybe for key accounts, while a more direct approach may be needed for the larger volume, lower value amounts. Either way, we all have different ways of dealing with our customers and by automating your processes, you should not alienate or frustrate your customers. Automation should not mean lack of personalisation - it should be your assistant, your buddy, sitting right beside you helping you maximise your credit control efforts in a way that is both personable and professional.
If you are going down this route, then you may as well get as much automation as you can from your credit control solution. Look out for features such as Payment Reminder e-mails, Automated Rules & Actions (such as placing accounts on Stop), Up to Date Chase Screen (with all you need to start chasing), Calendar Entries (such as automatically scheduling reminders of calls to make including who, when and why. When an invoice is paid, the reminder should ideally be automatically removed - you don't want to call chasing an invoice when it has already been paid!).
No proper credit control software system would be complete without a great looking dashboard. You need to see what's what at a glance. Colours, graphs and easy drill-downs are what you are looking for. Remember, you are trying to maximise efficiencies and so the dashboard should at the very least provide quick snapshots of key information such as:
- overdue payments
- total amount of money owed
- scheduled chase calls
- promised cash
- recent payments
- disputes & queries
Would you like to see a credit control solution in action?
Click below to register your interest for our credit control software webinar. It's quick, you can do it from your desk and it will hopefully give you some ideas as to how to improve your credit control processes.