Continuous Change: 4 Lifelines

Keeping up with continuous change is exhausting!  If you are in the credit industry, you know that most credit professionals work in pressure-filled environments with constant requirements to accomplish more with less resources.  It’s always something; whether it’s consolidating operations to a central locale or software and operating systems’ updates.  Throw turnover, leadership changes, and mergers and acquisitions into the mix and you have the recipe for a fast-paced career!  There is never a dull moment!

The Downside of Change

All this change adds stress.  It also adds to your to-do list and makes it a challenge to get simple, but important tasks done.  So much of your time is devoted to other more pressing matters, that you lose focus on applying proactive collection techniques to your accounts receivable.  You see dilution set in and delinquency and write offs rise.  If you find yourself in such a position, you’re not alone.  I want to share four “lifelines” to help credit professionals “work smarter instead of harder”.  Labor and technology play an important role in our solutions, and we are continually changing just like you in order to solve the next level of challenges!


In a booming economy, labor is a concern.  When you are already being asked to do more with less resources, having turnover issues at the same time is a double negative.  When you are feeling that knot in your stomach from trying to figure out how to get everything done, consider the following:

1. Adjust Internal Work Standards:  You would love to have your staff thoroughly cover each and every account, but sometimes that isn’t realistic.  In periods of turnover or increased workloads, you can stretch the coverage you have to ensure your entire portfolio is worked.

  • Larger accounts require human interaction.  Ensure these accounts are prioritized and worked thoroughly.  You may adjust the contact requirements lower in order to stretch your internal resources.
  • Smaller accounts require less of a human touch.  Reduce the calling standard on these accounts to ensure your larger accounts are worked.  You have other alternatives, i.e. send the invoice again, send a statement, or instead of making several internal collection calls, make just one or two.

2. Filling the Coverage Gap:  Nervous about backing off your internal work standards?  Our General Auditing Bureau division has the solution.  It is a pre-collection tool.  Its built to cost effectively complement your internal account coverage at early stages of delinquency.

  • When internal efforts are complete, typically around 60 to 90 days, General Auditing Bureau gets to work.
  • General Auditing Bureau sends a series of demands to customers utilizing a friendly approach.  The customer realizes if they don’t remit, they risk going to collections.
  • Most debtors respond positively with payment and those that don’t communicate why they are late.
  • General Auditing Bureau directs funds to your lockbox.  You will see the impact of this program immediately!
  • The best part is, the tool is cost-effective.  It is designed to supplement what you do internally.  We created the service knowing you may be short-staffed and with the understanding that traditional collection costs are unnecessary.

3. Quit Supporting Your Collection Agency and Allow Them System Access to Support Themselves:  Do you and your staff spend part of each day supporting your collection agency?  Helping your agency sounds like a noble and productive task, but its tying up resources that could be deployed elsewhere!

  • If you or your staff performs these tasks for your collection agency, we can eliminate the work and give you time to push your internal recoveries even higher!
    • Provide/pull invoice copies, retrieve proofs of delivery, provide statements, reconcile discrepant balances, file disputes, read account notes, reach out to others in your organization for support, verify payments, etc.  Often our clients think they must create time for their staff to support Receivables Control.  That’s not true, as a full service agency we are fully capable of supporting ourselves with the right tools.
  • Clients allow us system access all the time.
    • We use basic access to retrieve key documents like invoices, contracts, PO’s, POD’s, freight documents, statements, and more.
    • That same access allows us to view customer account notes, payments, and paid item history.
    • For many clients, we communicate directly with sales and support staff regarding disputes.  Rather than use you as a middle person for communication, in many relationships we go right to the person at your firm that knows the customer history or can comment as to the specifics of the product/service that was ordered.
    • The benefits include faster, more professional recoveries.  Having access allows us to answer questions and solve issues quickly.  You and your staff’s time is free to work on other important items.  In the long run, this approach creates a happier customer as their transaction is paid/resolved more quickly.
    • That all sounds good; however, you may be thinking that your IT department won’t give a collection partner system access.  When we set up an on-line relationship with a client, we are only looking for “view access” to the areas on their system that can help us collect the account.
    • We work on SAP, JD Edwards, Oracle, SalesForce, WorkDay, Great Plains, Quickbooks and a whole host of mainframe systems, AS400’s, and other home grown applications.
    • If you are wondering what the catch is or how much this costs, that is the best part, there are no “catches” and the cost is nothing.  These services are value added and will result in more money being recovered by your company.

4. Consider a First-party Early Out Program:  If the challenges you face are daunting, then maybe it is time to consider contacting our Outsourcing team.

  • First-party outsourcing isn’t for everybody, however, we encourage you to investigate to see how such a program could augment your internal efforts.
  • Outsourcing services are performed in our clients’ name, making sure our efforts are transparent to customers.
  • Because we help you cover more accounts, outsourcing increases cash flow and provides better customer service.
  • We help you solve problems and customer service issues that first party calls uncover.  We don’t simply identify an issue and return the unresolved dispute to you.  That would do you no good.  Our mission through first party programs is to lighten your load, not add to it.
  • You can learn more about Receivables Control’s first party programs in this linked article.

Constantly Evolving Business Model

All this reminds us that change is truly constant.  There really isn’t time to sit down and catch your breath!  As soon as one improvement or crisis passes, another challenge awaits.  We appreciate the opportunity to partner with you to solve problems and when you’re facing a challenge, don’t hesitate to call us, we are happy to be a sounding board and if the situation requires it, we we’ll customize a solution to help you stay on track.