Improve Collection Performance

Credit professionals must constantly look for ways to improve their department’s collection skills. Here are some ideas to reduce delinquencies:

  • Make certain your credit application and as well as your invoices clearly list your terms of sale.
  • Be sure that your order entry department does not process purchase orders with incorrect terms of sale until a written amendment to the P.O. is received.
  • Pay attention to how a debtor is paying other creditors. If you are being paid on time while other creditors are not, it is unlikely your luck will last.
  • Once an account becomes seriously past due, before releasing any new orders after the debt is paid the file should be updated and a decision made about whether the customer still qualifies for open account terms.
  • Try to update each active customer’s credit file at least once a year.
  • Shorten the time between the invoice due date and the first contact by the collector to request payment.
  • Attempt to resolve disputes quickly. Always ask the customer to immediately pay the undisputed portion of outstanding invoice.

Source: Michael Dennis, author of "Credit and Collection Handbook" available at the NACM Bookstore.

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