The Value of Advanced Collection Agency Reporting, by Sam Fensterstock

Does your current collection partner provide you, at your fingertips, online reporting that provides you access to every piece of information that you need to manage and review their recovery performance, and track how they are working your company’s placements?

  1. Are you able to review recovery analytics in a split second?
  2. Can you look at individual file performance, review legible collector notes with the click of a mouse?
  3. Can you easily communicate, online, with the collectors handling your files?
  4. Can you easily track account payments and agency remittances?
  5. Can you build any type of custom report that you need?
  6. Are you able to query your data by account, by date, or range of dates, etc., and are you able to export the information into Excel or other formats such as PDF, Word and CSV?

In general, if your collection partner provides you with all of the above, it will be very easy for you to get objective and current information about their collection performance and the status of your placements, online, 24/7.

Recovery Analytics – Why Is This Important?

The only way to judge your collection partners performance is to have access to the data that will help you analyze their results. You need an overall picture of how successful the agency has been in handling your accounts. To do this, you are going to need a report that gives you this information, and you need it to be current and accurate. And, as mentioned above, you’ll want the ability to export this data into Excel so that you can look at the data in multiple ways.

Additionally, for this information to be truly useful it must be comparative, over time. Are things improving or going downhill? For the total time you have been doing business with the agency, by year, by month, and by account, you’ll want to know what their gross and net recovery rates are (net is after adjustment for bankruptcies and defunct and withdrawn accounts, etc.). You need this number as it allows you to review their results as well as compare their performance to other agencies that you may be using.

Access to File Summary Data – The Importance Of Having A Snap Shot Of Your Placement Portfolio

You want to know what the total picture looks like. Where do they stand with your accounts today? This requires a status report that lets you know how they are doing right now. What does your current portfolio look like? You need to know what percentage of the monies turned over has been collected to date, in total, and by account. And, if the information is not in the collector’s notes, what future action is planned for each account in your portfolio.

Access to Collector Notes and The Ability to Connect Directly with Collectors – Why Is This Valuable?

You need to know, in detail, how each individual account is being handled. This means the collector’s notes must be available for your review. The notes will tell you about every contact the agency has had with your account, what its status is, and what future action is planned. Additionally, the account level detail should provide you with the ability to contact the collector either by email or phone so that you can discuss the status of specific accounts, if you desire.

Tracking Payments and Remittances – Knowing Where Your Money Is Bringing You Peace of Mind

Does your collection partner provide you with online access to all payments and remittances, or do you have to call them to find out if a payment on a file has been received, or if a remittance check has been sent? All this information should be available online whenever you need it, and it should be current and accurate. If the reporting is accurate, you will be able to easily determine after a payment has been received when you are going to get your remittance check, based on the agency’s remittance / escrow policy.

Customized Reporting

An ad-hoc customized report building function is a bonus. If the agency has this capability then you will be able to have them build for you any type of report that you want, based on requesting information for a specific subset of your accounts that meet a given criteria, such as by period the agency has had a claim, by collector, or by age past due at the time of turnover. Additionally, the agency should be able to reproduce, on their reporting platform, any type of internal reporting that you currently receive from your in-house system.

Conclusion

How long from the time I turnover an account will it take the agency to collect my money and send me a check? This is a great question and we would love to be able to answer it, but it’s unlikely anyone is going to be able to. This is an almost impossible question to answer as every account is not collectible and the age of an account at turnover is a major factor in determining how much, if anything, you will collect. However, if your collection partner has advanced web-based reporting that provides you the information we discuss in this blog, you will at least be able to get an overall view of their performance with the stroke of a mouse.

For information about AG Adjustments and our commercial collection services visit www.agaltd.com or email us at info@agaltd.com.