CRF Extends Discount Rates to CMA Members for Education Courses

New CMA Member benefit: Credit Research Foundation just extended a discounted rate for their proctored education program, bring you topics that cover core skills that every credit professional should have. CMA members will receive $200 off each course below by selecting “CRF Partner Association Member” when you register for these courses on the CRF website. Details about each course, along with the registration link, is contained within the link below.
• Aug. 21: Credit Risk and Accounts Receivable Management Course (Course)
• Sept. 18: Financial Ratio Analysis Course (Course)
• Sept. 18: Diagnostic Cash Flow Course (Course)
• Sept. 18: Working Capital and Liquidity Risk Assessment Course (Course)

Thanks to CRF for offering this great discount to our members!

Save the Date: Credit Management Association Announces CreditScape Spring Summit and Annual Meeting

— Education Summit will focus on Change Management April 4-5, 2018 in Anaheim, CA–

 

Glendale, CA (June 27, 2017) – Credit Management Association (CMA) has announced plans for a Spring CreditScape Summit and Annual Meeting, a two-day event which will feature educational content that addresses how your company and credit operations can manage change in these turbulent business times. The event follows up several successful and highly-rated CreditScapes in Southern California, Las Vegas and Sonoma.

The CreditScape Spring Summit and Annual Meeting, taking place April 4-5, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Anaheim, CA, will feature workshop exercises, peer panel discussions, expert practical advice, and networking with other credit professionals.

“CreditScape was born out of feedback from members who asked us for help with making their business processes more efficient. Survey results showed us that members learned a lot from subject matter experts and seasoned credit professionals sharing their experiences through discussions and interactive workshops. We plan to take that feedback and build a strong, expanded program for next Spring,” said CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell.

“We’ve been listening to feedback from the past event surveys, from conversations with members, and in our Group meetings recently. In these turbulent business times of consolidation, automation and reorganization, the theme we heard most often is that companies are always looking for ways to deal with change. We are currently developing content around that overall theme,” Mitchell added. “We will continue to strive for a unique learning and networking experience that incorporates the latest techniques in content delivery for adult learners. Our goal is to create a thought-provoking and practical meeting experience that produces valuable take-aways and sustained value for participants and their finance and credit departments.”

Senior-level credit executives will be invited to attend the Credit Executives Symposium on April 3, the day before CreditScape begins, at the Hyatt Regency Anaheim. The one-day event offers a roundtable discussion of high-level business issues and trends, best-practices and tips on valuable resources, facilitated by veteran credit executives.

CreditScape Summits are offered in the Spring, focusing on different aspects of the Credit Management landscape. It is one in a series of in-person educational opportunities offered by Credit Management Association. To learn more about the other sessions and topics, visit www.creditmanagementassociation.org/events or call 800-541-2622.

About Credit Management Association

Credit Management Association (CMA), which was founded in 1883, is a Glendale, Calif.-headquartered trade association with approximately 1,100 member companies representing over 250 different business categories selling regionally, nationally and internationally. CMA focuses on providing products and services that allow companies to make informed business decisions based on trade credit. CMA is one of the largest affiliates of the National Association of Credit Management (NACM), whose 33 affiliates serve all of North America. For more information, call 800-541-2622, or visit www.creditmanagementassociation.org.

# # #

Media Information:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2017

Contact: Alan Dicker
323-573-0840
adicker@emailcma.org

Agendas Set for International Best Practices Forums for Second Half of 2017

CMA has hosted several international credit best practices forums, which take place on the third Tuesday every month. As the feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive, CMA announces the topics and agenda for the rest of 2017, which are listed below. Each meeting will addresses a different international topic, with a 20-to-30 minute discussion led by a thought leader, a question-and-answer session and open forum.

 

The dates (and links to register) are as follows:

These meetings, which are delivered in online webinar format, are subject to special pricing of $20 per meeting for members, while non CMA members will pay $30.

 

For more information about how you can get involved, contact Alan Dicker at adicker@emailcma.org or 323-573-0840.

New Webinar Series Helps Credit Professionals Understand Bankruptcy

As a risk manager, you know that bankruptcy by your customers is one of the biggest threats to try to avoid. But what happens when your good customer files bankruptcy? CMA has put together a series of webinars addressing bankruptcy and what you can do to understand the process in order to help your company get paid.

These sessions will guide you to:

  • Understand the difference between the major types of corporate bankruptcy, and what happens to outstanding debts when your customers file.
  • How anti-trust laws can affect a bankruptcy.
  • Learn about your company’s rights when your customer files bankruptcy.

Webinars are:

Sign up for these and other events at http://www.anscers.com/upcomingevents.aspx or contact CMA Member Relations, at 800-541-2622.

CreditScape Spring Summit Helps Identify Ways to Create Efficiency in Credit

The CreditScape Spring Summit, Powered by United TranzActions, an interactive learning seminar and workshop took place April 12 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County. The event helped uncover areas in a company’s credit operations where they could improve efficiency, providing attendees with dozens of ideas to bring back to the office, according to preliminary survey results that were tabulated after the event.

With the common theme of “creating efficiency and reducing costs in the credit department,” attendees commented that the sessions gave them insights on the latest in legal issues affecting the credit department, improving efficiency in new customer onboarding, efficiency in the cash-to-cash cycle, plus services that could help companies realize these efficiencies. Also a hit were the panel discussions where attendees heard from their peers how they have successfully implemented these processes.

Additionally, for the attendees overwhelmingly said they’d recommend CreditScape to a colleague.

Here are some photos from the event:

Plans are forthcoming for CMA’s next CreditScape, which will take place next Spring at the same venue in Garden Grove, CA, April 4-5, 2018. More details will be announced as soon as possible.

Thanks again to our event sponsors United TranzActions, HighRadius, CreditPoint Software, Bectran, Credit 2 B, IAB, Ansonia Credit Data, AG Adjustments, NCS, Dun & Bradstreet, Skyminder and Esker, and to all who attended the event!

Thanks to CreditScape Spring Sponsors!

 

CMA wishes to recognize our event sponsors for CreditScape. Without their help, this event would not have been possible.

Thanks to these leading companies in the credit community.

 

AGA Adjustments
Contact: Sam Fensterstock
www.agaltd.com
888-496-1600
Services: Commercial Collections

Ansonia Credit Data
Contact: Bill Weiss, Kathleen Dasal
www.AnsoniaCreditData.com
855-ANSONIA (267-6642)
Services: Portfolio Monitoring, Credit Reports

Bectran
Contact: Eric Lee
www.bectran.com
888-791-6620
Services: Online Credit Applications, Document Management

Credit2B
Contact: Joe Chin
www.credit2b.com
212-279-3300
Services: Customer Onboarding, Risk Protection, Analytics, Benchmarks

CreditPoint Software
Contact: Charlie Pilkington
https://creditpointsoftware.com
918-376-9440
Services: Credit Risk Analysis Software, Online Credit Applications, Commercial Collections Software

Dade Systems
Contact: Bill Zayas
www.dadesystems.com
855-418-2786
Services: Virtual Payment Processing Solutions

Dun & Bradstreet
Contact: Bob O’Brien
www.dnb.com
973-921-6370
Services: Credit Reports

Esker
Contact: Dan Caple
www.esker.com
800-368-5283
Services: Accounts Receivable Software

HighRadius
Contact: Sally Huynh
www.highradius.com
281-968-4473
Services: Accounts Receivable Software

IAB
Contact: Diana Crowe
www.iabllc.com
630-537-0840
Services: Deduction Management Services

NCS
Contact: Jerry Bailey
www.ncscredit.com
800-826-5256
Services: UCC Filing Services

Skyminder
Contact: Mike Lindenmuth
www.skyminder.com
813-636-0981
Services: International Credit Reports

United TranzActions
Contact: Michael Williams, Dean Middleton
www.UnitedTranzActions.com
800-858-5256
Services: Payment Processing, Credit Card
Processing, Virtual Lockbox

Vantiv
Contact: Matt Fluegge
www.vantiv.com
608-834-2539
Services: Payment Services

Spring CreditScape Panelists Announced

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Panelists from leading companies such as Nestle USA, Consolidated Electrical Distributors (CED), Velocity Vehicles, Reliance Steel, Cemex and ResMed will take part in the discussion at CreditScape about how to create efficiency and reduce costs in the credit department.

A complete schedule of sessions and workshops for the CreditScape Spring Summit has also been posted. Keynote speaker Dan Goldes will present “The Influence Edge: Increasing Efficiency with Influence Skills” in an interactive keynote workshop at CreditScape, April 12, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Garden Grove, CA.

Bankruptcy expert Wanda Borges, esq., will talk about electronic credit applications during the panel discussions, while Alvin Moreno of Nestle will discuss the elements of a lean office that he’s brought into his company to help make his credit operations run more efficiently. Other panels and the return of CMA’s popular “Speed Networking” event will also take place at CreditScape.

The CreditScape Spring Summit, powered by United TranzActions, features one packed day of workshop training, expert practical and legal advice, and networking with other credit professionals, designed to give you insight on areas where you can make improvements in your company’s credit operations.

To view the complete schedule, click here.

How Accepting Credit Cards Can Make Your Credit Department More Efficient, by Michael Williams

For personal finance, credit cards are clearly the preferred payment method for most every qualified consumer. However, in the B2B marketplace, many companies have either limited acceptance or even shied completely away from accepting credit cards due to high service fees and integration costs. Even with the relatively high cost of processing, credit cards do offer some advantages to your company that will help bring efficiency and shift risk to the credit card company. How can your company gain efficiency by accepting credit cards and what’s in it for you?

  • LOWER YOUR CREDIT CARD OVERALL COSTS: Credit and treasury managers must understand all the options available for price reduction and how to make sure that you are both minimizing risk and taking advantage of every available option.
  • RECOUP YOUR CREDIT CARD FEES THROUGH SURCHARGE AND CONVENIENCE FEES: The Network Surcharge Rules are loaded with twists and variables, so it is imperative to have qualified individuals to guide you through that minefield.
  • ELIMINATE CREDIT CARD FEES WITH A CREDIT CARD ALTERNATIVE: There is a viable alternative to credit cards which has proven its value time and again over the years. This alternative is one third the cost of a credit card and a much more secure transaction with no chargebacks.

As an exclusive NACM partner for over 20 years, United TranzActions has been successful in advising members on how to process credit cards more efficiently, how to save dollars, and how to maximize the value of their use of their credit card usage. UTA will be one of the featured companies attending the upcoming CreditScape Summit, powered by UTA, in Garden Grove, California on April 12, 2017. More information on the conference is available at www.CreditScapeConference.com. I’d love to speak with you at CreditScape and see how we might help you in the credit card arena. And if you are unable to make it, feel free to reach out to me anytime for any advice on your payment processing needs.

Michael Williams is VP NACM Relations at United TranzActions. He can be reached at 305-606-6703, or mwilliams@unitedtranzactions.com

How to Use Influence Skills to Increase Efficiency and Gets Results, by Dan Goldes

How do you move people to action in order to increase efficiency? How do you get results from others without destroying relationships? These are burning questions in most organizations.

One thing is clear: the ability to influence people is not something you must be born with, but something you can learn.

Think about the best influencers in your life: clients, or people you’ve worked for, worked with, or even supervised. What made them great influencers? Was it their ability to ask questions and really listen to your answers? Did they paint a picture of the future that you found appealing and wanted to be part of? Were they able to convey their thoughts on a topic efficiently and directly and then invite your input as well?

Effectively using influence skills means learning some new behaviors – or, in some cases, refocusing behaviors your already use in order to be more efficient. Influence behaviors fall into three categories: push behaviors, pull behaviors, and push/pull behaviors.

Many people are well-versed in push behaviors, which have to do with stating your needs directly. Others are more comfortable with pull behaviors, with which you draw information out of the other party. Far fewer effectively use push/pull behaviors, which both increase commitment and move people toward action.

Most people have a default: a set of behaviors they use over and over because they work (or, often, because that’s all they know). The most effective influencer, though, is one who can pick and choose the best behavior for that moment, much as an artist decides which brush to use for each section of a painting. Using influence skills well, then, means being able to assess a situation in advance, think about the appropriate behaviors, try them, and pivot as necessary.

Planning for influence can’t be overlooked. While spur-of-the-moment opportunities to use influence skills do come up, far more often we know we’re heading into a meeting or making a phone call during which we want to influence the outcome. The investment in spending a few minutes thinking about what you want to get out of the situation, what you think the other party wants, and which of the influence behaviors you’ll use is well worth the effort. Does it take a little more time? Yes. Does it require you to change how you approach these situations? Probably. But the confidence that comes from having a plan – even if it changes mid-stream – can’t be overstated. Confident influencers are effective influencers.

Learning new behaviors often makes people anxious. But the payoff in developing influence skills is increased efficiency and better relationships, which will serve you now and in the future.

I will go into much greater detail about this during my interactive keynote presentation at the upcoming CreditScape Summit, April 12 in Garden Grove, CA.

Dan Goldes is a facilitator, trainer, and speaker based in San Francisco. He will speak on Influence Skills at CMA’s Spring CreditScape Summit on April 12. For more information about the event, visit www.CreditScapeConference.com

Coming Soon: How to Create a More Efficient Credit Department (and Ultimately Cut Costs)

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Your boss comes to you and tells you that you need to cut costs in the credit department, or that one of your resources (i.e., employees) now needs to split their time between credit and something else not related to credit. You’re already short-handed in your department. What’s a credit professional to do?

We work in a “do more with less” world. Practitioners in the credit department are impacted more than most. Dedication to process improvement is the only way to achieve high-performance results in the face of diminishing resources.

At CMA, late last year we conducted a research study where we spoke with more than a quarter of CMA’s members who told us that their biggest concern in 2017 is related to doing more with less. Whether it’s cutting costs or maximizing their efficiency, or a combination of both, CMA members are always looking for ways to streamline their credit operations. As a response to those conversations, CMA has tailored its CreditScape event to help credit managers with all levels of experience and expertise to leverage the knowledge and experiences of practitioners who have implemented new efficiency-maximizing processes in their credit departments.

The 2017 CreditScape Spring Summit, powered by United TranzActions, will feature a full day workshop that includes a keynote address on persuading internal and external customers, training sessions, expert practical and legal advice, and networking with other credit professionals. The goal of CreditScape is to provide an opportunity for credit practitioners at all levels of experience and expertise to come together to solve problems and provide solutions for their real-world issues they face at work.

Over the next few days, several participants in the event will be guest blogging about the power of persuasion and areas in your credit operations where you could be more efficient.

We invite you to join our guest bloggers at the Spring CreditScape Summit, powered by UTA, April 12, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County (or view the website at www.creditscapeconference.com), and to read their blogs, as the information you’ll receive can help you save time and resources in the long run.

What areas of your credit department do you think you could use efficiency to cut costs that you the most interested in learning about? We welcome your feedback.

Opportunity For Senior Level Credit Execs to Learn From Other Credit Execs

CMA has created an opportunity for top credit executives among different vertical markets to get together to learn from the successes (and failures) of other top credit executives at the CMA Credit Executive Symposium.  This unique event allows senior-level credit executives to gather for a full day roundtable facilitated by 30-year credit veteran Robert Shultz. At the event, you’ll discuss high-level business issues and trends with your peers in many industries, compare best practices, and get tips on valuable resources to help you improve your credit operations.

The agenda for the Credit Executive Symposium is highly personalized and built from input from all participants so the issues are timely and relevant to all attending. Attendees of the event will engage in round-table discussions, thought-provoking breakout sessions, and guest presenters.

Past discussions have included collections, supply chain risk, shared services centers, international risk mitigation, performance metrics, hiring & retaining staff, fraud, and cyber security.

The event takes place on April 11, in Garden Grove, CA, the day before the 2017 Spring CreditScape Summit.

Our facilitator, Bob Shultz, is managing partner at Cutting Edge Business Resources & Solutions (CEBRS). Bob will incorporate trending issues with topic requests from attendees to challenge the group in an intimate, dynamic think-tank environment that is heavy on interaction, low on PowerPoints. You will explore questions that matter most in your career and to your organization in roundtable discussions with seasoned credit peers from many industries. For more information about the event, contact Mike Mitchell at mmitchell@emailcma.org or download the event flyer here.

CMA Announces New Collections Webinar Series

CMA is proud to announce a new series of three webinars that will focus on tips and tricks you can use in your business to improve your collections results. The webinars, which are sponsored by CMA’s collections partner AG Adjustments will feature practical advice from a few of CMA’s most popular speakers: Bart Frankel, Dave Osburn and Greg Powelson.

Dates (and session descriptions) can be accessed under the links below:

The webinars are highly interactive, and are geared towards credit professionals with all levels of skills. We hope you’ll participate.

For more information about CMA’s education program, and a complete schedule of events, click here.

Dan Goldes to Deliver Keynote Address at Spring CreditScape

Keynote speaker Dan Goldes will present “The Influence Edge: Increasing Efficiency with Influence Skills” in an interactive keynote workshop at the upcoming CreditScape Spring Summit, April 12, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Garden Grove, CA. The keynote discussion will fit in well with the event’s theme of how to create efficiency and reduce costs in the credit department.

 

The CreditScape Spring Summit, powered by United TranzActions, features one packed day of workshop training, expert practical and legal advice, and networking with other credit professionals, designed to give you insight on areas where you can make improvements in your company’s credit operations.

 

More information about the event, including a complete schedule, will be available soon.

 

To register, click here.

D&B’s Ken Bonitz to be Special Guest Speaker at CMA Supplier Risk Group Meeting

If one of your responsibilities is to vet your company’s vendors, CMA recommends that you participate in the upcoming Supplier Risk Credit Group on January 25.

The January meeting of this group will feature special guest speaker Ken Bonitz. Bonitz is the Supply Management Solutions Advisor with Dun & Bradstreet, and over the past 15 years his primary focus has been with Fortune 500 companies; he’s had great success in all industry verticals.

Ken Bonitz is a 35-year supply-chain professional who has more than 20 years’ experience in high tech, developing supply chain solutions that focus on operational efficiencies, cost savings, profitability, risk and product support. He also has 15 years supply chain consulting experience, helping customers identify supply chain financial risk, operational risk, country risk, leverage opportunities and ERP/MDM improvements.

The meeting will take place at the CMA Glendale offices, or you may participate via teleconference.

Among the items on the agenda: D&B Overview; D&B Segment Overview; D&B Supply Management Overview; Supplier Predictive Scores; Supplier Predictive Risk Tools; and a Questions-and-Answers session.

For more information about how you can get involved, contact Larry Convoy at lconvoy@emailcma.org or 818-972-5323. We look forward to your participation in what is sure to be a lively discussion.

Two Billion Reasons Why You Need to Know the anscersX Multibureau Trade Credit Report, by Bob Shultz

anscersX Report

Do you have to make tough credit decisions quickly? How would you like to have the power of over two billion trade credit experiences available to you from the three most reliable sources on the planet? What about having credit scores and valuable facts on a company’s history at your fingertips immediately when the credit request lands on your desk?

In today’s competitive environment, informed credit decisions must be made quickly to get product out the door. Your company expects credit to support Sales and drive revenue. At the same time, credit decisions must be within your company’s risk tolerance with a likelihood of prompt payment.

This was the thought behind CMA’s anscersX Multi-Bureau Trade Credit Report. anscersX provides all the above and more from Dun and Bradstreet, Experian and Equifax. You choose which bureaus you want to see. You pay only for what you get. The report is online and delivered to your workstation within seconds of ordering it.

anscersX provides all of the information you need to make most credit decisions. A Paydex Score from Dun and Bradstreet, Intelliscore from Experian and a Business Risk Score from Equifax, along with over two billion current trade lines, trends, details about the company and public records of suits, liens or judgments.

There is a side benefit to those of us in credit who must defend our decisions. Using powerful information such as the anscersX report will help justify any decision you make. If there are questions or push-back, you are locked and loaded to illustrate why you came to the conclusions you did.

Consider the anscersX report if any of the following are true:

  • Your monthly requirements do not justify a costly contract with one or more of the bureaus.
  • You are looking for a more efficient and cost effective way to order reports from multiple bureaus.
  • You have a contract with one of the major bureaus but want reports from additional sources.
  • You have a limit on the number of reports you can order from a bureau, anscersX can conserve usage.
  • A multi-bureau report will give additional insight into a higher risk prospect or customer.

The best thing you can do for yourself today is to go to anscers.com and check out anscersX. It is brought to you by Credit Management Association for the benefit of the credit management community.

Robert S. Shultz is a Partner at Quote to Cash Solutions (Q2C) LLC, and a frequent speaker at CMA-sponsored and other credit events.

CMA Hosts Joint Construction Meeting in Los Angeles

20161013_105403

On October 13, CMA held its first ever joint construction credit meeting, allowing CMA member companies from different vertical industries who sell to the construction industry to get together to talk about common job accounts. In addition, Chris Ng, Esq., spoke to the group on a series of construction law related topics, including the legalities related to job accounts. Amongst the activities at the event included a discussion of best and worst practices, which really hit home with many of the companies who participated. Thanks to all who attended.

My Take on CMA’s Fall CreditScape Conference, by Tracy Rosenbach, CCE

IMG_7974ef

Happy Fall Everyone! I just got back from attending CMA’s Fall CreditScape in Sonoma, California. What a great experience in a beautiful setting. At the Conference, we heard from subject matter experts and practitioners. Here were some of my observations from the event.

CMA President Mike Mitchell started off the conference with a session on maximizing your CMA membership; it is so important that we all know how to get the most for the money our companies pay for us to be members. Even though Mike presents this topic as a webinar (and if you haven’t heard it, you can register for the next one here, which will take place in November), it’s always better to see things like this in person, and to hear the questions that other credit managers have about some of CMA’s products and services, prompting some to consider the approach they take towards their jobs.

The Cash-to-Cash talk led by Bob Shultz gave attendees the big picture impact we as credit managers have on our organizations and the importance in understanding the cash cycle and how we need to get involved. Following the session, Shultz moderated a panel of CFOs who explained what they were looking for from their Credit Departments, including some of the metrics and discussions they wanted to have with their own teams. After lunch, there were a couple of valuable panelist discussions of how parts of the cash cycle can be improved and “how you get to ‘yes’,” which was a discussion of how to mitigate the risky transactions that do not necessarily qualify for the credit through the usual analysis. Options discussed by the panel included using Letters of Credit, filing a UCC, taking out credit insurance, and the software and service providers whose software helps improve their credit processes.

The second day started out with a lively discussion of the collection process by Bart Frankel. Bart went through a detailed six-step process for the attendees which included many good suggestions members could take back to the office. Attendees even practiced collection calls with each other with Bart moderating (and post-event survey responses proved that nearly everyone who attended was going to implement at least one thing Bart spoke about during this session when they got back to the office).

The conference also provided a high-level of networking opportunities. During the conference, members were able to talk to third-party vendors about their respective situations and what services were available so that members could improve their internal processes. Other networking opportunities included a couple of planned activities, a speed networking event and a vendor demo marketplace. In addition, Thursday evening at the hotel was a networking event for attendees, where members were able to get to know each other during a blind wine tasting event, in addition to the great new contacts I met during the event. I felt the event was incredibly useful to me and my business, and I had a great time as well.

I strongly encourage you take advantage of educational opportunities offered by CMA and NACM. By attending conferences, participating in a webinar, attending the CMA Annual Meeting, etc… you have put yourself in a category above your competition. Stay tuned for other upcoming offerings from CMA.

Have a great October. I’ll touch base next month.

Tracy Rosenbach
CMA Chairperson 2016/2017

How CMA Supports Collaborative Learning and Leads Change in Credit Operations, by Mike Mitchell, CAE

CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell
CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell

Thanks to all the credit practitioners, industry experts, and industry partners who participated in the many valuable conversations at CMA’s recent CreditScape Summit. Our goal was to create an interactive, collaborative learning environment, and I was so pleased with the high level of sharing among all participants throughout the two-day event.

 

I was equally pleased with the audience response to facilitator Bob Shultz’s approach to process improvements within what he calls the Cash-to-Cash cycle. Also known as the cash conversion cycle, Shultz emphasized that the role of credit management extends beyond basic credit and collections processes. There is the opportunity to impact the company’s liquidity through good inventory and accounts payable management, in addition to traditional accounts receivable management. Collections trainer Bart Frankel recommended that credit people take responsibility for helping to resolve issues that arise out of these “other” departments, as they ultimately impact the credit department’s effectiveness in granting credit and collecting receivables.

 

Experienced credit practitioners and other credit industry experts shared specific examples of how they successfully influenced and improved processes across the Cash-to-Cash cycle and created more cash flow from operations.

 

Another example of how CMA is advocating for the expansion of the traditional role of credit within the enterprise is the suggestion that credit can support procurement in evaluating the risk of critical suppliers. Recently, I had the unique opportunity to participate as a panelist in the fourth annual Global Supply Chain Management Conference at USC’s Marshall School of Business. As panel moderator, CMA Member Alvin Moreno, Director of Global Supply Chain Credit Risk with Nestle USA, made the case that the credit department is best positioned to help the procurement department assess the financial stability of a company’s suppliers. In the wake of shipper Hanjin’s bankruptcy, supply chain disruption has continued to grow as a concern for companies that rely on critical suppliers, which gives credit the opportunity to add new value to the business.

 

As a panelist, I told the audience of supply chain professionals about how CMA has worked with Alvin, his team at Nestle USA, and other CMA Members to create a special credit group in which credit managers collaborate on processes and best practices in supplier risk evaluations. More information about that collaboration is here.

 

Clearly, we at CMA are big fans of process improvement through collaborative learning. But as I mentioned in my opening remarks at CreditScape last week, credit managers need to step up and become credit leaders if they are to be successful in driving the organizational changes necessary to make those process improvements a reality.

 

How are you leading change in your organization? I welcome your feedback.

CreditScape Fall Summit Delivers the Elements of a High-Performing Credit Department

The CreditScape Fall Summit, Powered by United TranzActions, an interactive learning seminar and workshop took place September 22-23 at the Doubletree by Hilton Sonoma. The event delivered the elements of a high-performing credit department, providing attendees with dozens of ideas to bring back to the office, according to preliminary survey results that were tabulated after the event.

 

With the common theme of “the elements of high performing credit departments,” attendees commented that the sessions gave them insights on understanding the entire cash-to-cash process, understanding credit from the standpoint of the CFO, getting to “yes” with the sales department, and especially the 6 steps to improving the collections process. Also a hit were the panel discussions where attendees heard from their peers how they have successfully implemented these processes.

 

Additionally, for the second event in a row, every person who submitted a preliminary survey said they’d likely recommend CreditScape to a colleague.

Here are some photos from the event:

bart-frankel-presents-the-6-steps-to-collection-success bob-shultz-addresses-the-crowsd creditscape-crowd-shot-w img_0962 img_4304 sangeeta-janet-and-clark

Plans are forthcoming for CMA’s Spring event and will be announced as soon as possible.

 

Thanks again to our event sponsors United TranzActions, Dade Systems, Vantiv, CreditPoint Software, Bectran, IAB, Emagia / TheCreditApplication.com, Ansonia Credit Data, AG Adjustments, NCS and Dun & Bradstreet, and to all who attended the event!

Southern California Joint Construction Group Meeting Planned for October

construction building 2

Attention Southern California construction-related companies: if you sell on job accounts, CMA has created an opportunity to meet with credit managers from other construction industry credit groups to discuss current jobs and common accounts.

The meeting will take place Thursday, October 13 at 9:00am. Members of the Aluminum Suppliers, Electric, Glass and Metal, Wholesale Roofing, HVAC SoCal, SoCal Building Materials, Building Materials Manufacturers, Steel Warehouse, are invited, but other companies who have common accounts with those industries are also welcome to join. As a bonus, guest speaker Christopher Ng, Esq. of Gibbs Giden will speak on a construction-related topic. The meeting will take the place of the regularly scheduled October group meeting for those groups.

For more information, contact Diana Escobar at 818-972-5300.

How Collections Fits in the “Order-to-Cash” Cycle, by Bart Frankel

Following is an excerpt from my workshop at the upcoming CreditScape Summit and Workshops in Sonoma, CA, Sept. 22-23. I sincerely look forward to meeting many of you at the event to discuss this in much more detail.
First let’s define the Order-to-Cash Cycle (O2CC). It can be defined in an 11-step process as follows:

  • The sales call
  • The credit check
  • Contract payment terms and conditions
  • Order entry
  • Shipping
  • Billing
  • COLLECTIONS
  • Legal action
  • Cash Application
  • Customer Statements
  • Customer payment history

“Collections” is in capital letters because, without it, the majority part of the cash flow process would not be as successful as it should be. The “Sixth Step of the Collection Process” in Phone Power Collections is the nucleus of the other 10 functions of O2CC. If any of these functions go wrong, it would be the responsibility of the Collection Process, not only to fix itself, but to also fix the other 10 steps to make the O2CC process more efficient. No process is perfect, but we all have the responsibility to strive for perfection through best business practices of the O2CC process.
For example:

If the sales department is quoting 45-day payment terms, when in fact your organization’s payment terms are 30 days, then the collections department needs to meet with the sales department to ensure the correct payment terms are quoted to the customer. If the sales department makes a “special deal” with a particular customer for a 60-day payment, then the sales department needs to get prior approval from the finance department and then notify the legal department about the special payment terms for contract purposes.

If order entry is not putting the Purchase Order number on the order sheet for the billing department to put it on the customer invoice, this would be a good excuse for the customer not to pay if this is a customer requirement.

Similarly, if shipping continues to short or over ship items to the customer, this will cause lost revenue or delayed collection. In this case, procedures need to be tightened up in shipping to minimize over and short shipping.

In cash application, if there is a big backlog in unapplied cash, the customer would not receive an accurate customer statement and not pay timely until all unapplied cash to their account is posted. Likewise, all customer statements must be mailed out two days after the month-end closing to ensure timely review, by the customer, for accuracy on their statements.

I look forward to sharing the rest of this presentation with you at the upcoming CreditScape conference in Sonoma this September.

Each of these points and more will be discussed in-depth at the upcoming CreditScape Summit and Workshops in Sonoma, CA on September 22-23, 2016. Come to CreditScape, learn from experts and peers who have done this, share you own experiences with others. For more information, visit www.CreditScapeConference.com.

Bart Frankel is a professional speaker who was responsible for a $7 billion Order-to-Cash process when he was the Manager of Financial Services for the Pratt & Whitney Division of United Technologies for more than 20 years.

Other related articles:

How to Get to “Yes” by Paul Beretz, CICE

As credit managers in the journey to bring revenue to our organizations while monitoring the accounts receivable investment, we have many “detours” along the way. However, like any trip, there are opportunities that we can either recognize, ignore or perhaps not even realize when they come our way.

Certainly the risk elements that so many of us know – the “C’s” of credit – are critical to getting to “yes.” You probably know the “C’s” of Credit – Character, Capacity, Capital, Conditions and Collateral. These risk characteristics, in some form, will lead us to mitigation tools which can minimize risk. In addition, if you deal in global credit (maybe not today, but perhaps your organization buys/expands into international markets tomorrow), you will also encounter the additional “C’s” of global risk, Country, Culture and Currency.

I have realized in my own treasury and accounts receivable experience an area often under-emphasized: the “soft skills” that are critical components in reaching “yes.” These techniques involve understanding how effectively we communicate, listen, react and reflect before taking action. Do we successfully consider the needs of the “other” person in the path to get us to our goal – not just the customer – but in our organization?

We all know the “Golden Rule:” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This rule assumes others want to be treated like you. Dr. Tony Alessandra developed the “Platinum Rule:” “Treat others the way they want to be treated.” It’s not so much what I want, but accommodating the feelings and needs of others (and not just customers), but those in our own organization that are in the line of getting to “yes:” sales, marketing, IT, HR, manufacturing, purchasing, to name a few.

At the upcoming CreditScape conference in Sonoma this September, I look forward to your sharing input regarding this approach to “Yes.”

This is just a surface view of the idea of “how to get to yes in your credit decisioning process.. Each of these points and more will be discussed in-depth at the upcoming CreditScape Summit and Workshops in Sonoma, CA on September 22-23, 2016. Come to CreditScape, learn from experts and peers who have done this, share you own experiences with others. For more information, visit www.CreditScapeConference.com.

Paul Beretz, CICE (Certified International Credit Executive), is Managing Director of Pacific Business Solutions, a company he created in 1999. In addition, he is a founding partner of Q2C (Quote to Cash) Solutions. He brings over 30 years of global, corporate experience in finance and management with industries such as telecommunications, semi-conductors, forest products, chemicals, plastics and consumer products among others. His expertise includes analyzing opportunities and providing resolutions in the order-through-collect cycle for manufacturers, distributors and service companies located worldwide.

Other related links:

Do You Understand the Credit Department’s Role in the Cash to Cash Cycle?, by Robert Shultz

A company’s cash flow is dependent on a lot more than just credit policies and collections.  Every credit professional plays a larger role than just managing these areas.  If you want to add real value to the total operation, you must understand the “Cash-to-Cash Cycle.”  How is the cash conversion cycle measured?  What are the components that drive performance?  What departments or stakeholders are affected by your department’s decisions or delays?  How does your department impact overall company results?

To start, you have to see liquidity management through the eyes of a Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer, CEO or Owner.  They are concerned with how departments work together to meet company strategies and goals.  To them it is critical to balance inflows and outflows, to meet forecasts, and minimize the need for borrowing.  They want to get products out the door to meet or beat competition with excellent service and speed.  To manage effectively, performance tracking and transparency are a must.

At the upcoming CreditScape Summit and Workshops, powered by UTA, we will be exploring how a credit professional impacts each component of the “Cash to Cash Cycle”; Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO), Days Payables Outstanding (DPO) and of course Days Sales Outstanding (DSO).  We will dive into the causes of delays in “cash days” and what you can do about them.

You will be able to share your challenges and ideas with a panel of Chief Financial Officers and your peers.  We will discuss actions you can take to improve performance and demonstrate your value.  Come to CreditScape and better understand cash to cash management.  You will leave with an action plan for improvements you can start immediately.

 

This is just a surface view of the cash-to-cash cycle. Each of these points and more will be discussed in-depth at the upcoming CreditScape Summit and Workshops in Sonoma, CA on September 22-23, 2016. Come to CreditScape, learn from experts and peers who have done this, share you own experiences with others. For more information, visit www.CreditScapeConference.com.

Robert S. Shultz is a Partner at Quote to Cash Solutions (Q2C) LLC. He will also be moderating several of the panel discussions and workshops at CreditScape.

CMA Announces CreditScape 2016 Fall Summit and Workshops Schedule

For those credit professionals who are interested in implementing process improvements in their credit departments, striving for a high-performing credit operation, you won’t want to miss the CreditScape Fall Summit, powered by UTA, September 22-23, 2016 in Sonoma, CA.

We work in a “do more with less” world. Practitioners in the CreditScape are impacted more than most. Dedication to process improvement is one of the only ways to achieve high-performance results in the face of ever-shrinking budgets. The CreditScape Fall Summit provides a powerful opportunity to hear from highly successful credit experts and share decidedly effective best-practices with credit colleagues from a wide range of companies and industries.

Experience CMA’s unique, highly-rated event that balances a mixture of subject-matter expertise, peer-to-peer experience, and credit industry solution providers in a safe, facilitated workshop setting. CreditScape gives attendees an opportunity to identify problems and formulate solutions that can be taken back to the office. There is no substitute for the value of sharing real-world experiences with peers outside your company and outside your industry.

Following is the schedule of events, speakers and sessions for CreditScape:

Thursday, September 22

8:00 – 9:30 AM Bonus pre-conference Maximize Your Membership session

Instructor: CMA Staff

Learn from CMA staff how you can be sure that you’re maximizing your CMA membership investment by using all of the applicable services that can help your credit department.

10:00 – 10:30 AM: Intro – Cash-to-Cash: What is it and why does it matter?
Facilitator: Bob Shultz

Whether they realize it or not, credit and collection managers have an impact on the entire cash-to-cash cycle. 30-year credit veteran, consultant, and UCLA Extension instructor Bob Shultz will kick off the Fall Summit with an explanation of the cash to cash cycle, then lead attendees through workshop exercises designed to help benchmark their own processes.

10:30 AM-NOON – The Role of the Credit Department from the Viewpoint of a CFO
Facilitator: Bob Shultz
Panelists: CFOs, VP of Finance, Treasurer (TBD)

CFOs will discuss how they see the role of the Credit Manager in the cash-to-cash cycle, the greatest challenges they face, and their expectations of Credit Managers to address those challenges.

NOON-1:00 PM – Lunch

1:00-2:30 PM – What parts of the Cash-to-Cash process can you improve?
Facilitator: Bob Shultz
Panelists: Tim Cratty, CGCE, Director of Customer Financial Services, Jackson Family Wines; Tom Sacher, CCE, Director of Corporate Credit and Collections, Watsco; Kim Howard, West Coast Director of Credit, Cemex

Bob Shultz will lead a panel discussion with credit practitioners about what processes they have successfully improved, how, and report the winning results:
• Pre-checks for the Sales Department
• Automating new customer onboarding
• Metrics and reporting across department lines
• Quote: Pricing and Terms
• Sales Forecast
• Inventory to ship
• Accounts Payable
• Order Management
• Credit and AR management
• Invoice Admin
• Collection and Disputes
• Cash Admin
• Scoring model
• Portfolio analysis

2:45-4:15 PM – How do you get to “Yes”
Facilitator: Paul Beretz, CICE
Panelists: 2 Credit Professionals (TBD); Walter Trask, EVP, Comerica Bank

The Credit Manager’s job is to find a way to say “yes” to every credit sale. Bringing over 30 years of global experience in credit, finance, and management, Paul Beretz, CICE, will lead a panel of practitioners and other experts to discuss how they get to “yes” while protecting the company’s ability to get paid. Discussions will include:
• Payment processing/check guarantee
• UCCs
• Credit insurance
• Letters of Credit
• Spot factoring
• Alternative financing options
• Legal Enhancements/guarantees/escrow agreements

4:30-5:15 PM – Workshop Exercises

5:15-6:00 PM – Demo Marketplace

6:00-7:00 PM – Networking Reception

Friday, September 23

8:00-11:00 AM – Phone Power: 6 Steps to Collection Success
Facilitator: Bart Frankel

Bart Frankel was the highest-rated trainer at last year’s Fall Summit, and now he’s back in an expanded training program that will focus even more time on role-playing the toughest collection calls. As the Manager of Financial Services for the Pratt & Whitney Division of United Technologies for over 20 years, Bart was responsible for a $7 billion Order-to-Cash process. Participants will work with Bart and with each other to learn his highly successful 6-step process for getting paid. Bart’s advice is: improve processes early in the Order-to-Cash cycle to mitigate or even avoid collection efforts on the back end. This presentation is a must attend workshop for credit and collection teams!

11:00-12:30 PM – Using Third-Party Vendors to Create Efficiencies (Speed Networking event)

Meet in small groups with service providers whose offerings could allow your credit department to realize efficiencies in areas such as accounts receivable management, collections, payment processing, workflow management, cash application, and more. Service providers will lead the discussions in their areas of expertise. You choose the meetings and discussion topics around solutions that would help you and your company.

12:30-2:00 PM – Lunch and wrap-up session; share your takeaways!

NOTE: All speakers and contents of this program are subject to change. This schedule last updated August 1, 2016

To learn more about the conference and to register, visit CreditScapeConference.com.  We hope to see you in Sonoma!

CMA Promotes Credit Management to the Next Generation at UCLA Career Fair

In an effort to explain credit management to the next generation, CMA’s partner Quote 2 Cash Solutions LLC, represented by Robert Shultz (Partner) took part in a panel discussion and career fair at the UCLA Extension campus on May 14. Titled “Career Success in Accounting and Finance,” Shultz, one of three Panelists, emphasized the importance of the credit function, fielded questions and later spoke privately to students interested in learning more about opportunities in this field.

“CMA believes it is imperative to attract young talent to the credit management profession. In talking to some of these students at the event, I am encouraged about the future generations of credit managers,” CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell, who addressed questions at the CMA booth, said. “Our goal is to help ensure that there are plenty of great new credit management candidates for CMA members to hire.”

Shultz commented, “my most interesting take away was the one hand raised, out of the eighty or so attendees, when I asked how many understood the functions of a corporate credit department. This sort of outreach is an invaluable step to increasing interest and awareness of the credit profession.”

Here are a few photos from the event.

IMG_0842 IMG_0858 IMG_0864 IMG_0867

CMA President’s Blog: The Survey Results Are In, by Mike Mitchell

Here is a follow up from my column last month, when I mentioned a survey to determine which core skills members feel are the most important to credit managers. First, I want to thank all of the 133 members who took the time to respond to the survey. Second, I wanted to share the results and let you know how we will use the information to guide our development of skills training programs this year.

As a reminder, we asked members to rate 15 functional areas of the credit and collections cycle as “Very Important,” “Somewhat Important,” or “Not Important.” From the nearly 13% of CMA members who responded, “Communications Skills (verbal/written)” was rated most important (119 very important), followed by “Credit Basics” (116 very important), “Collection Techniques” (112 very important), “Customer Service Skills” (107 very important), and “Negotiation Skills” (105 very important). All other areas received ratings under 80 for very important (the complete list of results appears below).

survey skillset aggregate

To keep things interesting, the dozen in-depth interviews with CMA’s Board of Directors reflected some of the results above, also placing high value on Communications Skills, Collection Techniques, and Negotiation Skills. However, the group of CMA leaders rated Financial Skills (analysis and forecasting) much higher than the larger member sample, and appear to place a higher value on Leadership and Management Skills. Interestingly, Legal and Compliance issues received average ratings of importance, but we live in a nation of laws and operate in a business environment that is prone to legal risk and liability, so we’re going prescribe legal and compliance training anyway for the overall health of our members.

So what does this tell us about the training needs of our members’ credit operations? We believe that an online credit training program that initially addresses six core disciplines will benefit the vast majority of members who are charged with creating and conducting credit training programs without having the often significant time, resources, and expertise that are required to take on that responsibility. The CMA Credit Training Program will offer skills training in 1) written and verbal communications, 2) credit fundamentals (customer investigations, credit decisionmaking, setting credit lines), 3) collection techniques, 4) negotiations, 5) financial analysis, and 6) legal and compliance.

Look for more details later this summer, but in the meantime, I have a request. Part of the success of our recent CreditScape events was the contributions that experienced credit practitioners made to the workshop discussions. Sharing success stories and career-long best practices have added significant and unique value to our in person education sessions, and I would like to bring that same dynamic to our online credit training courses. If anyone reading this message feels that they have valuable experiences related to one of the core disciplines listed below, and you would be willing to work with me and other members to share those experiences and best practices with CMA members through this new program, please reach out to me so we can discuss a possible contribution.

I want to thank you again for your participation, as I look forward to helping evolve our education program into one that provides members with the topics they value most.

CMA Partners to Show Off anscersX Multibureau Trade Credit Report at Credit Congress

If you’re planning to attend the 2016 NACM Credit Congress in Las Vegas, June 12-15, one common product you’ll see at top vendor booths is CMA’s anscersX multibureau trade credit report, a single report that contains all the key elements about your customers’ paying habits needed to make most credit decisions.

Some of the credit industry’s top software companies soon will offer or have launched the anscersX report on their platforms , including TermSync, CreditPoint Software, Bectran, Credit & Management Systems Inc. (CMS), and eMagia/TheCreditApplication.com. Many will be demonstrating how anscersX can be accessed directly through their software at Credit Congress.

These leading software vendors will help their clients join the hundreds of companies who have already benefited from having instant access to this single report that contains all the key elements about your customers’ paying habits needed to make most credit decisions.

The anscersX multi-bureau trade credit report combines key factors from the three largest trade credit reporting agencies (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and Equifax), giving credit managers the most complete payment story available. “The anscersX report offers some real advantages to anyone making a credit evaluation,” said CMA president Mike Mitchell. “Single-source Business Credit Reports are made up of accounts receivable data that has been contributed by companies, public record data and payment scores generated from the combination of this data. Since most companies that contribute accounts receivable data only send it to one provider (D&B, Experian or Equifax), using one report may provide only a piece of the payment habit story. I am thrilled that leading-edge software providers feel as strongly as we do that there is a real need for bringing this unique resource to the credit community, and I’m grateful that they are helping us introduce their clients to the power that the three largest credit bureaus can bring to credit decision-makers with limited time and budgets.”

The report, which is also available at www.anscers.com, ranges in price from $32.35 to $69.95, depending on the number of reporting agencies the user requests. Users control which reporting agencies are accessed for the report.

To learn more about the program, visit www.anscers.com or call 800-541-2622.

About Credit Management Association
Credit Management Association (CMA), which was founded in 1883, is a Glendale, Calif.-headquartered trade association with approximately 1,300 member companies representing over 250 different business categories selling regionally, nationally and internationally. CMA focuses on providing products and services that allow companies to make informed business decisions based on trade credit. CMA is one of the largest affiliates of the National Association of Credit Management (NACM), whose 45 affiliates serve all of North America. For more information, call 800-541-2622, or visit www.creditmanagementassociation.org.

How to Explore Different Credit Reporting Services

Credit Reporting can be the lifeblood of a credit manager’s decisioning process, but not all credit reports are created equally. Different reports have different strengths, and it’s to your company’s advantage to use the right information to protect your company’s receivables.

To educate you on these strengths, CMA is offering several webinars to help members learn about the basics features of major credit reports.

The sessions are:

We hope that these sessions will guide you to understand which reports are best for managing risk for small and large businesses; explain new features and upgrades you may not have been aware of; and help you assess whether you’re using the right credit reporting solutions for your needs.

Best of all, these sessions are free to CMA Members.

To sign up for these and other events, visit http://www.anscers.com/upcomingevents.aspx or contact CMA Member Relations, at 800-541-2622.

CMA President’s Blog: Core skills that drive high-performance credit departments, by Mike Mitchell

CMA’s Mission: Make a difference in credit department performance by helping credit professionals maximize cash flow and manage credit risk.

I am always playing around with CMA’s mission statement. While it is seems impossible to fully capture everything that CMA does to support credit professionals and their teams, the above mission statement is true if not fully comprehensive. One of the ways that CMA can make difference and help credit professionals perform at a higher level is through education and training. For years we have offered credit education on the entire range of credit-related topics in a variety of different formats (seminars, webinars, in-person and online classes, summits, and conferences). In an effort to keep up with the changing (and increasing) demands of the credit function, we surveyed our Board of Directors to find out what core knowledge and skills are required for hiring, performance evaluation, and advancement within the credit department.

What we found was pain.

A dozen in-depth interviews uncovered a dozen core skills that are valued by most of their credit departments. CMA has traditionally focused on providing “education,” meaning general knowledge, on credit topics. The Association has not focused on “training,” which is the practical application of that knowledge to daily credit operations. Training has been left up to the member company to offer. A few Directors we talked with have in-house training resources (often referred to as the Company University), and a few others have support from their human resources departments, but the vast majority of member companies make all credit-specific training the sole responsibility of the credit department management. The pain comes from the often significant time, resources, and expertise that is required to take on that responsibility. Time, resources, and expertise that an already overburdened credit department does not have.

At CMA, we are in the process of trying to ease that pain by developing convenient, cost-effective, standardized training programs that can be used to train credit department personnel at all levels of experience and responsibility. Your volunteer leaders on the Board have given us a really good start, but we want to hear from all of our members about what core skills your company and your credit department values and believes will drive high performance and great results. Please take a few minutes to answer our brief one-page survey so that we can include your input in our program design.

Click here to access the survey.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Attendees and Vendors Agree: CreditScape Spring Summit and Annual Meeting Was a Success

The CreditScape Spring Summit and Annual Meeting, Powered by United TranzActions, an interactive learning seminar and workshop which took place March 24-25 at the Island Hotel Newport Beach, was a huge success, according to preliminary survey results that were tabulated after the event.

With the common theme of “the elements of an efficient digital credit department,” attendees commented that the sessions gave them insights on how to approach their superiors to update their credit departments, help with evaluating vendors, and how to take their credit applications digital. They also overwhelmingly liked the panel discussions led by their peers who have implemented the technology, and their success (and failure) stories in implementing it.

Said one sponsor: “The audience at CreditScape was the most intelligent one we’ve seen at an event. Lots of great questions were asked, and we feel the attendees got a lot out of it. I can’t wait to participate in the next one.”

Mike Puccinelli of Equinix addresses the crowd at the opening session of the Spring 2016 CreditScape.
Mike Puccinelli of Equinix addresses the crowd at the opening session of the Spring 2016 CreditScape.

Additionally, every person who submitted a survey said they’d recommend CreditScape to a colleague.

Plans are already underway for a 2016 Fall CreditScape, September 22-23, 2016 in Sonoma, Calif. Details about the event are forthcoming.

Thanks again to our event sponsors United TranzActions, Dade Systems, Vantiv, Bectran, Skyminder, eMagia / TheCreditApplication.com, Ansonia Credit Data, TermSync, AG Adjustments and Dun & Bradstreet, and to all who attended the event!

CMA Chairman’s Blog: Advancing your Career through CMA by Michael W. Fenner, CBA

Year after year, as we go through our careers, we are always looking for ways to improve ourselves and advance in our professions. I know for me, I got complacent with my job and quite frankly I didn’t know where to go and or who to turn to. My luck changed when I ran into Mike Mitchell, CAE President of CMA at the Las Vegas airport in 2008 after attending a Western Region Credit Conference. I mentioned to him that I was looking for more in my career and he said to me, “You are already being considered.” I wasn’t entirely sure what he meant by that at that moment, but shortly thereafter I received a phone call to join CMA’s Board of Directors. I thought it was a great opportunity to be able to volunteer and help our association, understand more about how a business works, as well as work with my peers from all different companies and credit backgrounds. The rest is history…

Let’s take a look at some of the platforms that have assisted me through my career:

  • Professional Credit Certification – It’s never too late to get your designation or move to the next level. Here are the available designations.
    • Certified Credit and Risk Analyst (CCRA) – For analysis and interpretation of financial statements.
    • Credit Business Associate (CBA) – This includes three credit courses basic financial accounting, business credit principles and introduction to financial statement analysis.
    • Credit Business Fellow (CBF) – The lessons include business law and credit law.
    • Certified Credit Executive (CCE) – You must be proficient at accounting, finance, domestic and international credit concepts, management and law.
    • Professional Development Programs – CMA offers a variety of courses in person and online. The anscers.com website (on the education tab) is constantly being updated with the latest information for all of us. As an example some of our options today include (but not limited to) the Spring and Fall CreditScape Summits, NACM’s annual Credit Congress, numerous lien law seminars in many states, a course on alternative for financing the sale of goods, and credit risk and risk mitigation techniques. Please go check them out and see which one can assist you in your career.
  • Board and Committee Service – By volunteering my time on the CMA Board of Directors and serving on board committees it has allowed me to grow as a person and become a more of a diverse credit manager and move up in my career. I have been able to make lifelong friends as well as expand my credit knowledge to move forward in my field just by participating in discussions and working with my associates.
  • Industry Credit Groups (ICG’s) – My ICG helped assist me in my credit decision process to run a more thorough credit department. Currently we have 60 diverse groups. They network with each other, share factual information timely, and you get responses promptly from your group members so you can make educated decisions with your new accounts and or your current A/R. Feel free to contact Diana Escobar directly at (818) 972-5342 for more information about groups that pertain to your industry.

We all know how important it is to stay up-to-date with our education. And finding the time to go to events or take classes can be a challenge. Things won’t change unless we change them. Invest in yourself and your teams, and challenge them to improve and grow.

Make sure you encourage your teams to support CMA which is your association. It is important to always network with your colleagues and make some new friends as you go through this process. Make sure you always bring back your experiences to incorporate them into your jobs.

Let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear your feedback.

Michael W. Fenner, CBA, is the Credit Management Association Chairman and Manager of Corporate Credit Operations for Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. He can be reached at 714-321-8187, or mfenner@becn.com.

Easy-to-Implement Technology That Can Make a Credit Manager’s Job Easier, by Michelle Herman

Yesterday I mentioned that I’d be listing several technologies I use that make my job easier. These are all things that I don’t have to call the I.T. department to install for me. These tech tools are easy to learn, easy to use, super helpful in the credit and collection department, make you look good, and best of all, are FREE!

Free Conference Call/Webinar/Video Chat tool
Free Conference Call.com
www.freeconferencecall.com
Yes – it really is free! You get assigned a phone number and code that is static and is yours to use whenever you need to have a conference call. You can even do free webinars (and record them) with all the standard tools that pricey tools like WebEx offer. Now they even offer video chat!

Free Online Large File Management Tool
Dropbox
www.dropbox.com
Large files are often rejected, or never make it out of your own server. Dropbox solves this issue by allowing you to convert any document into a link that is easily shared and can be password protected. You can store or send pictures, PowerPoint’s, excel files, etc. This product comes with a basic level of storage than can be incrementally increased through a variety of actions.

TheCreditApplication.com
eMagia Software
www.thecreditapplication.com
Another great new product from our friends at Emagia that provides you with an online credit application that you customize – for FREE! You re-create your credit app online, no tech support from your company necessary. You can export data into excel or your ERP, it is integrated with credit sources like the NACM National Trade Credit Report and even Yahoo financials.

Low-to-No-Cost Productivity Tools
Your Nerdy Best Friend
www.yournerdybestfriend.com
If you missed seeing Beth Ziesenis, known as “Your Nerdy Best Friend,” at last year’s Western Region conference in Portland, you don’t want to miss seeing her at Credit Congress. Visit her site to get comprehensive reviews on super productivity tools that touch virtually every area of your department. You are sure to find something that will change your life – personally and professionally.

Multi-Bureau anscersX Commercial Credit Report
CMA
www.anscers.com
Ok, this one isn’t really free, but it is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to get data from the leading commercial credit bureaus all in one place. The AnscersX report provided by CMA, gives you the greatest hits from D&B, Experian and Equifax all in one easy to read report. No contracts, no minimums, no hassle.

Use anyone of these tools and you’ve got some instant sizzle. You instantly up your professionalism and your image. All of these tools have impressive graphical reporting features to help you share the results with your boss, making you and your team, look great. The key is to take one step at a time, start with simple low- or no-cost options for some of the most basic productivity tools, and generate some good looking reports that tell a story. Just pick one and sign up. Didn’t see one that floats your boat? There are hundreds of these types of tools, and just starting with one and seeing immediate real success – the sizzle- is what you need to keep going. Track me down at CreditScape and I’ll give you a live demo of how easy these tools are and how they may your life easier and make you look sharp.

Ok, we get it. You’re busy, overworked, underpaid. And probably under-valued. If that is your reality, and your perception, it’s time to take action to change it. We know it is hard to get out of the office, but if you’re not viewed by management as you’d really like to be, take the time, learn a few new tricks. Generate some sizzle. See you at CreditScape!

CreditScape
This is just a surface view of one of the topics that will be discussed in detail at the upcoming CreditScape Summit and Annual Meeting in Newport Beach, CA on March 24-25, 2016. Come to CreditScape, learn from experts and peers who have done this, share you own experiences with others. For more information, visit www.CreditScapeConference.com.

Michelle Herman is a business development manager at NACM. She will also be moderating several of the panel discussions and workshops at CreditScape.

Read the other posts in this series here:

Why is it So Difficult to Implement New Technology Solutions in the Credit Department, by Michelle Herman

Why is it that credit, especially commercial credit, always seems to get the short end of the stick when it comes to resources? Why does it seem just the opposite for sales and marketing? Why do they always get the newest equipment, the coolest gadgets, the fancy business cards, even the latest version of Microsoft office before you? Why? It’s because those folks are externally facing representatives of your company and your company already knows the value of their efforts. Huge marketing campaigns cost huge dollars and are visible inside and outside of the company. Huge sales get noticed and celebrated – and commissioned. These teams may annoy the heck out of you, but they have a few things figured out: get noticed = be valued. They are constantly throwing out the sizzle – and people notice sizzle, all the time.

So why can’t credit sizzle? Why are we always in the back room? Why are our requests and projects always “on the list”? Why doesn’t anyone else get excited that your 90+ bucket just dropped below x percent? At this point, my only conclusion is this: Perception really is reality. If you have everything you need in your department, you can save ten minutes and stop reading this now. If you are still struggling to get basic tools and funding for training and attending conferences, read on.

For every person in your company who has nothing to do with (or knows nothing about) credit or collections, their PERCEPTION about what you and your team do or don’t do, their stereotypes, biases, and assumptions, really is their REALITY. How you and your team are perceived, almost more than how you actually perform, is how you are valued, whether you like it or not. And they will support you only to the extent that they think you are valuable.

We all know, none of us ever planned to get here, it just happened. Many never even heard of commercial credit until we were suddenly knee deep in it. Clearly, as an industry and a profession, we’ve got some work to do, but we’ll save that for another day. The point is, no one really knows what you do, and it is your job to educate them, to prove your value – but take some notes from those flashy sales folks, sometimes you need a little sizzle to do it!

So how do you sizzle? How do you prove your value? How do you get a seat at the table? How do you get to be seen as a strategic player, not just an administrative cost center? How do you really change their perception? You must start by changing your reality, and you can do it starting today, through technology, without spending a dime.

If you are still reading, I’m going to assume that you’d like to improve a few things. Many in our industry have been around a long time, and have heard “no” so often, that they just stop asking, and they stop learning. I’m still amazed at what isn’t being implemented in our member’s offices and even in our own NACM offices, because we haven’t taken time to find out what’s out there. We did a short survey at one of the regional conferences about why technology isn’t adopted more often.
Reason Number 1: No Time. No one takes the time to investigate the technology, because they have no time. They have no time, because they have no technology. It is a vicious and evil cycle. Result: no sizzle, no value, no tools.

Reason Number 2: No Budget. This really shouldn’t be an excuse anymore as so many services are offering their basic tool for free, only charging if you want to upgrade. It is a great business model that lets folks like us actually explore things, test it out, kick the tires – before we commit, or spend a dime. And they are all web-based – nothing to install, no tech involvement needed, just go to a website and register.

Tomorrow, I’ll list a few of my favorite tech tools that are easy to learn, easy to use, super helpful in the credit and collection department, make you look good, and best of all, are FREE!

CreditScape
This is just a surface view of one of the topics that will be discussed in detail at the upcoming CreditScape Summit and Annual Meeting in Newport Beach, CA on March 24-25, 2016. Come to CreditScape, learn from experts and peers who have done this, share you own experiences with others. For more information, visit www.CreditScapeConference.com.

Michelle Herman is a business development manager at NACM. She will also be moderating several of the panel discussions and workshops at CreditScape.

Read the other posts in this series here:

Justifying Credit and Collections Automation to Your Management, by Robert S. Shultz

Today’s Business Reality:

In today’s rough and tumble business environment the need for expense management, working capital and liquidity are key CEO and CFO concerns. Gone are the days of ready access to financing and smooth collection of accounts receivables. Timely management information must be available showing how the business is doing and where the opportunities for improvement are. More than ever companies must increase the productivity of limited order to cash management and staff. All this must be delivered with maximum customer service and satisfaction.

Companies must be able to extend credit intelligently, generate accurate and timely invoices, and quickly identify and correct customer disputes. Management needs to track performance metrics, trends and customer issues. Companies that do these things well are in a position to shorten their overall cash conversion cycle, reduce the need for borrowing and bring a company the liquidity it needs to survive and thrive.

There are many cost effective automation solutions in the marketplace focused on these issues. Many of these are cloud based. This simplifies implementation and few internal IT resources are needed. Even though the costs are relatively low, the functionality is amazing. Credit and other financial managers will find that the first hurdle is to convince management the suggested solution meets the acid test. They have to answer the question, “Show me the Return on Investment” (ROI).

Where to Start
The first step for a credit manager is to determine when volumes and performance challenges justify automation and the expense of a solution. The solution could be developed internally or acquired from a third party provider. The cost and likelihood of success with an internal option really depends on the resources available in the company.

Following are ten things to consider that fit any automation initiative. The following is not intended to be a complete list. It covers the key points you may include in a recommendation to senior management.

How would you answer the following question: What are the Compelling Needs for Automation?

In order to convince management to invest in any automation you must demonstrate the need in clear, real world and understandable terms. Here are ten things to consider:

  1. Is excessive overtime a routine in the department? Are you using temps to supplement permanent staff?
  2. If you benchmark Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) transaction volume is yours is low by comparison?
  3. Is your company growing, merging or acquiring but you are not able to hire additional staff for your department?
  4. Is Sales continually upset that credit reviews take too long? Is business lost as a result?
  5. Are collection results below expectations?
  6. Is your department stuck in a morass of unworked deductions?
  7. Are invoices often inaccurate or go out late?
  8. Are Sales and Customers impacted by order hold and release delays?
  9. Is management unsatisfied with performance measurements, reporting and the ability to status Customer balances?
  10. Is it impossible to accurately forecast cash flow?

As you can see if any or all of these factors are in play you will get the attention of your management with opportunities for significant improvements.

Where is the Money!
Soft savings such as process efficiency or improved customer service can help justify expenditures for automation. Actual hard cost savings will enable you to calculate the “ROI” and how long it will take to get there.

You should consider such things as:

  1. An increase in transactions per FTE will reduce the need for overtime, temps or permanent staff.
  2. Based on forecasted company and transaction growth automation will reduce the need to add staff.
  3. Automation of the credit approval and review process will speed decisions, avoid lost business and could reduce past dues and write-offs.
  4. Increased collection efficiency will bring in cash earlier, reducing borrowing costs, enabling the company to take all Accounts Payable discounts, provide working capital to invest in profitable opportunities.
  5. Timely or self-service invoicing will reduce invoicing delays, identify errors earlier and optimize the payment cycle.
  6. Cash administration/application improvements will identify customer payments earlier, avoiding unnecessary collection expense and speeding up the order hold release process, improving revenue and profits.

 

This is just a surface view of what it takes to convince management an automation initiative should be approved. Each of these points and more will be discussed in-depth at the upcoming CreditScape Summit and Annual meeting in Newport Beach, CA on March 24-25 2016. Come to CreditScape, learn from experts and peers who have done this, share you own experiences with others. For more information, visit www.CreditScapeConference.com.

Robert S. Shultz is a Partner at Quote to Cash Solutions (Q2C) LLC. He will also be moderating several of the panel discussions and workshops at CreditScape.

Read the other posts in this series here:

Coming Soon: How to Know That Your Credit Department Processes Are Efficient

These are interesting and challenging times. With the digital revolution, many process improvements have completely changed the way business is done. There is so much more information available now than ever before in assigning business credit that it is difficult to stay up on the latest trends and best practices to make sure that your department (and you!) are doing things as efficiently as possible with the available tools.

At CMA, we’ve had numerous conversations and phone calls from members who tell us that they are trying to do more with less, or that their departments have been downsized. As a response to those conversations, CMA has created an event that is designed to help credit managers with all levels of experience and expertise to leverage the knowledge and experiences of practitioners who have implemented elements of an efficient digital credit department, with a complete 360-degree overview of why, when and how to implement those elements to make your department run more efficiently.

The 2016 CreditScape Spring Summit and Annual Meeting, powered by United TranzActions, will feature two days of workshop training, expert practical and legal advice, and networking with other credit professionals. The goal of CreditScape is to provide an opportunity for credit practitioners at all levels of experience and expertise to come together to solve problems and provide solutions for their real-world issues they face at work.

Next week, two of our panel moderators for the event, Robert Shultz and Michelle Herman, will be guest blogging about the reasons why you need to at least consider implementing the elements of the digital credit department, but specifically the WHY, WHEN and HOW to implement, including how to justify the need to your management, select a third-party vendor, the types of problems that digital applications can solve, and more.

We invite you to join Robert and Michelle at the Spring CreditScape Summit and Annual Meeting, March 24-25, 2016 at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach (or view the website at www.creditscapeconference.com) , and to read their blogs, as the information you’ll receive can help you save time and resources in the long run.

What elements of the digital credit department are you the most interested in learning about? We welcome your feedback.

Read the other posts in this series here:

Why You Need to Attend the CreditScape Spring Summit, by Michael W. Fenner, CBA

Now that we have all made our “New Years resolutions,” make sure you don’t drop the ball on your professional goals. Maybe you would like to improve your own personal skill set in your organization. Or perhaps you want your team to get up-to-date with the latest credit training / information in the market place. For me, as I move through this New Year, I look at budget planning and ideas on how to improve our credit department. I urge you to please take some time to review the latest CMA CreditScape Spring Summit information. By attending the two days of workshop training, I believe that it will propel you and your department to the next level.

What will be covered this spring…“The Efficient Digital Credit Department”.

Let’s take a look at some of the items that stood out to me:

  • All Levels of Expertise Welcome – Good for beginners to experts in your departments.
  • The discussions are led by practitioners, not marketing people – Get a 360-degree look into the elements of an efficient digital credit department, focusing on best practices and real-world case studies with the best and brightest practitioners in credit and collections, including top credit executives from companies such as Sony Entertainment, Sysco Foods, Ganahl Lumber, Kendall-Jackson, Walters Wholesale, UTA/United TranzActions, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Watsco.
  • Focusing on your Departments Efficiencies – Such as why should your department go digital…You’ve decided to “Go Digital” Now What?…Automating your customer onboarding process…Vetting your customers…Automating your A/R management processes…International resources and government automation tools……Using third-party vendors to create efficiencies…and emerging technologies impacting the credit department to name a few.
  • Convenient Location – This will be in Southern California this spring at The Island Hotel Newport Beach saving costs for those of us who live locally.

The event information is as follows:

Date: March 24-25, 2016
Location: The Island Hotel Newport Beach 690 Newport Center Drive Newport Beach, CA 92660 ($189 a night)
Cost: $495 for CMA members and $595 for non-members
Registration: To register go to www.creditscapeconference.com

We all know how it is important to stay up-to-date with our education. And finding the time to go to these events can be hard too. Invest in your team, and challenge them to improve and grow. This program will be packed with information and has many excellent speakers too. I would highly recommend it.

Additionally, CMA has a prewritten “letter to your boss” to help you show the value of the event. To get a copy, go to http://creditmanagementassociation.org/events/creditscape/cma-annual-meeting-letter-to-your-boss/

Please take a few minutes to read through the program highlights to answer all of your questions on the CreditScape Spring Summit 2016 brochure located at http://creditmanagementassociation.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/creditscape-brochure-spring-2016.pdf

Make sure you encourage your teams, support CMA…your association, and network with old friends and make some new ones too. Team up with your colleagues and learn together. Then bring back your experiences to incorporate into your jobs. Let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear your feedback.

Michael W. Fenner, CBA, is the Credit Management Association Chairman and Manager of Corporate Credit Operations for Beacon Roofing Supply. He can be reached at 714-321-8187, or mfenner@becn.com.

Credit Management Association® Announces Details for CreditScape Spring Summit and Annual Meeting, Powered by UTA

 

CMA Event to Offer 360-Degree Overview of the Elements of an Efficient Digital Credit Department, March 24-25, 2016.

BURBANK, CA (January 21, 2016)–Credit Management Association (CMA) is collaborating with payment processing solutions partner United TranzActions (UTA) to educate credit professionals with a complete overview of the elements that make up an efficient digital credit department. The CreditScape Spring Summit and Annual Meeting, powered by UTA, takes place March 24-25, 2016 at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach, and features two days of workshop training, expert practical and legal advice, and networking with other credit professionals over the common theme of implementing automation tools and third-party services to increase the overall efficiency and performance of the credit operation.

“We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants at our inaugural CreditScape event last fall. Members and other participants told us that they really benefitted from the real-world case studies and practitioners who shared their experiences through panel discussions and workshops. Attendees also appreciated having vendors and sponsors included in problem-solving discussions. Sustainable learning is about shared knowledge and experiences, and this is one way that CreditScape Summits will keep participants ahead of the curve in an ever-changing credit landscape. This will also be much more interactive than the typical teacher-and-classroom experience our audience is used to. For those who are used to staring at their phones and checking email during these types of events, then CreditScape is not for you,” said CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell.

“In conversations I’ve personally had with members, we believe that it’s not just about finding the right solution provider, but instead determining the diagnosis and solution to efficiency problems. With the help of some of our technology partners, including payment processing solution provider UTA, we’ve developed a program geared towards all sizes of credit departments. Our expert panels will take attendees through the entire life-cycle of process improvement, from identifying credit functions that can be improved through automation and/or outsourcing, to determining and implementing the right solution, to measuring results to determine success. Stay current on best practices and hear from practitioners who have successfully implemented electronic credit applications, A/R automations, business intelligence and other elements of the digital credit department,” Mitchell added.

“Preliminary discussions with CMA members and industry partners have uncovered various capabilities and core competencies that affect credit department efficiency, including automation tools, the quality of customer investigations and evaluations, building relationships with customers and sales, and differentiated collection approaches for large and small debtors.”

“Among the topics to be addressed at the Summit are automating the customer onboarding process, vetting your customers, automating your A/R management process, international resources and government automation tools, emerging technologies that may impact the credit department, and more. The program has a strong group of discussion-leader practitioners from leading companies such as Sony Entertainment, Equinix, Sysco Foods, Ganahl Lumber, Kendall-Jackson, Walters Wholesale, Watsco, SRS Distribution, UTA/United TranzActions, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. These are some of the subjects and practitioners that will drive content and discussion at CreditScape,” Mitchell said.

In addition to the educational program, CMA will also hold its Annual Meeting, which will include the installation of the 2016-2017 CMA Board of Directors, plus the presentation of awards for Credit Executive of the Year, Mentor of the Year and Student of the Year. The Annual Meeting will take place during lunch on March 25.

The event will be preceded by the Credit Executives Symposium on March 23 at the Island Hotel. The one-day event for CFOs and Credit Directors, offers high-level interactive discussions and workshops on the hottest topics in credit management. CreditScape Summits are offered in the Fall and in the Spring, focusing on different aspects of the Credit Management landscape. It is one in a series of in-person educational opportunities offered by Credit Management Association. To learn more about the other sessions and topics, visit www.creditmanagementassociation.org/events or call 800-541-2622.
About Credit Management Association

Credit Management Association (CMA), which was founded in 1883, is a Burbank, Calif.-headquartered trade association with approximately 1,100 member companies representing over 200 different business categories selling regionally, nationally and internationally. CMA focuses on providing products and services that allow companies to make informed business decisions based on trade credit. CMA is one of the largest affiliates of the National Association of Credit Management (NACM), whose 33 affiliates serve all of North America. For more information, call 800-541-2622, or visit www.creditmanagementassociation.org.

# # #

CMA’s Supplier Risk Credit Group to Establish Procedures for Vetting Vendors

Last year, under the leadership of Alvin Moreno of Nestle Inc., CMA launched the Supplier Risk Credit Group, a Best Practices industry exchange group for those who have been assigned the task of vetting their vendors or for those credit managers who wished to enhance their position at their company by learning this job. Who better than a credit manager to evaluate RISK from the vendor side of the chain?

The Group has had four informative discussions and has attracted members such as PepsiCo to the meetings.

On Wednesday, January 27, we are taking the information gathered at these meetings and beginning to build the platform establishing policies and procedures for those assigned this task.

If you have an interest in this or would like to pass it on to the appropriate person at your company, we would be delighted to have them join us in person in Burbank or through web conferencing.

Here is a partial agenda for the meeting:

REVIEW OF LAST MEETING
1. Members describe any enhancements they have made to their vetting process or roadblocks encountered
2. Groundwork and Decisions Required Prior to Establishing Process (including 80/20 Rule-Which vendors will you include in your process?, Has a budget been discussed and approved?, Has Staffing been arranged?, Identify critical vendors, single, sole source vendors outside of 80/20 rule, Has an acceptable chain of command been established?, Has a workable timeline to roll out, review and assess been established?)

VENDOR ONBOARDING PROCESS BEGINS
1. Receive request for NEW vendor investigation
2. Vendor fills out company questionnaire (Provide quality, safety and financial information)
3. Initiate Vendor Qualification process
4. Vendor Financial Information uploaded
5. Evaluation Process Begins (Credit investigation; Relationship: Critical, single, sole; Demographic, government, industry)
6. Vendor Approval, review schedule set
7. Q & A

Please let us know if you would like to be a guest at this meeting by contacting Larry Convoy at lconvoy@emailcma.org.

Lien Laws and Construction-Related Webinar/Seminar Series Coming in 2016

For construction-related businesses, filing preliminary notices, intent to liens and mechanics liens, and more, can be a necessary, but tedious and time-intensive process. CMA’s Construction Forms Filing Service offers assistance with helping companies ensure future mechanics liens rights. In order to showcase some of these services and inform our customers, we invite you to join CMA’s Amber Jackson, who has 10+ years of expertise in construction forms filing, as she reviews a myriad of tools available through CMA’s Construction Forms Filing Service, and the many tools that CMA offers for companies in the construction industry in a free webinar on January 26.

Additionally, there will be a number of additional webinars and seminars, hosted by licensed attorneys, which will cover state-specific lien law provisions and procedures that will help as well, beginning with California basic lien law on February 4. More states will be added to our education program soon.

To sign up for these sessions, click here.

CMA Congratulates Recent NACM-Certified Professionals

The NACM professional certification program, sponsored by the National Association of Credit Management, has helped define and establish professional standards in this demanding and rapidly changing field, and fosters recognition of those individuals who possess special expertise. Among credit management professionals, the professional certification program is respected and appreciated. Not only is participation in the program a mark of distinction throughout the profession, but it offers expanded knowledge of the credit profession, better career opportunities, heightened professional recognition, and demonstration of standards of professional excellence.

Congratulations to the following Designees who passed their NACM-Certified Professional Certification exam in November.

• Diane Lukens, Village Nurseries (CBA)
• Trevor Kuramata, Reliance Steel and Aluminum Co. (CBA)
• Jonathan Chandler, Western Oilfields Supply Co. (CBA)
• Paul Wikoff, Wilbur-Ellis (CCE)

For those who are interested in obtaining their certifications, a free informational webinar explaining the benefits of the designation program is available on demand under the education tab at www.CreditManagementAssociation.org. CMA has scheduled its Winter courses for the Credit Business Associate (CBA) program, which can also be accessed via the education tab.

For more information on how to achieve your Designations, please contact Lisa Wong, Member Representative Associate at (951) 672-0581, or lwong@emailcma.org.

Again, congratulations to these members for their achievements!

What creates the need for financing international growth, by Brent Hoots

Note: this is one in a series of international blogs to help credit managers learn how to assess risk in foreign countries and expand their potential customer base.

As a consultant, NaviTrade is approached by companies on a regular basis asking for our assistance in developing and implementing financing programs for their international business. Sometimes companies are frustrated about and even confused as to the need for financing. In fact, we often times see the need for foreign receivables financing as a natural outcome of successful international growth strategies that in part define a company headed in the right direction. To gain a better understanding of this issue, it’s productive to consider the many views of key management team members at typical small to medium-sized companies, including the following:

VP of International Sales – often times tasked with growing a business globally, a VP in this position may find several very attractive overseas markets. To succeed in these markets, the best strategies may require relationships with strategic partners in certain markets – often distributors – that can lead the company to successful market penetrations and substantial sales.

What does it take to make a relationship with an overseas distributor work? Many things, of course, including some level of understanding of the financing constraints facing the distributor. Overseas distributors are often thinly capitalized (i.e., they don’t have much money to work with!) and are looking for substantial open account terms to match their cash flow cycle. Distributor cash flow cycle means what? Let’s say the overseas distributor places an order with your company, it takes 30 days to receive the goods, they spend 30 days getting the product out into the market, then they get paid by the retailer 30 days after that – we would call this a 90 day “distributor cash flow cycle” from the point of view of the U.S. company. But wait! Isn’t the 90 day distributor cash flow cycle the distributor’s problem – not ours?! Right?! No – this is very much the U.S. company’s problem too!

If this topic is of interest to you, I invite you to join me for a free 45-minute Webinar on December 2 at 9am PST to delve deeper into this issue, take a further look at the views of the Credit Manager, CFO, and CEO, and investigate how this all relates to and where we ultimately find a financing solution!

Brent Hoots is president of NaviTrade Structured Finance LLC (NaviTrade), a financial advisory and brokerage firm that specializes in helping U.S. and overseas companies and financial institutions finance international transactions, better manage overseas risks and marketing related issues, and achieve their global potential. He can be reached at (720) 841-6371 or by email at bhoots@navitrade.com.

A Comparison of Credit Risk Mitigation Tools, by Buddy Baker

Note: this is one in a series of international blogs to help credit managers learn how to assess risk in foreign countries and expand their potential customer base.

Most CMA members don’t know me. I don’t make it to many CMA activities because I live in Chicago. But about a year ago, I joined CMA as a vendor member who provides credit-related services to CMA members.

I’d like to invite you to a short webinar I’ll be conducting on December 3. I think you’ll find the information to be useful and maybe even compelling. The webinar will be a review of multiple techniques for managing credit risk. Maybe you are familiar with all of them but never compared them side by side. I’ve attached a chart that should give you an idea of what I’ll be talking about.

You can sign up for the webinar here. http://www.anscers.com/upcomingevents.aspx?eventId=1840

Then, in January, I am planning to be in Los Angeles to conduct some classroom-style seminars on these techniques. If the webinar makes you decide you’d like to understand some of these techniques better or get some classroom practice at matching risks with risk-mitigation techniques, I hope you’ll come to one or more of these seminars. In addition to risk mitigation, one will be on structures for arranging financing for your domestic and international sales (much of which is built on the risk mitigation techniques). These seminars are not limited to CMA members, but CMA members will get a discount.

My objective is to provide education to Credit Managers. Information you can use. My experience-35 years of it-is as a banker and a credit insurer. I’m an expert in various techniques for managing credit risk and financing receivables, with particular expertise in export transactions. Please feel free to call me whenever you have a question about letters of credit or credit insurance or foreign exchange contracts.

And I look forward to getting to Los Angeles, and out of Chicago, in January.

Buddy Baker

Buddy Baker is president of Global Trade Risk Management Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in providing education content to Credit Managers. Baker has 35 years of experience as a banker and a credit insurer, and is an expert in various techniques for managing credit risk and financing receivables, with particular expertise in export transactions. He can be reached at (847) 830-3038, or by email at buddy.baker@gtrisk.com.

How to Achieve Procurement from Using Foreign Trade Zones, by David Harlow

Note: this is one in a series of international blogs to help credit managers learn how to assess risk in foreign countries and expand their potential customer base.

A Foreign-Trade Zone is a secure, access-restricted, Customs & Border Protection privileged area in or near a U.S. port of entry where merchandise both foreign and domestic may be admitted, stored, exhibited, manipulated, temporarily removed, manufactured, or destroyed duty-free! Duties, certain user fees and taxes are only assessed on products that are transferred out of the FTZ and imported into the United States for consumption. Products that are transferred out of the FTZ and exported abroad are exempt from any duty, user fees or taxes

Benefits:
1. Duty Deferral – Duties are only paid when imported merchandise is entered into the U.S. Customs territory.

2. Duty Avoidance – There are no duties paid on merchandise that is exported from a FTZ, transferred to another zone or destroyed. This eliminates the need to manage costly and time-consuming Duty Drawback programs.

3. Weekly Entry – Customs allow for a weekly entry processing, which benefits importers because the Merchandise Processing Fees are capped at $485 on a weekly basis, versus per shipment basis.

4. Fee Deferral – Harbor Maintenance Fee is paid quarterly and in a single payment.

5. Enhanced Security – By using a FTZ, the “internal controls” requirements of section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are met. Participants in the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program are eligible for additional benefits provided by Customs.

6. Expedited Logistics – relocating CHB to your facility and expedite the delivery to your facility without customs clearance. Potential savings is up to two days.

7. Ease of Paperwork – through automation of the FTZ, the paperwork submitted for receiving and the weekly entry program is greatly diminished with all parties and the processes for approval are expedited dramatically.

8. Manipulation – all manipulations are authorized and completed without physical Customs supervision. Goods are allowed to enter an FTZ and have the following manipulations: clean, repair, fix, improve in value, amend, exhibit, pick & pack, and many other functions.

If you’re interested in this topic, I encourage you to join me on December 1, 2015 for a free webinar on how you can use these trade zones to your company’s advantage. Register here: http://www.anscers.com/upcomingevents.aspx?eventId=1843

david harlow

David Harlow represents four of the nine Grantees in Southern California and assists regions, cities, and businesses with the implementation and oversight of the FTZ Program. Additionally, ITC provides services in eight different states while continuing to grow. ITC was founded in 2002 as an International Trade Consulting Firm and a second generation National Corporate Custom House Broker. ITC provides a unique blend of international trade related services to importers, exporters, manufacturers, distributors, public utilities, and local government, focusing on CBP and the Foreign Trade Zone. 

New International-Themed Webinar Series Announced to Help Members Think Global

Several international-themed webinars have been scheduled for early December in an effort to get CMA members to think globally.

The webinars, which will run 30 minutes each and are free for CMA members to attend, will take place December 1-3 at 9:00 AM PST. Descriptions for the webinars (and registration information) can be found at www.creditmanagementassociation.org/events.

  • December 1, 2015: How to Achieve Procurement From Using Foreign Trade Zones (Speaker: David Harlow, ITC-Diligence)
  • December 2, 2015: Financing Foreign Receivables (Speaker: Brent Hoots, NaviTrade)
  • December 3, 2015: Comparison of Credit Risk Mitigation Tools (Speaker: Buddy Baker, Global Trade Risk Management Strategies)

To echo the value of international education and resources to our members, CMA president and CEO Mike Mitchell dedicated his November blog to the topic.

For more information about these webinars or the CMA education program, contact Lisa Wong, CMA Member Relations Associate, at lwong@emailcma.org.

Theme, Hotel Registration Announced for CreditScape Spring Summit and Annual Meeting

CreditScape Spring Summit
CreditScape Spring Summit

Attendees of the 2016 Spring CreditScape Summit and Annual Meeting, which takes place March 24-25, 2016 at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach, will learn about the efficient digital credit department, according to CMA president and CEO Mike Mitchell. “We listened to feedback from Fall CreditScape attendees and members, and the survey results overwhelmingly suggested the topic should resonate with most credit managers today.”

While the session and speaker lineup is currently being developed, attendees can reserve their hotel rooms now at www.creditscapeconference.com.

More information about the event will be announced in a few weeks.

Save the Date: Credit Management Association Announces CreditScape Spring Summit and Annual Meeting

— Expanded Two-Day Education Summit will be held March 24-25, 2016 in Newport Beach–

On the heels of its successful inaugural CreditScape Fall Summit in Las Vegas, Credit Management Association (CMA) has announced plans for an expanded Annual Meeting, which will include two days of focused credit management best practices training and workshops to help increase cash flow while reducing your company’s overall risk.

The CreditScape Spring Summit and Annual Meeting, March 24-25, 2016 at The Island hotel in Newport Beach, will feature two days of workshop training, expert practical and legal advice, and networking with other credit professionals.

“The Fall CreditScape event was born out of feedback from members who asked us for help with their collections processes. Survey results from the recent Fall event show that members appreciated learning from subject matter experts and seasoned credit professionals who shared their experiences through panel discussions and interactive workshops. We plan to take that feedback and build an even better program for the Spring,” said CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell.

“CMA members are always looking for better ways to manage and maximize recovery of their receivables. We are weighing several options for the overall theme of the event, which the educational content will focus around,” Mitchell added. “And as we did in the Fall, we will incorporate the latest techniques in content delivery for adult learners to create a thought-provoking and practical meeting experience that produces valuable take-aways and sustained value for participants and their credit departments.”

Credit Management Association is currently developing the programming for the event, which is designed to propose best practices and methods to help companies increase their cash flow and reduce losses from their customers. Details about the program will be announced later this Fall.

In addition to the increased educational offerings at CreditScape, the event will also recognize the CMA Mentor of the Year, Student of the Year and Credit Executive of the Year.

The event will be preceded by the Credit Executive Symposium on March 23 at The Island Hotel. The one-day event for senior credit executives of national and global companies, offers facilitated discussions and workshops on the high-level and trending topics in credit management.

CreditScape Summits are offered in the Fall and in the Spring, focusing on different aspects of the Credit Management landscape. It is one in a series of in-person educational opportunities offered by Credit Management Association. To learn more about the other sessions and topics, visit www.creditmanagementassociation.org/events or call 800-541-2622.

Attendees Agree: CreditScape Fall Summit Was a Success

The CreditScape Fall Summit, an interactive learning seminar and workshop which took place September 17-18 at the Tropicana Las Vegas, was a success, according to preliminary survey results that were tabulated after the event.

Among the feedback received: “What key takeaways did I get? There were too many to list. There were takeaways from every single speaker.” Another attendee said, “I learned we need to use automation much more. We can start by using metrics.” Several other attendees mentioned that they’ve already recommended this event to a colleague.

Plans are already underway for a 2016 Spring CreditScape and Annual Meeting, March 24-25, 2016 at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach. Details about the event are forthcoming.

Thanks again to all who attended the event!

"Speed networking" event allowed attendees to discover services that can help them "prevent collections" at the 2015 CreditScape Fall Summit.
“Speed networking” event allowed attendees to discover services that can help them “prevent collections” at the 2015 CreditScape Fall Summit.

What Credit & Collections Professionals Can Learn from Football Coaches, by Mark Wilson

With the NFL season officially underway, let’s take a moment to explore what Accounts Receivable departments can learn from coaches, especially when it comes to the season’s biggest game changer: analytics.

As a credit and collections professional, take a look at the metrics you’re currently tracking. Throughout my years as a consultative resource for AR departments, I’ve found that most companies spend most of their time focusing on DSO and maybe how much they wrote off as uncollectible. Don’t get me wrong, tracking how fast you get paid is important. If collecting money was a game, DSO would be the score. But if that’s all you’re measuring, you’re not properly leading your team.

Let’s think about this from the perspective of a football coach. When evaluating a team’s performance, coaches look at many other stats beyond the final score. Tracking things like rushing yards, turnovers, quarterback ratings, third-down efficiency, help identify areas that need to be improved upon as well as potential opportunities. All of these ultimately feed into the final score and the overall success of the season.

Within accounts receivable, we need to go beyond DSO. Tracking underlying metrics allows companies to evaluate individual performance, uncover potential process improvements, gain valuable insights, and of course leads to an improvement in DSO.

If you’re interested in diving deeper to improve your team’s performance but are unsure of what metrics to track, this AR Analytics Playbook can provide some insight on six simple, yet effective metrics that every financial executive should be tracking. By leveraging these metrics, your company is guaranteed to improve customer relations, reduce administrative costs, and get paid faster.

I encourage you to learn more by downloading the AR Analytics Playbook today.

Mark Wilson, a former CFO, is the President of TermSync, a cloud-based accounts receivable software company owned by Esker, Inc.

CMA Congratulates Recent NACM-Certified Professionals

 

CMA Congratulates Recent NACM-Certified Professionals

Several CMA member individuals recently passed their NACM-certified professional certification exam, demonstrating standards of professional excellence.

BURBANK, CA (September 2, 2015)–The NACM professional certification program, sponsored by the National Association of Credit Management, has helped define and establish professional standards in this demanding and rapidly changing field, and fosters recognition of those individuals who possess special expertise. Among credit management professionals, the professional certification program is respected and appreciated. Not only is participation in the program a mark of distinction throughout the profession, but it offers expanded knowledge of the credit profession, better career opportunities, heightened professional recognition, and demonstration of standards of professional excellence.

Congratulations to the following Designees who passed their NACM-Certified Professional Certification exam on July 27.

• Todd Whiteside, CBF – E & J Gallo Winery
• Michael Nguyen, CCE – Ferguson
• Kimberly Wagenman, CBA – Cascade
• Bertha Pedulla, CBA – HD Smith
• Adam Moreno, CBA – Helena Chemical

For those who are interested in obtaining their certifications, a free informational webinar explaining the benefits of the designation program has been scheduled for September 30. In conjunction with this webinar, CMA has scheduled its Fall courses for the Credit Business Associate (CBA) program. The three courses needed to qualify to take the exam are Business Credit Principles (10-week course that begins Sept. 21), Financial Statement Analysis 1 (6-week course that begins October 6) and Basic Financial Accounting (start date TBD).

Additionally, students who are interested in the Credit Business Fellow (CBF) certification and have obtained their CBA can sign up for Business Law course on October 7. For more information on the programs, and to sign up for classes, visit http://www.anscers.com/upcomingevents.aspx. This is the last time these courses will be offered until next Spring.

For more information on how to achieve your Designations, please contact Lisa Wong, Member Representative Associate at (951) 672-0581, or lwong@emailcma.org.

Again, congratulations for your achievements!
# # #

 

Media Contact: Alan Dicker, adicker@emailcma.org

Why A/R Analytics Matter, by Mark Wilson

In today’s business world, virtually every department in every company uses analytics to create efficiencies, make better decisions, and improve results. For example, a sales manager is no longer basing the sales team’s success solely on the number of sales made—that person is utilizing technology that looks at a number of metrics beyond those final sales. Why? For multiple reasons. Analytics can provide any business area with information that helps them stay competitive, streamline processes, hold their team accountable, and keep their customers satisfied.

Credit and collections teams should be utilizing this same type of technology to track metrics relating to their business area, however two obstacles often arise: (1) many credit professionals don’t know this technology even exists, and (2) those that do know it exists assume that implementation is an expensive and grueling process that requires a lot of IT support.

So, what if you had an easy way to go beyond DSO and track metrics that will transform your company’s A/R into a strategic and value-driven operation? Would you be interested? What metrics would matter? What if there was a free trial of a software that would let you do this so that you could decide if this was a valuable tool?

My company, TermSync, offers a cost-effective accounts receivable software, that is easy to integrate and use. By offering a program exclusive to CMA members, we’d like to make it even easier for you to track important AR metrics. CMA members can use TermSync for FREE until the end of 2015 if you sign up before September 30.

As a Preferred Partner with NACM National, the TermSync team has come to realize how innovative NACM members are and how much they really care about improving their credit and collection processes, especially those in the CMA chapter.

If you’re interested in learning more, join our free webinar on Thursday, September 10, at 9am PST surrounding The 6 Metrics You Should Be Tracking to Guarantee Success. Register here!

Mark Wilson, a former CFO, is the President of TermSync, a cloud-based accounts receivable software company owned by Esker, Inc. Mark will present this topic at his webinar on September 10. Register here.

Can the Credit Department Reduce (or Withdraw) Open Account Terms?, by Michael C. Dennis

In business-to-business credit granting, can the credit department withdraw or reduce open account terms at any time for any reason or for no reason? I think most people would say ‘Yes’. In my opinion, the answer is ‘Maybe’. For example:

  • You cannot reduce or withdraw open account terms if the decision to do so is based on factors including Race, Religion, Age, or Sexual Orientation.
  • You cannot reduce or eliminate open account terms if there is a law that prevents you from doing.

You might respond that this is not the case in the United States. Assuming that is true, my question is this: Are there laws limiting your right reduce the credit limit in the other countries in which you do business?

If you have a contract with a customer that limits or prevents you from taking unilateral action in connection with lowering the credit limit, then obviously the actions of the credit department in this regard are constrained.

What are your opinions of this subject? As always, I welcome your feedback.

This topic will be covered at the upcoming CreditScape Fall Summit, September 17-18 at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. For more information about the conference, visit www.creditscapeconference.com. I hope to see you there.

Michael C. Dennis is the author of the Encyclopedia of Credit, a free, fast, internet resource for credit and collection professionals. He is a frequent instructor at CMA-sponsored educational events. His most recent book, “Happy Customers, Faster Cash,” is available at amazon.com. He can be contacted at 949-584-9685.

Why It’s Worth Leaving the Office to Attend the CreditScape Fall Summit, by Michael W. Fenner, CBA

As we are all busy at our desks this summer with increased sales, dealing with coverage issues due to family summer vacations, etc., let’s take a minute to think about where we are all at with our current positions. Don’t we all want to stay up-to-date with the latest best practices in collections? Or maybe you have a new employee just starting out in credit who needs to learn the collection basics. How about that one person in your department that’s been around for awhile and needs to brush up on their skills. I might suggest that you and your credit team take advantage of attending the CreditScape Fall Summit, hosted by AG Adjustments and Credit Management Association.

This is something new and different this year. Let’s take a look at some of the items that stood out to me:

  • All Levels of Expertise Welcome – Good for beginners to experts in your department.
  • Roundtable Experience – This will not be a classroom setup as usual; it will be a roundtable interactive workshop (with limited participants) so you all can look each other in the eye and share valuable insights.
  • Focusing on Collections – This Summit will be all about collections. techniques, third-party processes, best practices, fraud prevention, collection results, strategies, international collections to name a few.
  • Convenient Location – This will be at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, well priced to save on flight and hotel costs.

The event information is as follows:

Date: September 17-18 2015 (from 10:30 am Thursday through 2:00 pm Friday afternoon)…Location: Tropicana Hotel 3801 South Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas NV 89109 (discount rates available)…Cost: $495 for CMA members and $595 for non-members… To register go to www.creditscapeconference.com

We all know how it is important to stay up-to-date with our education. And finding the time to go to these events can be hard too. Invest in your team, and challenge them to improve and grow. This program will be packed with information and has many excellent speakers too. I would highly recommend it.

Please take a few minutes to read through the program highlights to answer all of your questions.

Make sure you encourage your teams, support CMA your association, and network with old friends and make some new ones too. Team up with your colleagues and learn together. Then bring back your experiences to incorporate into your jobs. Let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear your feedback.

Michael W. Fenner, CBA, is the Credit Management Association Chairman and Regional Credit Manager for Beacon Roofing Supply. He can be reached at 714-321-8187, or mfenner@becn.com.

To Cash or Not to Cash? How to Handle “Payment-in-Full” Checks, by Christopher Eric Ng, Esq.

What should you do when you receive a check from a customer for an amount less than your total claim, but the check is marked with a “payment in full” or similar restrictive notation? Should you return the check to the debtor? Or can you simply cross out the “payment in full” language, deposit the check and pursue the unpaid balance? And what if you use a lockbox to handle the numerous checks you receive and those checks are deposited before you see them?

The answer to this question depends on what state law applies to your customer’s account. In the vast majority of states, if you are not willing to accept the amount of a “payment in full” check, the only safe action is to return the unnegotiated check. If you have accidentally negotiated a restricted check, many state laws give you a period of time (e.g., 90 days) to return the funds to the debtor to avoid an “accord and satisfaction” (the acceptance of a certain sum as payment for the entire disputed amount) of the claim. Finally, even if you have negotiated a “payment in full” check, you may be able to avoid waiving your right to pursue the balance if the debt was undisputed, or if the debtor did not act in good faith.

Creditors that want to expansively address the problem of inadvertently accepting “payments in full,” resulting in an unintended accord and satisfaction, can create and conspicuously designate a “debt dispute office” in credit agreements and invoices to customers. If such a debt dispute office procedure is appropriately implemented, an accord and satisfaction will not be established unless a person who is charged with the responsibility of dealing with such issues makes a knowing, affirmative decision to accept the partial payment. If such a procedure is not established, creditors should implement an alternative process to identify all partial payments made by a customer that could result in an inadvertent accord and satisfaction within 90 days from the date payment is received.

It goes without saying that it is imperative that you understand the applicable state law, consider including a favorable governing law provision in your credit and sales agreements and consult with an experienced commercial attorney regarding your particular situation. If this topic has piqued your interest and you want more information, please read Christopher Ng’s complete LinkedIn blog post at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cash-cashhow-handle-payment-full-check-christopher-ng?

Join me as we cover this topic in much more detail at the upcoming CreditScape Fall Summit, September 17-18 at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. For more information about the conference, visit www.creditscapeconference.com. I hope to see you there.

Christopher Eric Ng, Esq. is a Partner of Gibbs Giden, Los Angeles, CA, and will be speaking at the upcoming CreditScape Fall Summit. He can be reached at cng@gibbsgiden.com.

International Business — How Understanding Culture Will Help You Get Paid, by Eddy Sumar

When someone signs a contract to do business with your company, you allow them to do so with the expectation that they will pay you. In the U.S., there are laws that help protect your assets to ensure that the contract is enforceable, but what happens when you’re dealing with foreign nations? Are there resources (like the government) that can help when your customer doesn’t pay?

In this global economy, there are ingredients to succeeding in getting paid internationally. One of the key factors that I always recommend to my clients is to make sure you understand the culture of any company you’re selling to overseas. For instance, there are many cultures that have a strong family element to them. In some of those cultures, it is probable that the person who answers the phone is a daughter/son/spouse of the company owner. If that person has a negative experience with you (even if it’s perceived), you may never get to talk to the owner to enforce your contract and get paid.

There are plenty of other resources that can help as well. Join me as we cover this topic in detail at the upcoming CreditScape Fall Summit, September 17-18 at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. For more information about the conference, visit www.creditscapeconference.com. I hope to see you there.

Eddy A. Sumar is the President & Founder of ERS Consulting Services. He is also the director of education and community outreach for CMA, and will be speaking at the upcoming CreditScape Fall Summit. He can be reached at 909-481-9869 or ealberto@aol.com.

Using Predictive Analysis to Create Collection Management Strategies, by Christopher Rios

Traditionally, debt collection involved little more than picking up the phone and convincing the debtor why they need to pay for the products/services sooner rather than later. Today, credit and collection professionals are being asked to adopt more sophisticated techniques. One of the newer techniques utilizes predictive analytics to create collection management strategies. Predictive analytics permits creditors to identify at-risk A/R and focuses collection efforts on those customers with the greatest propensity for paying slow. This combination of historical AR data and predictive attributes will allow creditor companies to review and optimize their resource allocation, provide improved customer service, and to accelerate cash inflows. By doing so, creditor companies potentially reduce unnecessary costs across the credit to cash cycle and accelerate payments from high risk customers.

Inevitably, even the best collection strategies fall short at times. An organization’s fail-safe shouldn’t be to write off uncollectible receivables against its bad debt provision and move on. What is sometimes overlooked is the need for and the benefit of having a robust third party process for dealing with debtors that cannot or will not pay. Third party strategies should include bankruptcy administration, pre-litigation, litigation and mediation strategies.

Establishing a solid process that provides prescriptive treatment for dealing with non-paying, financially distressed customers will help creditor companies maximize the benefits of the third party services being provided. Ensuring you’re maximizing your return on investment and increasing the chances of recovering unpaid accounts receivable are two benefits of partnering with the right service provider.

This topic will be covered at the upcoming CreditScape Fall Summit, September 17-18 at the Tropicana in Las Vegas as I lead the discussion on creating a robust third-party collections process. For more information about the conference, visit www.creditscapeconference.com. I hope to see you there.

Christopher Rios is the Group Leader – Finance Operations for Dun & Bradstreet. He will be speaking at the CreditScape Fall Summit, September 17-18, at the Tropicana in Las Vegas.

Discussions You’ll Have at the CreditScape Fall Summit, by Mike Mitchell

At CMA, we are so excited about the CreditScape program we’ve got planned for you, we wanted to give everyone a sneak peak at what you’ll be talking about. All next week, CMA will publish a series of briefs from thought leaders who will be featured at the Summit — Chris Rios, Bart Frankel, Scott Blakeley, Chris Ng, Eddy Sumar, Michael Dennis, and more.

When I spoke with Chris Rios, Director of Finance Operations for Dun & Bradstreet, about the whole collections process, he spoke about the importance of treating collections like sales, because you are “selling” customers on why they should pay their bills. The key to success is building and maintaining good relationships with your customers. He also stresses the importance of being “forward looking” and strategic in your approach to collections – using data and analytics to drive collection effectiveness.

Bart Frankel has been a member favorite with his “Phone Power” Collection Webinars over the years, and we’ve asked him to share the collection techniques he developed for the $7 Billion Order-to-Cash process for the Pratt & Whitney Division of United Technologies. Bart will be the first to tell you that collections starts with the sales call and he stresses the importance of getting the upfront process right the first time so you don’t have so many issues on the back end.

What if you are exporting and trying to collect from customers in foreign countries? Eddy Sumar, CCE, CICE, has plenty to share about his experiences collecting money from all over the globe, and he’ll be the first to tell you, collections starts with an understanding of the 6th C of Credit — Culture.

Join us next week in hearing from these, and our other thought leaders, who will be driving the workshops and discussions that you care about at CreditScape. You can read their contributions on our blog page.

Full Schedule Announced for 2015 Fall CreditScape Summit

The CreditScape Fall Summit, September 17-18, 2015 at Tropicana Las Vegas, offers a 360-degree look into the entire collections process, focusing on best practices and real-world case studies with the best and brightest practitioners in credit and collections.

Here are some highlights of the sessions and workshops at the Summit. The full schedule, along with descriptions, is posted at www.creditscapeconference.com

  • Phone Power: 6 Steps to Collection Success (Speaker: Bart Frankel).
  • Using Credit Cards for Collection Strategy (Speaker: Scott Blakeley, Esq.)
  • Hire and Retain the Best Collectors (Speakers: Bob Daniel, Professional Recruiter, and Joe Lucas, VP & Chief Credit Officer, SRS Distribution)
  • Effective Collection Communication Strategies
  • Leverage Automation for Better Collection Results
  • The “Collection Prevention” Department
  • Collection Compliance & Best Practices
  • Developing a Third-Party Collection Process
  • Advanced Collection Techniques
  • International Collections
  • …and more!

If you’re serious about evaluating the collections processes at your company, or learning the latest best practices in collections techniques, then you must attend this event.

Learn more at http://www.creditscapeconference.com

 

Because “That’s the Way We Always Did It” Doesn’t Cut it Anymore, by Larry Convoy

Larry Convoy, lead group facilitator
Larry Convoy, lead group facilitator

To change successful formulas or brands takes courage. Sometimes it works (Datsun becoming Nissan), sometimes it doesn’t (remember the “New Coca Cola”?). But in this current environment, where you can close or lose a multi-million dollar deal by touching an app on your phone, being passive will leave you behind the crowd.

For that reason, CMA is taking an aggressive approach with its new CREDITSCAPE Summit. CreditScape is unlike any other education activity CMA has ever offered. For one, the topics were created from feedback direct from CMA members about items they need to know. It focuses on only one topic (collections), and covers it thoroughly. If your idea of an educational event is to sit and passively watch a PowerPoint presentation given by someone pushing a product or book, this is NOT for you.

CreditScape will present collection options, not by a vendor pushing their services, but by credit managers who are actually using them so you can hear about their experiences. It will allow you to break into small groups and brainstorm various scenarios and hopefully come up with better ways to run your collection department.
CMA is offering workshops, role playing, a collaborative approach to learning instead of the standard classroom style for the credit and collection manager and their staff.

The event takes place September 17-18 is the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas.

Brainstorm with your peers, hear their procedures, tell them yours and then divide into smaller groups and address the issues presented. Leave Las Vegas with some solutions to your collection issues and real-world case studies, ones that you can implement immediately.

All credit professionals are encouraged to look over the agenda for the conference and decide if you’re ready to learn the latest in collections by being a participant, not a spectator.

You can register now at www.creditscapeconference.com

I hope to see you in Las Vegas.

Larry Convoy
Lead Group Facilitator
Credit Management Association

Registration now open for the 2015 CreditScape Fall Collections Summit

CreditScape Fall Summit Logo

Registration is now open for the 2015 CreditScape Fall Summit, which will focus solely on improving attendees’ collection practices. The conference, a collaboration with commercial collection partner AG Adjustments (AGA), takes place September 17-18, 2015 at the newly renovated Tropicana Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, featuring two days of hands-on workshop training, expert practical and legal advice, and networking with other credit professionals.

Register now at www.creditscapeconference.com

CreditScape will be unlike anything else CMA has ever done before because:

  • It takes a different approach to a conference in that it focuses on only one topic, and covers it thoroughly
  • CMA members have asked for more information on collections
  • The summit takes a different approach to learning by collaborative exercises with other credit managers in a workshop approach instead of the standard classroom style
  • CMA members’ input will comprise the curriculum, to give credit professionals exactly the content that they need.

Topics will include:

  • Effective collections communications strategies
  • Understanding the AP process & cycle at a member company
  • The “Collection Prevention Department”: Collection mitigation tools like UCCs, Liens, and Credit Insurance
  • If my company sells internationally, how can I collect the payments? Where to go for information on collection protocols for other countries?
  • How to leverage automation for better collection results
  • Developing and managing a third-party collections process: insourcing, outsourcing to third party agencies, legal, and bankruptcy administration
  • Using data and analytics to drive collections effectiveness
  • Power phone collection techniques
  • Collections best practices tips
  • Advanced Collection Techniques (Pre and Post judgment) and when to use your collection attorney
  • Bullet-proofing your credit application to make it enforceable
  • Legal compliance and best practices: Standards for commercial collections, including personal guarantees
  • How to hire and retain the best collectors: Interview techniques, skills you’re looking for

A complete schedule of topics, including speaker information, will be announced during the summer. Credit professionals can visit CreditScapeConference.com to register now.

President’s Blog: Why I’m Excited About the CreditScape Fall Summit, by Mike Mitchell

CMA President Mike Mitchell
CMA President Mike Mitchell

I am really excited about our newest program, the CreditScape Fall Summit, focusing solely on Collections. First of all, I have to thank all of our members who participated in the CreditScape program development survey. We have received almost 100 responses from you with very valuable feedback on the topics and challenges you feel are important for getting better collection results. We are committed to considering input from our members and creating curricula that addresses your challenges as we design all of our education and training programs.

Additionally, in talking directly with members and subject-matter experts about the main focus of CreditScape, collections, my own view of collections has changed. I always thought of collections narrowly as a process for collecting overdue invoices. I now see it as a broader discipline that begins as soon as a sale is made. So, in addition to the mechanics of making demands for payment, the CreditScape will include many other aspects to ensure timely payments and effective accounts receivables management.

I am also excited about the format of the Summit. I have now attended and hosted probably close to a hundred conference-style events, most of which were in classroom-style lecture presentations. Recently, I have attended several events where a concerted effort was made to incorporate audience collaboration into the learning experience, and when done well, gave participants a much greater sense of value for their time spent, and I personally got a lot more out of those types of sessions. Bringing that approach to CMA, while subject matter experts will still share their experiences with credit practitioners, much of the learning at CreditScape will come from practitioners sharing experiences with each other in workshop-style settings. This might be the perfect opportunity for credit and collections teams to get away from the office for a couple of days to pursue a journey toward process improvement.

Our goal with CreditScape is to provide an opportunity for credit practitioners with all levels of experience and expertise to come together to share successes and solve problems around collections and accounts receivable management. Everyone has something new to learn or something valuable to pass down that could help drive better results. You don’t know what you don’t know, and what you don’t know could be hindering your success.

And speaking of what you don’t know, I mentioned in my last blog that I had enrolled in the Business Credit Principles Online course. Since I am not a credit practitioner by trade, I have learned a lot about what credit professionals face every day, and the myriad of factors that have to be considered before a simple credit decision can be made. Clearly, it’s not that simple, which is why not just anyone with an accounting degree or with a general business background (like me) can perform effectively without a great deal of training and dedication to the profession. The real value in continuing education, even if it’s in an area with which you are already familiar, is that you don’t know what you don’t know, and I have had a great experience with instructor Paul Beretz discovering what I don’t know and putting it to good use.

By the way, I personally valued the Business Credit Principles course so much that I enrolled in Beretz’s Financial Statement Analysis course. Stay tuned…

Save the Date: CMA Announces CreditScape Fall Summit, by Mike Mitchell

CMA President Mike Mitchell
CMA President Mike Mitchell

CMA is proud to announce that it is collaborating with commercial collection partner AG Adjustments (AGA) to bring credit professionals an entirely new experience in collection and A/R management training. The CreditScape Fall Summit, which takes place September 17-18, 2015 at the newly renovated Tropicana Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, features two days of workshop training, expert practical and legal advice, and networking with other credit professionals.

Part of this unique learning approach will involve subject-matter experts and seasoned credit professionals sharing their experiences through interactive case studies, and each session will dedicate time for participants to share their own experiences with each other. Sustainable learning is about shared knowledge and experiences, and this is one way that CreditScape Conferences will keep participants ahead of the curve in an ever-changing credit landscape. This will also be much more interactive than the typical teacher-and-classroom experience our audience is used to.

From discussions I’ve had with members over the years, CMA members are always looking for better ways to manage and maximize recovery of their receivables. CMA’s partnership with AGA has played an important role in satisfying that need, but we saw an opportunity to take that relationship to a higher level. By leveraging AGA’s deep expertise in commercial collections and vast network of contacts and resources in the credit space, we can deliver leading-edge tools, techniques, and best-practices in accounts receivable management. I also want to incorporate the latest techniques in content delivery for adult learners to create a thought-provoking and practical meeting experience that produces valuable take-aways and sustained value for participants and their credit departments.

AGA’s president Mark Gerstel has told me that his company has envisioned producing a training event focused on commercial collections because there is such a need, and that working with CMA on this event gives AGA an opportunity to help credit managers do a lot more to help themselves and help their outsource partners to get better results.

Preliminary discussions with CMA members and industry partners have uncovered various capabilities and core competencies that affect collection effectiveness, including automation tools, the quality of customer investigations and evaluations, building relationships with customers and sales, and differentiated collection approaches for large and small debtors. These are some of the subjects that will drive content and discussion at CreditScape.

CMA’s education subcommittee is currently developing the programming for the event, which is designed to propose best practices and methods to collect receivables from your company’s customers. Details about the program will be announced this summer.

To learn more about the event, visit www.creditmanagementassociation.org/events or call 800-541-2622.

We look forward to seeing you there!

President’s Blog: Practice What We Preach, by Mike Mitchell, CAE

CMA President Mike Mitchell
CMA President Mike Mitchell

I have always been a big proponent of continuing education. My degree programs gave me the opportunity to serve in my current executive role at CMA, and earning my Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation helped me continue to grow into this complex management and leadership role. Having spent the last 15 years working closely with credit professionals in dozens of different industries, I have observed that most credit management positions require a depth of knowledge across a broad range of disciplines – financial, legal, customer service, and organizational leadership. The first three require study and practice to gain a proficiency for effective management. Organizational leadership requires proficiency for the first three, plus the confidence that comes from experience.

To be leader in your organization, you need to be good at what you do, and you have to bring new ideas and prospectives to your team and to the company. When I was studying for my CAE, I read up on many areas of association management that helped fill gaps in my knowledge, but I learned just as much from my colleagues who took the course with me. Their collective experience greatly enhanced my learning and insights, and gave me new ideas to bring back to CMA. How often can you say that about an educational course?

CMA’s online course format was designed to deliver just his kind of experience. We wanted to make education convenient for time-challenged participants without sacrificing the live classroom-style interaction that is so valuable for real learning and the exchange of ideas. Lectures are delivered by the course instructor in a live webinar format to allow for real-time interaction with them and other learners. Course assignments are assigned weekly in a virtual classroom and completed by learners at their own pace and posted to the classroom for sharing.

Continuing education is really about sharing knowledge and experience. There is a great scene in “Good Will Hunting,” a movie about a brilliant young man who is afraid to confront his own life’s extraordinary potential. Will’s therapist tells him that there’s nothing he can learn about his patient that he can’t read in a book, unless Will is willing to share his thoughts, ideas and experiences with him. Learning is about shared experience. Some of that experience is captured in a text book, a linear, fixed perspective which forms the basis on which to understand the multitude of shared experiences you will encounter from the subject matter expert and fellow learners.

I believe in the value that continuing education creates for professionals and the companies they work for. I also believe that we should practice what we preach. Almost 10 years after CMA launched its first online certification course, I have decided to experience CMA’s online courses myself. I am currently enrolled in Business Credit Principles with the goal of earning a CBA designation.

Stay tuned…

Years of Credit and Collection Knowledge is a Phone Call Away

Did you know that the CMA staff has dozens of years of credit and collections knowledge that is available for free to members? If you haven’t called CMA lately, you should call the association’s experts to ask your questions about the construction services industry and construction forms filing (led by Amber Jackson, 702-259-2622); credit reports and all of the options you have that are available by a non-brand-specific salesperson (Terry Campos, 818-972-5361); insolvency services which can help distressed companies with out-of-court reorganization and liquidation efforts (led by Molly Froschauer, 818-972-5315), and Industry Credit Groups, led by Larry Convoy (818-972-5323).

Additionally, CMA’s Business Development Staff can help address many of your other needs. We invite you to call your reps Patrick Spargur (the newest member of the team, operating out of the Las Vegas office, 702-636-4329); John Morgan (Northern California, 916-672-7362); Laura Rothman (Southern California, (949) 493-3504); and Scott McLaughlin (818-972-5322).

For more information on how Credit Management Association can help fulfill your company’s credit and collection needs, we invite you to call us.

CMA Annual Meeting 2015 Recap

For those who attended the 2015 CMA Annual Meeting, you already know that the panel discussion on securing transactions, keynote on Moving Beyond Business as Usual, and presentation on Understanding Your Communications Style, as well as the networking event with the theme of finding your credit paradise were among the highest rated events that we’ve put on. Additionally, several worthy credit managers, including Michael Fenner, Kimberly Wagenman, Ross Cirrincione and Darrell Horton received prestigious awards at the event.

Whether you attended the event or you didn’t, here are some editorial, pictorial and video highlights of what went on at the event.

CMA President’s Blog: The Virtues of Continuing to Learn, by Mike Mitchell, CAE

CMA President Mike Mitchell
CMA President Mike Mitchell

With another Annual Meeting behind us, I was encouraged to see such a great turnout at the event last week. It was a pleasure seeing all who attended CMA’s Annual Meeting at Disneyland, and what made it particularly exciting for me was seeing that more and more of you are coming out of your offices to engage with other members and learn IN PERSON. It was nice to see credit managers reconnecting or getting to know each other for the first time, and learning from one another as they asked questions and shared experiences during the education sessions, an advantage of meeting in person rather than participating in online learning.

I noticed something else at the Annual Meeting that was very encouraging: experienced, senior credit managers brought their staff members with them to share in the education and networking experiences. I applaud this effort of good old-fashioned staff development, knowledge transfer, and succession planning, something that we don’t often think about in our daily routines, but is critical for the long-term sustainability of a credit department and the credit profession.

For those of you who were unable to join us at the Annual Meeting, look for more opportunities this year, as there are more upcoming in-person seminars, learning lunches and conferences. Additionally, NACM Oregon is hosting the NACM Western Region Credit Conference October 14 – 16 in Portland, OR. More details will follow after NACM’s Credit Congress in St. Louis next month.

My experience at the Annual Meeting re-affirmed for me why CMA is here for its members, customers, and other stakeholders. We believe, as you do, that credit management is critical to the success of any B2B company that sells on open terms, and we are here to help you grow revenue and reduce risk by providing, first and foremost, a vibrant community of credit practitioners with whom you can exchange experiences, best practices, and new ideas.

We hope you’re finding the educational and networking opportunities CMA is offering as useful to your business. Looking to learn more about a topic that we’re not currently offering? Let me know and we’ll try to help.

We hope to meet you in person at one of these upcoming events.

CMA Creates Resource to Manage Vendor Relationships

Supplier Risk Management Group
Supplier Risk Management Group

Supplier Risk Credit Group to provide tools to help companies avoid business disruption.
Credit Management Association recently announced that credit professionals will now have access to tools that will help them assess the riskiness of a vendor with the formation of the association’s new Supplier Risk Credit Group. Comprised of credit and risk-management professionals from medium to large-sized businesses, the group offers resources and provides best practices to help companies manage their vendor relationships.

“We’ve had a number of responses from our members asking for a resource like this one, as many of our member companies have expanded the credit departments’ risk management role to include key suppliers,” said CMA president Mike Mitchell. “There has been a tremendous increase in the number of companies evaluating the risk and cost of business disruption when vendors are unable to deliver goods for reasons ranging from economic to political. Credit Managers deal in risk evaluation daily. They have the skill set necessary to transition from customer analysis to vendor. This new group will help companies assess their exposure to vendor failure, develop, implement and maintain a process to evaluate risk and gather business intelligence more efficiently and cost effectively,” he added.

“During my time in credit management, I’ve often heard the following: ‘We can survive if a customer relationship goes bad, but we cannot survive if one of our primary or secondary vendors has an interruption in delivering product, raw materials or services to us. For that reason, we invest an equal amount of resources investigating our vendors,'” said CMA lead group facilitator Larry Convoy, who will be CMA’s liaison for the new group. “I’m very excited to add this service for our members, as these relationships can make or break their businesses.”

Chaired by volunteer Alvin Moreno of Nestle, the Supplier Risk Credit Group held its initial information session in January, and the response was overwhelmingly well received by member companies who attended. “Moreno will do a great job with this group, especially since he just received his MBA with a focus on this topic. The existence of this group is a huge advantage for our members that can provide information that they cannot efficiently get any place else,” Mitchell added. The first official meeting is slated to take place at the CMA Annual Meeting, which will be held April 22, 2015 in Burbank, CA.

The group, which is one of 60 industry and topic specific groups that CMA offers, will meet quarterly via phone and in person. To learn more about this group, or any of the other groups and how they can help businesses minimize risk, visit http://creditmanagementassociation.org/services/industry-credit-groups/ or call 800-541-2622.

You May Not Know, CMA Has a Solution For That

CMA Has Solutions

Recently, a friend of mine told me that he joined a well-known national association. When I asked him why he joined, he told me he was really only interested in one of the benefits they offered, and that he would probably never explore the other benefits because that one thing was valuable enough to him to justify membership.

After having this discussion with him, I realized that some CMA members may think the same about its programs and services: they join for the Industry Credit Groups but are unaware about (and don’t explore) the other benefits that can help manage risk. Here is a quick look at some additional benefits that you may not know about that are included with your membership:

Credit Reporting: CMA is a reseller of reports from the major credit bureaus (Equifax, DNB, Experian), NACM, plus the hybrid anscersX multibureau report. Let CMA be your first call when you’re looking for customer information; report rates through CMA are often less expensive. Plus, members receive several free reports from NACM, which is included with their annual membership.

RFIs: CMA offers the ability to submit an RFI (Request For Information) on specific accounts from other members who may have experience with those accounts. The system is fully automated and available online in an as-needed basis.

Professional Development Programs: CMA offers dozens of webinars, seminars, in-person networking opportunities and more to help you stay current in the quick-evolving credit management profession.

Construction Forms Filing: If your company has the need to file preliminary notices and mechanics liens in the United States and Guam, our staff offers everything you need, including a free lien provisions guide.

Business Insolvency Services: What options do you have if one of your customers threatens to file for bankruptcy? What if your company suddenly faces financial distress? CMA’s Adjustment Bureau is the largest entity in the United States specializing in neutral administration of out-of-court workouts and liquidations of insolvent businesses.

– Collections Services: CMA has partnered with AG Adjustments to handle all of your collections needs. All placements can be viewed on CMA’s interactive web site, www.anscers.com.

– Transactions processing: If your company offers Electronic Funds Transfer, Online Bill Pay, Credit Card Services , Fifth-Third Check Guarantee Services can probably help you get a better rate than you’re already receiving.

– And more!

With many benefits that you may not have already been aware of, if you’re in the credit management profession (or if you may need help with determining the riskiness of a potential customer), CMA should be your first call at 800-541-2622. CMA is known for its top-notch industry credit groups, but the association offers many more benefits besides them. CMA probably already has a program or service that can provide information to help answer your credit questions.

What is your biggest need in credit management today? I welcome your feedback.

Credit Paradise: CMA Announces Schedule For 2015 Annual Meeting

Credit Paradise
CMA Annual Meeting

Credit professionals will experience a “Credit Paradise” on April 9, 2015 at Credit Management Association’s Annual Meeting. Taking place at Disneyland’s Paradise Pier Hotel in Anaheim, California, the “Credit Paradise” event includes a full day of training, education, awards and networking opportunities with other credit professionals.

“The Annual Meeting allows CMA members from all over California and Nevada the opportunity to learn about the latest trends affecting the credit profession, growing their personal and professional skillsets,” said CMA president Mike Mitchell. “Last year, we addressed the relationship between the sales and credit departments, and received some of the best feedback scores we’ve ever had from our exit survey. This year, we’re looking to build on that positive word of mouth and create a program to allow attendees to create a ‘Credit Paradise’ in their offices.”

Among the highlights of the education program, Jodi Walker will present the keynote address on utilizing creativity to move beyond “business as usual.” Walker is an award-winning speaker who is known for her high-energy presentations. “The topic should resonate with credit managers, as research has shown that five of the world’s largest economies are currently operating with a creativity gap,” Mitchell added.

“Securing transactions is a hot topic in credit management,” Mitchell said. “We thought we’d take a different approach this year and address the topic in a panel discussion with three expert speakers and a moderator who each have a different take on the subject.” Moderated by Diana Crowe of IAB, panelists for the discussion include Jerry Bailey (NCS), Milene Apanian (Law Offices of Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman) and Rudet Fountain (United TranzActions). “The interactive session will include an audience question-and-answer opportunity, so attendees are encouraged to bring their questions to address the panel,” he added.

Popular speaker Rita Jo Schilling will present a discussion on understanding different communications styles in order to help create lasting relationships with others.

In addition, a designated networking reception (sponsored by D&B), a lunch session (sponsored by AG Adjustments) which honors the achievements of CMA’s members, and several Industry Credit Group meetings will take place at the event.

The Annual Meeting is the largest in a series of in-person educational opportunities offered by Credit Management Association. To learn more about the other sessions and topics, visit www.creditmanagementassociation.org/events or call 800-541-2622.

Apple Pay And Its Implications As A Payment Channel For Customers To Pay Vendors’ Invoices In The B2B Space, By Scott Blakeley, Esq.

Scott Blakeley, esq.

By Scott Blakeley, Esq.
Blakeley & Blakeley, LLP

Apple has made a media splash with its announcement of Apple Pay, the latest foray of a tech company entering the mobile card payment space. While the B2B space has been slow to embrace electronic payment channel alternatives, especially those designed for smart phones and tablets, these alternatives are thriving in the B2C space. In another article “Payment Channel Alternative (Traditional and Emerging) For The Customer (And The Credit Team’s Preferences),” Lyle Wallis (VP Research, CRF) and I considered the topic of mobile payments. Apple Pay advances this payment form. But does Apple Pay provide insight for the credit team in the B2B space of what the payment channel may look like in the near future?

The Mobile Wallet: A B2B Payment Channel in the Near Term?

Electronic payments, especially in mobile form, are showing to be a most efficient and cost effective payment channel. Banks have invested in mobile options, which allow consumers to deposit checks, view balances and make transfers between accounts, all from their smart phone or tablet. Javelin Strategy and Research estimates that the average cost for a mobile banking transaction (deposit or transfer) is 50% cheaper than a desktop computer transaction and 90% cheaper than an ATM transaction. It costs J.P. Morgan Chase $0.03 to process a customer’s mobile check deposit, versus $0.65 where the customer physically deposits a paper check.

The mobile wallet has arrived. A mobile wallet can be peer-to-peer, consumer-to-business, or both. To use a mobile wallet, the consumer registers a new account with a provider and then connects that mobile wallet to their existing debit card and bank account. Once money is loaded onto the digital wallet, it can be sent to other peers and/or businesses also on the mobile wallet network. Then, should they desire, the consumer may “cash out” all or a certain percentage of their mobile wallet, and the funds are automatically routed back to the original bank account.

Consumers may choose a variety of mobile wallets: Google, Amazon, PayPal, Square, Venmo, and now Apple. Apple announced that its new iPhone 6 and digital watch give users the ability to pay for products and services just by tapping the device to payment terminals using Apple Pay. The service is a take-off of the Google Wallet, which has been available on Android phones since 2011. The mobile payment system uses a technology known as Near Filed Communication (NFC), which transmits a radio signal between the device (smartphone in this instance) and a receiver, when the two are fractions of an inch apart or touching.

Apple Pay, Data Breach and Card Security: Applications to the B2B Space?

The headlines regarding the Home Depot, Target Stores and Neiman Marcus data breaches have affected hundreds of millions of their customers. Vendors rolling out card payment programs in the B2B space are reminded to consider a cardholder’s privacy rights when they store the cardholder’s card information electronically. Apple recognizes the significance of cardholder privacy and intends to distinguish itself through greater card security. Major payment networks and banks have all been working on a system that allows customers to make a payment without handing over any personal details, using a kind of digital token that can be used only once. Apple Pay is the first program to use the tokenization system on a widespread basis. With each Apple Pay transaction, a user’s credit card number won’t pass through the system, just a scrambled, one-time code that can’t be used in any future transaction.

If a retailer’s systems are hacked, Apple Pay customers’ personal information is not compromised. The service also requires a thumbprint scan for each transaction, meaning that only the phone’s owner can use it to make purchases–a stolen smartphone cannot be used for fraudulent purchases. The devices’ operating software iOS 8 will also encrypt more of the user’s personal data (photos, messages, email, contacts, call history, iTunes content), where previous versions of iOS only encrypted a device’s email. These added security features are important and one of the reasons that Apple Pay has won over credit card companies and retailers. The iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch will use Apple Pay at merchant locations that have purchased the hardware that can read the wireless signal from Apple’s devices. Because merchants are already under pressure to upgrade their POS systems to accept EMV, a new card technology to reduce fraud, there is thus greater opportunity to add-on the NFC technology at the same time. Upgrades to POS systems have been mandated by the credit card companies and must be in place by late 2015 else the merchant will be liable for fraudulent credit card use.

Both Visa and MasterCard are on board with Apple Pay, and Apple is not charging them for allowing their products on Apple phones. Banks have agreed to accept lower fees from Apple than what they usually accept on credit card transactions, with their hope that cardholders will opt to use the technology in place of cash and other payment methods, thereby driving up the total number of transactions. Safer credit card transactions will lower the instance of fraud and thereby reduce card fees for everyone.

Apple Pay and B2B Implications

Can mobile solutions accommodate transactions in the B2B space? Mobile payment technologies have focused on the consumer sector. However, given the push for electronic payment alternatives in the B2B space, developers are pursuing B2B mobile payment technologies. Will businesses move to this payment channel, given the transactional efficiency and low processing costs of mobile payments? According to the AFP, only 11% of US companies surveyed are using mobile payment technologies.

Apple Pay is presently geared toward brick and mortar stores. Online application for card-not-present transactions is a key for the B2B space. The single use nature of Apple Pay technology (digital token) rules out use for multiple transactions (the credit team storing a card on file).

Applications will be developed that provide for Apple Pay technology to be used to pay vendor invoices in the near term.

 

Scott Blakeley, Esq., is a founder of Blakeley & Blakeley LLP, where he advises companies around the United States and Canada regarding creditors’ rights, commercial law, e-commerce and bankruptcy law. He can be reached at his email address.

”Just Add it your Job Description,” by Larry Convoy

This year, I put my New Year’s resolutions in writing so that I could verify that I achieved them next December. Unfortunately, the major one was broken by 9AM on January 1st when my wife asked if I wanted eggs or the leftover cheesecake for breakfast.

CMA Industry Group Leader Larry Convoy
CMA Industry Group Leader Larry Convoy

Though I was weak, it doesn’t mean that you cannot use this method to fully document your company’s position on industry credit groups and your role.

I contend that though the amount of information picked up at each meeting may be less than what is detailed on the monthly reports, alerts and RFIs, the quality of that information is greater. Previous businesses, the owner’s new cell number, other bank accounts, and the new a/p person’s name are just a few valuable pieces of non-trade data that do not show up on reports including D&B and Experian. This is only learned by attending group meetings/calls.

Therefore, to avoid confusion, last minute requests, and to ensure that you get all the information, ask your management to include the following in your job description:

“Credit Manager is required to attend and participate fully in all facets of the industry credit group.  Only senior management can override this and in that case, an alternate chosen and trained by the credit manager will attend.”

This past year, a company lost over $200,000 because the credit manager was asked to handle the phones, missed the meeting and the news that a major customer was not renewed by a big box retailer. Their anticipated big re-order never came through.

Don’t let it happen to you.

ATTEND. CONTRIBUTE. SAVE.

Happy New Year!

Larry Convoy

President’s Post: Trends in Credit Management, by Mike Mitchell

CMA President Mike Mitchell
CMA President Mike Mitchell

Happy New Year!

With gas prices down and holiday sales up over last year, 2015 has already been off to a great start.

At CMA, we are working on exciting new initiatives that will make it an even happier 2015. I recently attended a credit reporting summit hosted by one of CMA’s partners, Experian, and heard about 11 trends in credit management that the Credit Research Foundation has identified for 2015.

• Cash Flow – Cash is King
• Integration with ERP/CRM Platforms
• Credit Cards
• Shared Services Environments
• Credit Scoring/Portfolio Management
• Risk-Based Collection Activity
• Reporting – Business Intelligence
• Blended Scores and the FCRA Hurdle
• Sales/Credit Partnership
• Supplier Credit Evaluations
• Emerging global markets

In order to best meet the needs of the credit managers, CMA is offering programs to address several of these trends.

Sales/Credit Partnership – Gear Up for Profit: Linking Sales and Credit Cycles to Grow Profit

CMA is offering a first-of-its-kind workshop that addresses the challenging dynamic between Credit and Sales, for the first time inviting leaders from the Credit and Sales teams to participate in this ground-breaking approach to exploring how the Credit and Sales teams can work together for better profitability.

Supplier Credit Evaluations – Supplier Risk Credit Group

CMA is launching a new credit group that will focus exclusively on evaluating Supplier Credit Risk. We see an emerging trend in companies tasking the credit department with evaluating the risk and cost of business disruption caused by the failure of key suppliers. CMA plans to support this new functional competency by creating a special credit group that focuses on expanding the credit department’s risk management role to include key suppliers as well as key customers. CMA invites you to attend a complimentary organizational meeting to explore and finalize the benefits and features of a Supplier Risk Credit Group – January 28, 2015, 10:00 am – Noon. Email Larry Convoy for details at lconvoy@emailcma.org.

Emerging global markets – The Global Trade Credit Consortium

CMA is building a unique network of top resource providers for international trade and credit practices, with the goal of helping companies sell internationally by making critical trade and credit resources more accessible, responsive, and accountable. International credit consultant and co-founder Eddy Sumar, MBA, CCE, CICP will leverage the Global Trade Credit Consortium to provide professional guidance to help navigate the complex process of exporting. For more information, visit the GTCC website at http://www.globalcreditconsortium.com.

Which trends are you most concerned with in your business for 2015? I’d love to get your feedback on how CMA can deliver services that will make 2015 the best year yet!

2014 – the Year in Review

2014 has been a very productive year for us at Credit Management Association. While the year will be remembered in pop culture history for its massive data breaches and Kim Kardashian “breaking the internet,” CMA has continued to help businesses minimize risk, as it has since it was founded in 1883. Additionally, it has enhanced some of its services to make them even more valuable to members. Here are a few of those new upgrades:

  • CMA launched a new anscersX multibureau report that incorporates the data from the top three reporting bureaus in a concise, easy to read report, to allow credit managers to make informed decisions. Details: www.anscers.com.
  • CMA upgraded its Construction Forms Filing Services (CFFS). Serving as a point of reference for those who supply materials or labor to construction projects, the new functionality equips companies with the tools to protect their lien rights under the law. Among the enhancements: CMA’s Lien Provision Assistance Guide provides a summary of the provisions to meet individual state statutes in all fifty states to assist any company working public, private or federal construction projects by identifying each state and the time requirements for each form in that state depending on the type of project. Other upgrades included an enhanced reminder system and incorporating the Lien Provision Assistance Guide with the CFFS service module on www.anscers.com.
  • CMA and the International Trade Administration (ITA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) have agreed on a “U.S. Trade and Investment Expansion Partnership” that will help credit and risk management professionals gain access to educational resources needed to expand their businesses nationally and globally. The agreement will continue to promote international trade to CMA’s members by increasing awareness of the economic benefits of exporting, and educating them on trade activities as a job creation and growth strategy.
  • Speaking of education, CMA has successfully administered more than 50 webinars, in-person seminars and events allowing CMA members to stay current in the ever-changing credit management profession. For a list of upcoming educational programming, visit www.creditmanagementassociation.org/events.
  • CMA enhanced its communications with members by creating Quick News, its bi-weekly newsletter. The newsletter focuses on the latest happenings from the credit management industry, as well as news from CMA. CMA has also had a bigger presence than ever on LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • CMA members have continued to understand the value of submitting their A/R data to CMA and NACM.  Members who contribute continue to save time by never having to answer an RFI nor fill out a past due or meeting review report. They create an industry-specific data bank for their niche markets, reducing their dollar commitment to third-party reporting agencies. Though CMA has a large number of members who participate, CMA welcomes every company to add their data to the pool. For more information, contact Lisa Wong at (951) 672-0581.
  • Another successful Annual Meeting and Western Region Credit Conference were completed, with some of the best attendance figures in both events’ histories.

2014 was a great year for Credit Management Association, but we’re looking forward to an even better 2015. As a valued customer of CMA, we appreciate your business and look forward to continuing on as your association. Have a Happy New Year!

Save the Date: CMA Announces “A Credit Paradise,” the 2015 Annual Meeting

Credit professionals will experience “A Credit Paradise” on April 9, 2015 at Credit Management Association’s Annual Meeting. Taking place at Disneyland’s Paradise Pier Hotel in Anaheim, California, the “A Credit Paradise” event includes a full day of training, education, awards and networking opportunities with other credit professionals.

CMA is currently surveying its members about the resources that would be “A Credit Paradise.” The results of this survey will direct the event’s education and training topics. Details about the program, including the keynote speaker and education topics, will be announced in early 2015.

The Annual Meeting allows CMA members from all over California and Nevada the opportunity to learn about the latest trends affecting the credit profession. Last year, the event addressed the relationship between the sales and credit departments, and received some of the best feedback scores it’s ever had from the exit survey. In 2015, CMA is considering valuable training programs and topics requested by its member so they can attain ‘A Credit Paradise’ in their offices.

The Annual Meeting is the largest in a series of in-person educational opportunities offered by CMA. To learn more about the other sessions and topics, visit www.creditmanagementassociation.org/events or call 800-541-2622.

New CMA member benefit: The Interface Financial Group to Offer New Source of Working Capital for Small Businesses

We are excited to announce that CMA and The Interface Financial Group (IFG) have announced a partnership that will offer small businesses an alternative source for working capital. IFG will be working with members of Credit Management Association (CMA) and their at-risk customers to provide working capital through receivables financing to companies who are unable to receive traditional bank funding.

This partnership will help both CMA members and their at-risk customers by providing alternative sources of funding to companies that wouldn’t otherwise have been able to access these funds.

Charles A. Schultz Jr., a former restructuring and turnaround consultant who runs the Las Vegas office of IFG and will be a point of contact, was most recently with a New York City-based boutique consulting firm, where he provided turnaround and restructuring services, and interim leadership within diverse companies. With his diverse background, he achieved results from foreclosure-to-corporate-sale transformations and large-scale operational expansions through such strategies as business plan development, cash flow planning, budget development, negotiations, right-sized operations, and crisis management planning.

IFG’s solutions are specifically designed for small business, and programs can be tailored to each individual business from a service mix that includes invoice discounting, purchase order funding, and inventory financing. IFG also works closely with local banks to make available the working capital business owners need.

Schultz previously held Director of Finance and Assistant Controller positions with a startup sub-prime consumer finance company, and served as Comptroller of the then third largest financial institution in the state of Nebraska.  Over the past 20 years, he has conducted numerous presentations and training seminars in the restructuring and banking industries.

For more information on these services, contact Charles and Karin Schultz, 702-636-8644, schultz@interfacefinancial.com, or via the web at http://ifgnetwork.com/cmaca/.

Offshore Suppliers Beware of the Insolvent U.S. Customer and the Terms of Sale: What the World Imports Bankruptcy Case Teaches the Credit Team, by Scott Blakeley, Esq.

Scott Blakeley, esq.

The global supply chain is an often written topic in the press. Recent public company chapter 11 filings (usually Delaware or the Southern District of New York) highlight the global network of suppliers reflected in debtors’ lists of 20 or 30 largest unsecured creditors. This list often consists of offshore creditors from around the globe, whether Asia, Europe or South America.

Offshore suppliers who ship goods to the U.S. on credit should be wary of insolvent, or potentially insolvent, customers. Although U.S. Bankruptcy Code section §503(b)(9) provides that suppliers of goods are entitled to an administrative expense claim for the invoice value of the goods received by the customer within 20 days prior to their filing, an issue arises as to when the goods are received.

For many offshore suppliers, it is advantageous to ship goods to a U.S. customer “Free on Board port of origin” (“FOB”) as it places risk of loss during transportation on the customer. However, shipping goods FOB would also mean that the goods are technically received by the customer on the date of shipment. For many offshore shipments, this would mean that the shipment may have been received prior to the 20 day period of the customer’s bankruptcy filing, even if the goods were actually in the customer’s possession within the 20 day period.

The recent decision in In re World Imports, Ltd2, however, takes the §503(b)(9) priority claim protection away from the offshore supplier. There, the Bankruptcy Court held that an offshore supplier who provided goods to a U.S. debtor within 20 days of the bankruptcy was not entitled to a priority claim under Bankruptcy Code §503(b)(9) because the goods were “received by the debtor” at the time they were placed on the vessel at the port overseas more than 20 days before the debtor’s bankruptcy filing, even though the debtor took physical possession of the goods within the 20 day period.

The ruling of World Imports is a red flag for offshore suppliers and their global supply chain selling to U.S. customers on credit who are insolvent as they may not have a priority claim, leaving them with a non-priority claim, which translates to no distribution on the invoices. To avoid this harsh result, we consider ways the foreign supplier can reduce this payment risk.

The World Imports Court Ruling
In World Imports, a Chinese supplier had shipped goods to the Debtor within 20 days of the bankruptcy filing, and claimed that such prepetition delivery entitled them to an administrative priority claim pursuant to §503(b)(9). The supplier asserted that because §503(b)(9) does not define “receipt,” the Uniform Commercial Code should apply, which defines “receipt” as occurring when the buyer takes physical possession of the goods, which occurred within the 20 days required by §503(b)(9).

However, the debtor argued that given this was a contract for the international sale of goods the UCC was preempted by the federal CISG treaty. Under this treaty, Free On Board (“FOB”) delivery provides that the customer’s “receipt” occurs not when the customer takes physical possession, but when the vendor delivers the goods to the agreed upon carrier.

The bankruptcy court found that the contract was governed by the CISG. The court noted that the parties did not opt out of the CISG and concluded the delivery occurred outside of the 20 day window and barred the offshore supplier from administrative priority under § 503(b)(9). The World Imports only applies to international contracts between countries that have adopted the CISG treaty. The CISG has been ratified by 80 countries, including: Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States, and Venezuela.

The Creditor Waterfall in Chapter 11
Suppliers selling on credit to an insolvent customer know well that when the customer files chapter 11, the value of the prepetition invoices that are very old, say 100 days, will typically bring but a few cents on the dollar, often years after the filing. The reason is the creditor waterfall or priority scheme of creditors. Secured creditors are entitled to be paid first from the collateral in which they have a security interest. After secured creditors, administrative or priority creditors are next in line. Each of these creditor classes are entitled to be paid in full prior to a junior class of creditor. Last in line of the creditor class is suppliers that have provided trade credit. Even though these suppliers may have undisputed invoices entitling them to payment, the problem is that they are at the bottom of the creditor waterfall and they face a shortfall. Thus, the World Imports case is significant as the §503(b)(9) claims are often paid in full.

The Credit Team Reducing the Risk of Being Ensnared in an In re World Imports Setting
So what steps can the offshore supplier take to reduce the payment risk that World Imports creates when that customer is insolvent? One step is for the supplier to opt out of the CISG’s application. Another option is moving the customer to CIA. However, the supplier may lose the business if terms are cut off. A supplier may also require the customer to post a letter of credit at the time it delivers the goods to the carrier, which insures that payment is made to the supplier at the time the “risk of loss” shifts to the customer. With a drawdown of an L/C, the supplier is protected from preference as the payment comes from a third party, the issuing bank of the L/C, and not payment from the debtor.

Key Concepts & Terms

§503(b)(9) of the Bankruptcy Code – provides that suppliers of goods are entitled to an administrative expense claim for the invoice value of the goods received by the customer within 20 days prior to their filing

FOB Origin – The acronym for Free on Board. A shipment for which the seller is responsible for transportation and shipping costs to the point where the goods are delivered to and loaded onto a carrier.

CISG: The Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. This international treaty has been signed by most industrialized nations and many that are not. Its provisions govern the formation and subsequent rights and obligations of the parties to international contracts, meaning those entered by parties in different countries, both of which countries are signatories to the convention. The list of countries changes almost every year. Current status of accession of a particular country to this convention can be checked, for prospective sales and international law concerns, at the CISG database.
Scott Blakeley, Esq., is a founder of Blakeley & Blakeley LLP, where he advises companies around the United States and Canada regarding creditors’ rights, commercial law, e-commerce and bankruptcy law. He can be reached at seb@blakeleyllp.com.

WRCC – CreditScape – An Excellent Opportunity to Learn and Network, by Melissa Kobus, CCE

Melissa Kobus, CCE, is the Credit Management Association Chair and Regional Credit Manager for Anixter Inc., based in Anaheim, CA. She can be reached at 714-695-2219, or melissa.kobus@anixter.com
Melissa Kobus, CCE, is the Credit Management Association Chair and Regional Credit Manager for Anixter Inc., based in Anaheim, CA. She can be reached at 714-695-2219, or melissa.kobus@anixter.com

As you probably already know, I am a big proponent of continuing education, which is why I attended the CreditScape – Western Region Credit Conference,  held at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas last month. As someone who has participated in many seminars and events, this was one of the better programs I’ve attended.  I was impressed with the many first-time attendees attending.  I thought the conference overall was excellent. The speakers and topics were varied and well presented.  I learned about a lot, I met many new people and was able to connect with others who I had lost touch with.  There were so many different topics and I would like to share my thoughts on a few of the sessions I attended and look forward to your feedback and comments.

The Opening Keynote Speaker this year was Steve Zipkoff.  He energetically shared with us how to deliver customer delight in many aspects of our professional and personal lives.  I now know the 6 tools that I started implementing right away.  The one that hits home the most is to be a “fixer” not a finger pointer.  We all should be looking for solutions to resolve the cause and change it verses putting a band aid on the problem.  You can either fix the issue the right way or you will be fixing it again and again.  It is important to practice continuous improvement and be able to adapt quickly.  Steve expressed to everyone to behave like you own the business which is something I’ve believed for a long time.

I attended Rudet Fountain’s session on the changes in payment processing.  Does everyone understand how electronic payments are processed and what is changing?  If you attended this session, you would now.  B2B payment processes continue to change and improve but at what cost to your company?  How are banks standardizing communication formats so that data can be transmitted more easily?  What about credit card payments, I know my company gets requests daily to use a credit card to pay but are we ensuring our fee structure is the best it can be?  Is our processing at a Level 3 standard which could save my company a lot of money?  What about the new chip we are starting to see on credit cards – anyone know what that is for?  It is for fraud protection; which there are new rules for that and those need to be in place by Oct 2015.  Boy, lots to think about just from this session alone.

The Credit View was a fun session filed with excellent pointers and insight to other credit professionals’ struggles and achievements.  The panelist shared with the attendees how they broke into the credit field, how they work with the sales team and how they integrate with upper management.  The session was a takeoff from the TV show “The View”.  There was some banter and good opinions shared.  I was particularly impressed with the ladies on this panel, excellent role models for women in the credit profession, definitely making sure I am connected with all through LinkedIn or Facebook !

The Closing Speaker was one of my favorites, I am sure that cannot be said about many other economists but Chris Kuehl has a great way to share information and keep it light hearted and entertaining.  Chris is NACM’s chief economist and especially enjoys presenting to credit managers across the US.  Have you completed the Credit Manager’s Index with NACM, if you have, Chris is the one who is analyzing the data and telling other economy professionals what is happening in the business world.  He let us know that during an election year, things will be crazy that the economy has not taken off as well as everyone had hoped and an “Ebola czar” is not really needed.  Chris publishes a regular brief on changes and updates to the economy, I am definitely getting on his email list.

Overall, the WRCC was a great opportunity to learn.  There was also great network events too, “Fly Me to the Moon” was well attended and a super fun dance night!  I really encourage all credit professionals to mark their calendar and not miss the next conference, you will not be disappointed.  For those who haven’t seen them, photos from the event have been posted on CMA’s Facebook page.

I truly hope that the first-time attendees this year return for years to come and that training stays a key attribute for all credit professionals. What about you, did you attend (or wish you had attended)? Please post your comments and insight below.

Melissa Kobus, CCE, is the Credit Management Association Chairman and Regional Credit Manager for Anixter Inc., based in Anaheim, CA. She can be reached at 714-695-2219, or melissa.kobus@anixter.com

U.S. International Trade Administration Renews Educational Resources Program for Credit Management Association Members

Credit Management Association® (CMA) and the International Trade Administration (ITA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) have agreed on an extension to its Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), titled the “U.S. Trade and Investment Expansion Partnership,” that will help credit and risk management professionals gain access to educational resources needed to expand their businesses nationally and globally.

The agreement, which now goes through Sept. 30, 2015, was signed at the recent CreditScape Conference in Las Vegas by CMA president Mike Mitchell and U.S. DOC representative Richard Swanson, at the event, which represents the largest gathering of credit managers on the West Coast. Upon completion of the contract, the program will be up for renewal for a third time.

The agreement, which was originally signed earlier this year, continues the relationship between CMA and the U.S. Department of Commerce, to promote international trade to CMA’s members by increasing awareness of the economic benefits of exporting, and educating them on trade activities as a job creation and growth strategy, emphasizing the small- and medium-sized businesses that make up CMA.

Through this program, CMA and the DOC have begun jointly developing a series of educational webinars and events on topics such as exporting to Latin America and Mexico that was offered at the CreditScape Conference. Other topics are likely to include the importance of trade and business investment and associated benefits to the economy, export and business investment opportunities, and ITA’s role in opening foreign markets to U.S. exporters. Additionally, this partnership creates the platform to engage in a dialog between CMA and the DOC. The program expands upon the resources of another CMA-sponsored service, the Global Trade Credit Consortium, which offers assistance for companies that sell internationally by providing access to letters of credit, international collections, banking resources, credit insurance, international credit reports, and education and training.

“In this global economy, CMA is constantly evaluating which programs and services it offers that will help our members the most,” said CMA President Mike Mitchell. “Participation in this project furthers CMA’s programs such as the Global Trade Credit Consortium which encourages the economic growth of its members and other small and medium-sized businesses, and gives them access to some high-powered government resources on these topics. CMA is helping its members to better understand how to navigate and effectively compete in a global marketplace.”

“The function of the ITA is that it strengthens the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, and ensures fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of U.S. trade laws and agreements. ITA works to improve the global business environment and helps U.S. organizations compete at home and abroad,” said Eddy Sumar, CMA Director of Educational Services. “The goals of this U.S. Trade and Investment expansion partnership are to increase the economic benefits of trade; educate the public on trade activities as a job creation and growth strategy; to create general awareness of ITA and other government resources, and encourage U.S. businesses interested in exporting and foreign businesses interested in investing in the United States to seek the assistance of ITA. I can’t wait to announce some of the great training programs that we have planned.”

“In the coming months, CMA members will be reading more about these developments via CMA’s social media sites, blog, newsletter and other communications. I am very excited about the growth possibilities of this program,” Sumar added.

These educational sessions will complement the dozens of annual seminars, webinars, courses, conferences and training sessions that CMA offers. For details on other offerings, visit www.creditmanagementassociation.org/events.

Rich Swanson, USFCS Pacific South Region, and Mike Mitchell, CAE, President & CEO, CMA (Credit Management Association) sign the MOA at the CreditScape Conference at the Palms Hotel, Las Vegas on Thursday, October 16, 2014.
Rich Swanson, USFCS Pacific South Region, and Mike Mitchell, CAE, President & CEO, CMA (Credit Management Association) sign the MOA at the CreditScape Conference at the Palms Hotel, Las Vegas on Thursday, October 16, 2014.

Pictured in the photo: Front row: Rich Swanson, USFCS Pacific South Region and Mike Mitchell, CAE, President & CEO, CMA (Credit Management Association). Second row from left to right: Melissa Kobus, Chairman of the Board, CMA; Bob O’Brien, Director Channel Partnership Development, D&B; Eddy Sumar, President, ER$ Consulting Services; Andrew Edlefsen, Director, USCS, USEAC.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s new at CreditScape 2014?

CreditScape 2014

In four weeks from today, many of the greatest minds in credit management will gather at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas at CreditScape, the 2014 Western Region Credit Conference.

If you haven’t already signed up for the conference, here are 10 new reasons to attend:

1. NEW TO WRCC: Top-notch presenters and program moderators, including Chris Kuehl; Steve Zipkoff; Lisa Wright, Esq.; Rita Jo Schilling; Steve Ragow; Romelio Hernandez; Andrew Edlefsen; Bob O’Brien; Kelly Brockway; Joyce Simas; Ross Cirrincione; Lee Clutter, CBA; Tracy Rosenbach, CCE; Jennifer Walsh, CCE; Elissa Miller, Esq.; Michelle Herman and Diana Crowe.

2. As the Credit Industry keeps changing, lots of information has changed since last year. Keep current on the latest trends in credit management.

3. With the economy going global, CreditScape offers a bigger focus than ever before on international issues.

4. New Industry Huddles provide a forum to network with credit managers in the Construction, Food and Technology industries.

5. Sessions “tracks” include fundamental credit principles, legal, international, collections and finance to help make it easy to pick your conference schedule.

6. More than 10 new topics/sessions that have never been featured at this event before!

7. Looking for inspiration to excell at your job? Several sessions have been created to inspire you, including Reinvent Yourself 101, Understanding Your Communication Style and Delivering Customer Delight

8. “Fly Me to the Moon” Event on Thursday night offers a fabulous reception at the Moon nightclub for all registered conference attendees. The Moon is a sultry penthouse nightclub with one of the most spectacular architectural features in Las Vegas – a massive retractable roof that opens up to provide a mind-blowing view of the stars above. Located at the top of the Palms Fantasy Tower, Moon’s dramatic, surreal environment is truly out of this world. Come play among the stars!

9. CreditScape is still the only conference of its kind on the west coast, offering credit education to credit managers by credit managers at an affordable price.

10. The venue (The Palms Hotel) is new too.

Learn to navigate the credit landscape…register now ( http://creditscapeconference.com/registration-payment/ )

I hope to meet you in person at the conference!

UCLA Extension Launches Credit Analysis and Management Course, by Mike Mitchell, CAE

CMA President Mike Mitchell
CMA President Mike Mitchell

I have long wondered why institutions of higher learning have not offered courses in business credit. When I was pursuing my graduate degree in business administration, I don’t recall that credit ever came up as part of the course curriculum. I began working for CMA shortly after I completed my degree, and this is where I learned that business credit is really what makes the U.S. economy as unique, competitive, and robust as it is.

NACM does a great job of supporting professional development and recognizing credit professionals through its Professional Certification Program, but that only touches practicing credit professionals. What about the many more college graduates and job seekers who don’t know that credit jobs exist? How do we reach out to those people who are pre-career or looking to change direction and let them know about credit as a career? What about small business owners who don’t have the staff to delegate credit decisions?

A few years ago, CMA was invited to participate in the development of a credit analysis and management certificate program at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension to expose an entirely new audience to credit as a career. The program is intended for the credit community in banking and finance, trade credit management and small business owners. Roger L. Torneden, Ph.D., CFP®, the Director of Business, Management and Legal Programs at UCLA Extension, actually worked as a credit manager at JC Penney. He saw the same opportunity as we did to reach people working outside of credit.

CMA is committed to bringing qualified credit management professionals to member companies, and programs like this one at UCLA Extension is a great way to do that, specifically when CMA- and NACM-member companies are looking to fill internships or entry-level positions that require specific skill sets in credit management.

Many students have already successfully completed the coursework, and CMA continues to help UCLA Extension promote this great program. With training from UCLA and professional networking and services from CMA, our collaboration could seed the next generation of credit managers and expand the NACM brand.

For more information, visit www.uclaextension.edu/credit.

Registration Now Open for 2014 NACM Western Region Credit Conference

Credit Management Association (CMA) announces that registration is now open for the 2014 NACM Western Region Credit Conference (WRCC), titled the CreditScape Conference, Oct. 15-17, 2014, at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The CreditScape Conference offers credit professionals three-days of targeted credit skills training. It is the only West Coast-based conference for credit managers, by credit managers. Credit Professionals at every level can benefit from the conference sessions and keynote presentations. It is designed to provide skills and best practices that can help improve an attendee’s bottom line/profit margin and allow them to sell to more accounts.

“It’s critical for credit managers to attend this conference so that they can stay current with best practices in credit management and bring those practices back to the office to implement immediately,” said CMA president Michael Mitchell. “Tracks are geared towards international credit management, collections, legal issues surrounding credit management, and Credit 101, so that every level of credit manager can benefit from attending this event.”

Registration is now available at www.creditscapeconference.com. Pricing for the conference is $595 for NACM members, while non-NACM members will pay $695. This includes 2 keynote sessions, over 20 breakout sessions, lunches and receptions. NACM members are encouraged to take advantage of special early bird pricing of $495, which is available via the website until August 15.

“With more than 20 session offerings, most of which are exclusive to this event, there’s no other place to get  business credit training at this price, and also get the opportunity to network with some of the top credit managers on the West Coast,” Mitchell added.

All educational sessions qualify for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and provide roadmap points for those interested in pursuing a Credit Designation.

The Western Region Credit Conference is sponsored by the following NACM Affiliates:  Burbank, Denver, Nevada, New Mexico, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Leandro, Seattle, Alaska, Hawaii, and Spokane. Members of NACM receive a discount on Conference fees. To find out more about your local NACM Affiliate and NACM Membership, visit the NACM website at http://www.nacm.org.

Megan Perry, CBA – CMA Student of the Month February 2014

Megan Perry, CBA
Megan Perry, CBA

Meet Megan Perry, Credit Manager at Boyett Petroleum and CMA’s Student of the Month for February 2014. Megan has worked with Boyett Petroleum for 11 years. She attained her Credit Business Associate (CBA) designation in July of 2013.

What do you like best about your job? The daily challenges that credit brings, and the variety of people that I deal with in various industries.  I belong to CMA’s Petroleum Industry Credit Group.

Motivation for taking classes toward the Professional Certification: I wanted to obtain a well-rounded knowledge base in the credit and financial world. Down the road there’s the possibility that I’ll be able to pursue the second Designation, the Credit Business Fellow.

Background and/or Special Interests:  Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Psychology from California State University Stanislaus.

In my free time I enjoy my show-jumping horses.

Congratulations Megan!

If you are interested in learning more about the Professional Certification program and classes required for each Designation, contact Cheryl Hammond, Education Counselor,chammond@emailcma.org or 831-475-9482.

UCLA Extension – Credit Analysis & Management – Free Info Session

Learn about UCLA’s Credit Analysis and Management certificate and how to be at the forefront of this growing field through their free information session. Listen to a presentation by the Credit Management Association President and learn about new trends in the industry and future job growth.

Schedule & Location:
Saturday, March 15 10am-12pm
Figueroa Courtyard: Room 102
261 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Click to download information. CAM Info Session SP14

Patricia Montanez, CBA – CMA Student of The Month – January 2013

In 2014, CMA is celebrating those that are making the extra effort to enhance their credit career. We will be highlighting a new student each month. Sharing with you what they love about Credit and their motivation for furthering their education.

Patricia Montanez, CBA
Patricia Montanez, CBA

Patricia Montanez, CBA – Accounting Supervisor at Oldcastle Precast, Inc. is our first CMA Student of the Month. Patricia achieved her CBA in July 2013 and is currently on track to the CBF designation.

What do you like best about your job? 

What I like best about my job is that I learn something new every day. In Credit there are always new scenarios and circumstances to resolve and learn from no matter how many years of experience you may have there is never a dull work day.

Motivation for taking classes toward the Professional Certification:

Our Director of Credit Management (Josh Nolan, CCE) encouraged me to pursue the CBA designation through NACM because he believed that it would help with my everyday work activities. I took Financial Analysis and Business Credit Principles in 2013 through the NACM on-line courses and was successful at completing the CBA designation in July 2013. Not only has this designation helped me career wise but it has helped me tremendously improve in my daily business credit decisions. I am now currently pursuing the CBF designation as my Business Law NACM on-line course starts today. I have no doubt that this new designation will only make me better at what I do in my career as I continue to move forward.

Background and/or Special Interests:

I’ve been doing different Accounting functions over the past 14yrs. In my career I have enjoyed doing Bookkeeping, Collections (consumer and b2b), Accounts Receivables, Customer Service and Credit Specialist. My special interest is to spend time with my daughters and being the best role model possible to them.

If you are interested in learning more about the Professional Certification program and classes required for each Designation, contact Cheryl Hammond, Education Counselor, chammond@emailcma.org or 831-475-9482.

Meet the Graduates of the Credit Boot Camp, Winter 2014 – Glendale, CA

Graduates of the Credit Boot Camp
Graduates of the Credit Boot Camp

GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA – In joint effort of the government and credit trainer/consultant Eddy Sumar’s dream to help disadvantaged young adults,  The Credit Boot Camp educational training took place from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday, January 13 through Friday, January 17 at the Verdugo Jobs Center.  With professional support and facilitation from the Credit Management Association and funds from the Glendale Youth Alliance, the Boot Camp was made available for 10 underprivileged Glendale Community College students.   Funding for the program comes from the Workforce Investment Board, part of the federal Workforce Investment Act.

“We are delighted to team up with Eddy,” says Michael Mitchell, CEO of the Credit Management Association.   “His enthusiasm and commitment to helping disadvantaged young adults find employment is a gift we cannot ignore. The support of the Glendale Youth Alliance and the Verdugo Workforce Board suggests the importance to the community of training these young adults.  As a business in neighboring Burbank, CMA is proud to be part of this effort.”

 “This is my dream come true,” says Eddy Sumar, the creator and instructor for the Credit Boot Camp.  “Our goal with this boot camp is to assure that these kids have a solid chance at an entry level job.  No one needs a job more than kids who are disadvantaged and struggling.”

Mr. Sumar’s boot camp training started three years ago in Riverside County for peer level professionals and business owners.  Then a high school principal came to him and suggested he create a training program for continuation school students.  “These are the kids everyone’s given up on,” says Mr. Sumar.  “I took everything I know about the credit management profession and created the Boot Camp for young adults.”

He says some were appalled thinking the term “credit” was a huge negative involving credit cards and tough collectors.  “But I deal in business-to-business credit, not consumer credit.  Credit is the lifeblood of any company and a traditional, uniquely American way of doing business. Credit and collection training touches on every aspect of a business, from customer relations to international  credit management to understanding there is a company culture.”

Using his nearly 30 years of experience as a credit and international trade professional, Mr. Sumar’s training has resulted in several of his attendees getting entry level jobs.

“It’s critical they get that first job, even if it’s file clerk,” says Mr. Sumar.  “From there they can grow into a better job within the company using what they learned in our workshop.”

Mr. Sumar’s program also has earned the respect of the National Credit Management Association, which is offering four units of accreditation for those completing Mr. Sumar’s course.

Below is a picture of Eddy with the graduates (middle row, center right), Don Nakamoto, Executive Director of Verdugo Jobs Center, JUDITH VELASCO, Manager at Verdugo Jobs Center, and Mike Mitchell, President of CMA.

Credit Boot Camp, Winter 2014
Credit Boot Camp, Winter 2014

 

DSO 7 – WRCC Intro Video

DSO 7 - WRCC Intro Video

This James Bond-style opener to the 2011 NACM Western Region Credit Conference features real credit managers tracking down fictitious debtors in a warm tribute to the credit profession. The video also features the original song, “The Credit You Deserve.” For more info about the conference program and the 2012 NACM Western Region Credit Congress, visit www.nacmwrcc.com.

Announcing Our Fall Online Courses

Time away from the office these days is extremely difficult, so we’re bringing the training to your desktop!Benefits of on-line learning include:

  • Exposure to Instructors knowledge that can’t be taught in books Increased
  • Instructor Lead Lectures held weekly via webinar format
  • No travel involved
  • Course material accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week
  • skills in web-based technology
  • Facilitates team learning by offering Discussion Chat Forums
  • No geographic barriers

All of our courses combine the learning experience of a live lecture with the convenience of online participation. This is not a self-study program — get live, personal attention from an experienced, qualified instructor and learn from your classmates.

*Approved for the National Association of Credit Management Certification Program. However, these course does not meet the requirement for the CAP/ACAP Certificate.

Business Credit Priciples Course Presented by Paul Beretz, CICE

Upon successful completion of this course, you should understand the role of credit in financial management, the components of effective credit department systems and procedures, specific government regulations that pertain to business credit, credit and policy procedures, selling terms, negotiable instruments, the Uniform Commercial Code, credit investigations, financing and insurance, business credit fraud, factors associated with credit limits, out-of-court settlements, and bankruptcy.

COURSE SCHEDULE
Course begins: Monday, September 12, 2011
Course Ends: Monday, November 14, 2011
Live lecture every Monday evening from 4 – 5 pm (PT) 10 weeks of lectures

Mandatory Orientation:
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
from 4:00 pm-4:30 pm (PT)
Attendee must have simultaneous access to the internet and a telephone connection.

Course fee: $899 (includes text)

Successful completion of this class is one of three in a series that qualifies you to sit for your CBA.

Financial Statement Analysis Online Course – Presented by Paul Beretz, CICE

Financial Statement Analysis (FSAI) is a method of interpreting accounting data in an effort to understand the current financial performance of an entity and project its future health. FSAI keeps the evaluation process simple, but requires a working knowledge of basic accounting principles. The emphasis of the course is on analyzing financial statements issued by companies using fundamental ratio analysis techniques and analysis of the statement of cash flows. These evaluations can be used to determine the operating efficiency, profitability and financial risk of a firm.

COURSE SCHEDULE
Course begins Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Course ends: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Live online lecture Tuesdays from 4 – 5 pm (PT)
Course is 6 weeks (not including Orientation)

Mandatory Course Orientation:
Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 4:00-4:30 pm (PT)

Course fee: $899 (includes text)

Successful completion of this class is one of three in a series that qualifies you to sit for your CBA.

Interpretation and Credit Risk Assessment Course – Presented by Jim Menard, CCE

This course provides students with an intermediate level understanding of how to interpret financial statements issued by corporations and recommend credit lines.

Program to include:
*Introduction to financial reporting
*Introduction to financial statements and other financial reporting tools
*Balance Sheet
*Income Statement
*Basic Analysis
*Liquidity
*Profitability
*Statement of Cash Flows
*Cash Analysis Using an Excel program on an actual company

COURSE SCHEDULE

Orientation and Mandatory Online Lab
Thursday, September29, 2011
3:30 pm-5:00 pm
&
Thursday, Octboer 6, 2011
3:30 pm-5:00 pm

Lectures begins: Thursday, October 13, 2011
Course ends: Thursday, December8, 2011
Live lectures Thursday from 4 – 5 pm (PT)
1 Labs (3 hours)
8 sessions of lecture (8 hours)
No session the week of Thanksgiving
Attendee must have simultaneous access to the internet and a telephone connection.

Course fee: $899 (includes text)

Successful completion of this class is one of three in a series that qualifies you to sit for your CBF.

Log into anscers to register for courses.

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Congratulations to our new NACM Designees

The following CMA Members have advanced their credit education and received an NACM Designation.

CBA: Credit Business Associate

  • Vivian Ross, CBA, Lehigh Hansen
  • D’wana Marie Chadwick, CBA, Penhall
  • Kurt Shotzberger, CBA, International Game Technology

CBF: Credit Business Fellow

  • Leslie Hansen, CBF, Chevron
  • Linda Reiff, CBF, Chevron

CCE: Certified Credit Executive

  • Shane Norman, CCE, Cashman Equipment Co

Using credit data to evaluate risk in small businesses

The state of small business is improving; however, some industries and geographies are faring better in the current economy than others. Understanding where opportunities exist, and where you should use caution, can greatly impact your bottom line. Experian’s data can help you assess the risk in a variety of business segments and determine where there is – and isn’t – opportunity to expand your business.

Join Experian experts to hear findings from Experian’s recent Business Benchmark Report, which includes emerging trends among U.S. businesses, broken out by size of business, industry group and region. Learn how you can use this data to make the best and most-educated credit decisions.

This analysis, along with Experian’s Corporate Linkage capability, can give you the greatest insight into your business customers and help you make the most profitable credit decisions.

Register Now: http://www.bulldogsolutions.net/ExperianB2B/EXB1001/frmRegistration.aspx?bdls=23593

Special Live Webinar Details
Event Title: Getting the whole picture: Using credit data to evaluate risk in small businesses
Presenter: Dan Meder, Vice President of Product Marketing, Business Information Services

Date: Thursday, April 8, 2010

Time: 2 p.m. Eastern, 11 a.m. Pacific Duration: 1 Hour

Meet Our Newest CBA – Raj Prasad

I started working with Karl Storz Endoscopy in 1991 and was a temporary in the credit department as a cash applications clerk. Later, I was hired as a full time employee in general accounting. After 7 years in general accounting, I decided to move back to the Credit department. While doing collections, I went to college and completed my bachelors degree in accounting in 2002. After all these years, I finally decided to pursue my certification in the Credit Industry. Thanks to professors Paul Beretz and Gyan Maharaj who shared their knowledge in class and in seminars respectively. I am looking forward to completing my certification in CBF and than CBE in the future. Many thanks to everyone at the CMA and all the correspondence they provided.

CMA’s 6 New Designees!

Picture 11 CMA is proud to recognize the following designees:
  • CYNTHIA CANION-RUIZ, CBA EXTREME NETWORKS
  • KRISTINE LEUNG,  CBA SAN RIO INC 
  • JOSH POLI, CBA MACSTEEL SERVICE 
  • LORALEE QUINTERO, CBA EXTREME NETWORKS
  • KIM SPURGEON, CBA/CBF VERISIGN
  • ALEKSEI ZUBKOV, CBA/CBF VERISIGN 

Obtaining your designation takes hard work and dedication. Congratulations to our new designees for making the extra effort for themselves and their companies.

Mass Merchants Roundtable – Not TOO Late

Walmart
We are saving you a seat so Download Mass_merch_round_09_pdf and get registered. The compounding effects of this economy makes a roundtable meeting like this priceless to those who sell to Mass Merchants.

It is a morning meeting with a fantastic breakfast brunch planned. You can start applying what you learned that afternoon.

DATE

March 25, 2009

Time: 8:45 am to 11:30 am

LOCATION

Doubletree Hotel

100 The City Drive

Orange, CA 92868

714-634-4500

MENU

Awesome Breakfast Brunch starting at 8:45

am. Coffee and Tea to keep our energy up!

Mass Merchant Roundtable – Saving You A Seat

The buzz for the Mass Merchants Roundtable March 25, 2009 is starting to heat up. Experian will be sponsoring Credit Reports for the event, we have 8 companies signed up to date:

Super D
Pentel
Hines Nursery
Valley Fruit & Produce
Youngs Market Company
Prestige Sales
Discus Dental
Physicians Formula

We are saving you a seat so Download Mass_merch_round_09_pdf and get registered. The compounding effects of this economy makes a roundtable meeting like this priceless to those who sell to Mass Merchants.

It is a morning meeting with a fantastic breakfast brunch planned. You can start applying what you learned that afternoon.

DATE

March 25, 2009

Time: 8:45 am to 11:30 am

LOCATION

Doubletree Hotel

100 The City Drive

Orange, CA 92868

714-634-4500

MENU

Awesome Breakfast Brunch starting at 8:45

am. Coffee and Tea to keep our energy up!

Bankruptcy Alternatives Presentation at CMA Annual Meeting

Arrive early for a special educational event.

10:00 – 11:15 Bankruptcy Alternatives: “Why they make more sense than ever in these troubled times.”

CMA’s Michael Joncich and Richard Kaufman will discuss workouts, general assignments and other programs for dealing with creditors of insolvent companies. Learn about the many ways creditors can receive their fair share of what’s owed to them without the expense and delay of a bankruptcy proceeding.

CMA's Annual Meeting is a yearly event where we honor those who serve CMA and the Credit Profession. Our new Chairman, Rob Meza, will be inducted. The Credit Executive of The Year award will be presented, and those who have reached designation status will be recognized.

It is a fantsatic networking event for all CMA Members and CMA Staff. Our keynote speaker Barry Elms will be presenting:

Dealing With Troubled Companies

It feels like every company is troubled these days, but there are definite signs that a company has trouble on the horizon. Barry will show you what to look for, ask for, and how to read a company that is in trouble. Troubled companies need a unigue approach to negotiation. Since they are having severe cash flow problems some of the typical negotiations strategies no longer work. Barry will highlight proven tactics to use when asking for payment from a troubled company.

Log into anscers.com and go to Events to register for the CMA Annual Meeting.

Mass Merchants Roundtable March 25, 2009

Roundtable discussion on: WalMart, Sears, Kmart, Target, Costco, Big Lots, Sams Club and other Big Box stores.

How do you service your Mass Merchant customers to keep those payments flowing?

The Mass Merchant Roundtable will be conducted like a regular credit group meeting, where we discuss one account at a time under the Anti-Trust Guidelines. The difference will be the depth of discussion; payment history, handling of returns, deductions, effective ways of getting paid, EDI issues and more will be discussed.

Your participation during the meeting is essential. In previous meetings the discussion was of great benefit to everyone. Each attendee left with valuable tools or tips from each other on how to keep payments flowing.

The Mass Merchant Roundtable is open to any company that sells to Mass Merchants, it does not matter what type of product you sell.

Register on anscers.com under the Events tab. Once your registered further information will be sent to you as the date approaches.

Free Experian Webinar 2/24 Intelliscore Plus

Improving your scoring with Intelliscore Plus

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009, 1 p.m.–2 p.m. EST 

Attend this Webinar to learn how Intelliscore Plus can bring vast improvements in your risk assessment. Also, learn how to access blended data – consumer plus business data that combines to produce the most predictive small-business risk score ever. 

Toll-free dial-in number: 1 866 692 4538 – Code: 2854881

CFDD Half Day Seminar Nov 19, 2008

“Hidden Risks; getting behind the numbers in the financial statement”
This unique informative and entertaining workshop program by Bill Creim identifies key red flags and loopholes in accounting and regulatory procedures – essential information for any credit manager.

“Dealing with Difficult Dealers”
In this lively program, Bill role-plays a variety of debtors in an educational (but humorous) exposé of potential customer scenarios.  Learn practical tips developed through many years of experience.
Each attendee receives detailed handout materials.

Speaker
William B. Creim CREIM MACIAS KOENIG & FREY LLP

Tuesday November 19, 2008

Roland Corporation US 5100 South Eastern Avenue, Los Angeles 90040

Registration Form Download CFDD_Seminar.pdf

Congratulations WRCC Cash Winners

During the Western Region Credit Conference attendees visited each Exhibitor to have their Expo card  stamped.

Each completely stamped Expo card was then entered into a drawing for Cash Prizes at the closing session. The winners were:

  • $50 – Bob Vernile, CBF – Sigler’s Inc, Tolleson, Arizona
  • $50 – Amanda Smithson – ABC Supply, Irving, TX
  • $100 – Cliff Nehamen – B&K Electric Wholesale, City of Industry, CA
  • $100 – Christine Echavarria – City of Los Angeles, Dept. of Water & Power, Los Angeles, CA
  • $300 – Barbara Mackay – Intermountain Concrete Specialties, Salt Lake City, UT

WRCC Opening Session – Review

Barry_maherBarry Maher, our opening session speaker, had us jumping up and down to increase energy and then he unloaded with lots of great tips for changing our perception and the perception of others.

Barry is the author of "Filling the Glass" and many other books. His point "There are people who see the glass as half empty or half full and then there are those who want to know what to do to fill it up."

Some Barry pointers:

– You need to provide the proper incentive to achieve your outcome. He asked us to jump with excitement – we were pretty lame. Then he said $50 to the most enthusiastic person and people rocked the floor.

 

– Show them the benefit of taking the action you want. If you pay me today, I will stop calling.

– Potential negatives have positives within them. Barry told a story of Clive "The Unemployable" who sold the fact that no would would hire him as the reason why a company with high turnover should hire him.

– Always make Opening_audience_2people feel important

– Show people the visions you have for what they can become

– It is never to late to be what you might have been.

– When negotiating bring out that aspect of yourself that is like the person you are dealing with – mirroring their voice, energy etc.

Thanks again to Barry for an exciting and energizing opening session. I should have jumped higher so I could win that $50 bucks.

The Nature of Credit Has Started!

Img_0258_2The Nature of Credit Conference has just begun and we are already learning a lot and having a great time.

There are over 250 attendees expected, the EXPO booths are getting filled up and the registration desk is booming.

More updates and pictures will be posted as the conference goes on.

Thanks to all our attendees and sponsors!

Meet Vicki Lopes – New CCE Designee

Vicki I started working in the credit field when I was hired at Foster Farms right out of college. I didn’t know anything about credit but was happy to get my foot in the door with Foster Farms. As I worked in credit and learned more about the field, I found that I really enjoyed it. I decided to stay in the credit department instead of transferring out, as was my original plan, and have enjoyed coming to work everyday. I feel fortunate to be able to work with so many different areas within our company and to have been able to meet the greatest people through the credit groups that we belong to. I have found it to be a very rewarding job. 
Vicki Lopes, CCE
Sr. Credit Analyst
Foster Farms

Meet Jamie Kramer – New CBA Designee

Amysbday
My name is Jamie Kramer, I live in Roseville California. I attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas and have a B.S. in Accounting. Now I am the Credit and Administrative Manager at SierraPine Composite Solutions. I really enjoy working in credit and getting to interact with tons of people on a daily basis. I am looking forward to learning more and more about credit and the industry.

Meet Michael Fenner – New CBA Designee

My name is Michael W. Fenner, CBA. I have been in credit for 25 years. The first 13 years were in the lumber industry and currently, I am working in manufacturing. The toughest part of this process for me was to just make the decision to move forward. My original goal was to get my Credit Administration Program (CAP) certificate. An associate/friend of mine challenged me to test for my Credit Business Associate (CBA) Designation. This was prior to finishing our third course in the CAP series, Basic Financial Accounting. I would be taking the exam only weeks after we finished the BFA course. I’m glad she did challenge me.

I personally enjoyed encouraging others to take the classes, building new friendships, networking, and mentoring a good friend through the CBA process. I would also like to acknowledge and say “Thank You” to my CAP program instructor, Michael Dennis, for his time and efforts.

If you put your mind to it, you too can do it. Enjoy the journey.

Img_0067

Meet Susan La Monte – NEW CBA Designee

I am fairly new to the Business Credit industry having been with my current employer for only three years, two of those years in the credit manager capacity. My supervisor, a past member of NACM, encouraged me to learn more about business credit through the courses available through NACM. I became a member of CMA Business Credit Services in January 2008 and immediately signed up for available classes. My enthusiasm grew as I began to relate and apply nearly everything I was learning in class directly to my profession. I am proud to say that I completed the CAP course of study and passed the CBA exam within a six month period. Of course, I didn’t do this alone. I am grateful to the dedicated instructors for sharing their vast knowledge and life experiences as they related to the course work and to my study partner and mentor Michael Fenner, CBA. I am continuing the ACAP course of study and I would like to help others achieve their goals in the business credit industry.

Susan La Morte, CBA

To find out more about becoming a designee contact Cheryl Hammond, Educational Development Counselor at 831-475-9482

VeriSign Credit Department Fully Certified!

Move Over Michael Phelps, Make Room for Michael Puccinelli, CCE and his Award Winning Team!

We are pleased to announce that the following VeriSign Employees have achieved their CBA Designations:

MICHELLE KING, CBA
NANCY LASSEN, CBA
VICKY NGUYEN, CBA
NIDYA ORTIZ,  CBA
KIM SPURGEON, CBA

Michael Puccinelli, CCE, Sr. Manager, Global Credit and Collection, for VeriSign, made it his personal goal to get all his employees certified, and as of August 18th he has attained this accomplishment.

The following individuals also obtained their designation within the last two years:

ELADIO SERNA, CBA
ALEKSEI ZUBKOV, CBA 
HECTOR BENITEZ, CBA
KAROL MCKINNEY, CBA
DANA NEWTON, CBA
MICHAEL PUCCINELLI, CCE

Mike states:
"Thanks for the email and recognition. As Mike Mitchell said, this has been a "noble vision" I have had for a long time to get everyone a professional designation. Continuing education culminating with a professional designation is extremely important for their self development and to VeriSign’s objective of investing in our employees."

In a conversation Mike had with Jodi Owens, CMA Education Team Leader, he mentioned that investing in his employees development reduces turnover for VeriSign so the ROI is simple.  It costs any company more if they have high staff turnover.  Invest in your staff, the benefits are enormous.

NACM’s certification program has helped define and establish professional standards in this demanding and rapidly changing field, and fosters recognition of those individuals who possess special expertise. You’ll join a select group of individuals who have made the commitment to excellence in credit management, career advancement, and an ongoing pursuit of knowledge.

Learn how to get started on the path towards earning your CBA, CBF, or CCE by contacting Cheryl Hammond, Education Counselor at 831-475-9482 or chammond@creditservices.org.

Special mention needs to be made to Gyan Maharaj, CCE, who instructed most of these students to achieve their designation.  Many thanks need to go out to all our Instructors who give back so much to the Credit Community.

Basic Financial Accounting (CAP) Course in Vegas

We are pleased to announce that we will be having the Basic Financial Accounting Class starting Monday, September 8, 2008 in Las Vegas NV. 

CAP and ACAP Programs Overview
The National Education Department developed the Credit Administration Program (CAP) and the Advance Credit Administration Program (ACAP) to meet the educational needs of today’s credit professional. Both programs are comprised of a series of college-equivalent courses designed to improve or enhance the credit professional’s skills and knowledge. These courses are not designed to serve as on-the-job training courses. The CAP and ACAP programs are offered exclusively through NACM Affiliated Associations. To find out more  go to www.nacm.org, click on the Education Tab.

Basic Financial Accounting (CAP)
Instructor:  David L. Osburn, MBA
15 Week Course
Starts Monday, September 8, 2008
Meets every Monday night for 15 weeks
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
CMA Office – Las Vegas, NV
CMA Member pricing $575 includes text
Non-Member pricing $675 includes text

Download accounting_LV_2008_dla.pdf

WRCC Website Updated wrcc.biz

The Western Region Credit Conference website has been updated to include the full schedule of sessions, speaker information and hotel information.

Coming soon – online registration, and a brochure download so you can sell the event to your company.

Take a peek at http://www.wrcc.biz

Upcoming Online Courses

We are pleased to announce the following Fall online Credit Courses.  Time away from the office these days is extremely difficult, so we’re bringing the training to your desktop!  We’ve added two new courses this Fall:  The Business Law Course and also the Credit Law course.   

If online training is not for you, we’re also working on in-person courses to start in the Fall. Check them out on the events page of www.anscers.com

We also have our upcoming Western Region Credit Conference to be held October 15 thru October 17th.  We jam pack our conference with 21 different breakout educational sessions and great keynote presenters.  Each of our sessions qualify for CEU credits. In addition, our Exhibitors bring to the show all the new and improved technology that you need to improve your cash flow and work performance.  Check out that site at www.wrcc.biz.   

All of the following courses combine the learning experience of a live classroom with the convenience of online participation.

Business Law Online Course
Presented by Jim Menard, CCE
Course begins:  Friday, September 5, 2008
Live online lectures Fridays from 9 – 10 am (Pacific Time)
10 Weeks
Attendee must have simultaneous access to the internet and a telephone connection.
Course fee:  $899.00 Members (includes text)
For more information go to www.anscers.com, click on the events tab and this course name.
*Orientation will be held on Sept.  3, from 9 – 9:30 am (pdt)

Credit Law Online Course
Presented by Jim Menard, CCE
Course begins:  Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Live online lectures Wednesdays from 9-10 am (Pacific Time)
10 Weeks
Attendee must have simultaneous access to the internet and a telephone connection
Course fee:  $899.00 Members (includes text)
For more information go to www.anscers.com click on the events tab and this course name.
*Orientation will be held on Sept. 8, from 9 – 9:30 am (pdt)

Business Credit Principles Online Course
Presented by:  Paul Beretz, CICE
Course begins:  Thursday, September 11, 2008
Live online lectures Thursdays from 4 – 5 pm (Pacific Time)
10 Weeks
Attendee must have simultaneous access to the internet and a telephone connection. 
Course fee:  $899.00 Members (includes text)
For more information to to www.anscers.com , click on the events tab and this course name.
*Orientation will be held on Sept. 4 from 4 to 4:30 pm (pdt)

Interpretation and Credit Risk Assessment Online Course (Formerly FSAII)
Presented by Jim Menard, CCE
Course begins:  Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Live online lectures Tuesdays from 4 -5 pm (Pacific Time)
8 Weeks
Attendee must have simultaneous access to the internet and a telephone connection.
Course fee:  $899.00 Members (includes text)
For more information go to www.anscers.com, click on the events tab and this course name.
*This course has two mandatory online labs – Sept. 16, from 3:30 pm – 5 pm and Sept, 19 from 3:30 – 5 pm.

Financial Statement Analysis Online Course
Presented by Paul Beretz, CICE
Course Begins:  Wednesday, September 24, 2008 
Live online lectures Wednesdays from 4 – 5 pm (Pacific Time)
6 WEEKS
Attendee must have simultaneous access to the internet and a telephone connection.
Course Fee:  $899.00 Members (includes text)
For more information go to www.anscers.com click on the events tab and this course name.
*Orientation will be held Sept. 17 from 4 – 4:30 pm (pdt)

Here’s what you get:
Weekly live lectures with the instructor using CMA’s popular webinar format
24/7 access to an online classroom where you can find all course materials, get and post assignments, retreive recorded lectures and interact with the instructor and other students between lectures
Online midterm exam.

If you have any questions, please call me at 510-346-6000 ext 221. 

Jodi Owens
Education Team Leader

The Nature Of Credit – WRCC 2008

Natureofcredit_2inch
21st NACM Annual Western Region Credit Conference
Monte Carlo Resort &
Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
October 15-17, 2008

The 2008 WRCC theme is The Nature of Credit. Education sessions will focus on those elements that make you a Credit Natural.

Earth sessions enhance every Credit Professionals knowledge.

Air sessions take you to the next level, incorporating management skills.

Fire sessions focus on those skills necessary to collect on sales.

Water sessions promote career growth and stimulate alternative thinking.

Go to http://www.wrcc.biz to sign up for conference updates by email, and mark your calendars for this event.

Upcoming Online Courses

CMA is pleased to be offering the following online courses.  Signing up is easy, go to www.anscers.com, click on the events tab and choose the course you’d like to take.   To take advantage of these courses, you need simultaneous Internet access and a phone line (preferably a speaker phone).  You can pay by credit card or be billed on your membership statement.

ONLINE COURSES 

Business Credit Principles, Jim Menard, CCE 
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Online lecture held every Wednesday for 10 Weeks
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm (PT)
There is a mandatory orientation from 10 to 10:30 am (PT) on Monday, April 7th.
Members:  $899 (includes text)
Non-Members:  $1099 (includes text)
REGISTRATION MUST BE RECEIVED BY
MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2008
Financial Statement Analysis, Paul Beretz, CICE
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Online lecture held every Tuesday for 6 weeks
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm (PT)
There is a mandatory orientation from 9 to 9:30 am (PT) on Monday, April 7th.
Members:  $899 (includes text)
Non-Members:  $1099 (includes text)
REGISTRATION MUST BE RECEIVED BY
MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2008

Interpretation and Credit Risk Assessment, Jim Menard, CCE
(Formerly known as Financial Statement Anaysis II)
Orientation and Mandatory Online Lab
Mon., Mar 31 and Thurs. April 3 – 3:30 – 5:00 pm (PT)
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Online lecture held every Thursday for 8 weeks
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm (PT)
Members:  $899 (includes text)
Non-Members:  $1099 (includes text)
REGISTRATION MUST BE RECEIVED BY
MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2008

For more course details, download copies of the flyers by going to www.anscers.com Events Tab.  Choose the course you’re interested in.  Or, shoot me an email and I’ll forward you a copy of the flyer.  Be sure to tell me which course you’re interested in.

Credit Congress Scholarship Winners

We received 9 applicants for CEEF Scholarship for the upcoming Credit Congress. The scholarship is valued at $2000 and it is intended for the recipient only.  The scholarship winners are:

Patrick Spargur, Dusty Stark, Scott Wilson

The next scholarships that CEEF will award are for the Western Region Credit Conference, watch for more information on those upcoming scholarships.

2008 Membership Scholarship Program

The
California Institute of Credit is proud to announce our scholarship
program. In an effort to provide quality educational services to
members who would not otherwise be able to attend many of our programs.

Scholarship opportunities are now available for CMA Members who
would like to attend the NACM Credit Congress, May 18 – 21, 2008 in
Louisville, Kentucky.

Click here to apply for the scholarships.

 
The scholarship award is for the recipient only, it can not be
transferred to another person. The scholarship can be used for
reimbursement of registration, reasonable travel expenses, and meals up
to a maximum of $2000.
 
To find out more about NACM Credit Congress go to www.nacm.org.

Congratulations to CMA’s New NACM Designees

TERESA  MATNEY  CBA/CCE
DEBRA   PITUCH  CBA     MACSTEEL SERVICE
SERGIO  MALDONADO CBA     TOYO TIRE      
LARRY   BRISUELA CBA     TOYO TIRE      
JERRY   HANCOCK CBA     PERINI BUILDING      
MARYLOU ACOSTA  CBA     REDBACK NETWORKS
HELENA  BADA    CBA     ALLTRADE TOOLS 
JOANNE  BAIRD   CBA
TERESA  MONTES  CBA     E&J GALLO WINERY      
ROBYN   OWENS   CBA     MCKESSON DRUG

Meet NEW CBA Designee Sergio Maldonado

Sergio_mal Sergio Maldonado, CBA – Toyo Tire

My name is Sergio Maldonado and I am 28 years old. I currently reside in Costa Mesa, California,
where I have lived all of my life. I
completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Finance at
California State University, Fullerton in December 2003. I have been working for Toyo Tire (U.S.A.)
Corporation since May 2004. On my spare
time I enjoy going to Disneyland, spending time with the family, and just
relaxing. 

20th WRCC is Over :(

The answers coming in from our WRCC Satisfaction Survey shows that the WRCC exceeded expectations!

From our attendees: "What would you tell other credit professionals considering WRCC?"

  • You can’t miss out on networking & sharing information
  • You NEED to attend!
  • That this conference is interesting and education and could not be held in a more exciting location.
  • GO…this year was awesome!
  • Lots of information given in a fun atmosphere!
  • It’s a fabulous, very educational experience and you must attend. It is well worth the time, effort and money.
  • That there is probably something for every level at the conference, regardless of the amount of experience you have working as a Credit Professional

Handouts and PowerPoints are available on the wrcc.biz site.

“Credit is a Sales Function” – Walking Bear

Walking_bear

Abe Walking Bear Sanchez, our opening speaker, blew some minds with his presentation. I was taping the presentation and figured I would just catch bits of it that were good enough to share. Ends up the whole presentation is awesome. I will try to post it so you can view it after I return from the WRCC.

Here are some highlights:

  • Credit is a sales function
  • Credit approval is about finding ways to say yes to profitable sales while remaining confident about payment.
  • Past due AR management is the completion of the sale – not collections.
  • Not all bad debt is bad.

One of the best comments from the audience after the presentation was "There’s Hope for Credit Managers" Walking Bear was sharing ways to change the perception of your department from a cost center to a profit center.

Audience_opening

WRCC PreConference – Financial Statement Analysis

Fin_analy

Jim Menard, CCE and speaker is keeping cool with all the computers in this room. The attendees here are learning by doing the financial work on their computers. This will increase their information retention.

Some consider this a dry topic – but with Jim presenting everyone is sure to have fun while their learning. Although he did say he had so much to teach that they might be working through lunch.:(

And we’re off… WRCC has started

Regdesk

The 20th Annual NACM Western Region Credit Conference has officially started. The signs are up, people are registering and the Mardi Gras party is selling out.

ACM provided great conference bags this year (as they do every year). The exhibitors are setting up – it is going to be iPod Nano heaven at the EXPO so far 4 iPods are set to be given away on Friday.

WRCC Session Change Friday at 10:30 am

The Treasury And It’s Role In Credit Management by Alfred
Artis session is being changed for the better.

The new session
is:

View from the Other Side: A Candid Conversation with a Debtor
Undergoing Change

Alfred Artis, VP of Finance at The Sharper Image,
will share his view of what it is like to interact with credit professionals
from the customer’s point of view. The Sharper Image is a well known specialty
retailer whose results have been featured prominently in all media. This session
will give credit professionals insight as to what actions improve their
positions and what actions do more harm than good. It will acknowledge the
challenges that the credit professionals face and provide key questions and
answers that credit professionals should consider when a debtor is undergoing
change.

To register for WRCC, click here.

Proof of the Value of NACM Education

I have been editing and posting testimonials from NACM members to YouTube. These testimonials were filmed at NACM’s Credit Congress. As I review them a strong connection emerges between those who have attended NACM educational events and advanced their careers by doing so.

You can access the videos by going to: http://www.youtube.com/NACMmember

At the NACM Western Region Credit Conference coming up October 17-19, 2007 you have a awesome opportunity to benefit your company and career.

If you have already registered, congratulations on taking steps to enhance your future.

If you have not registered, it is not too late to change your mind. We have been calling lots of members and hearing that they don’t have the time to attend.

I encourage you to value yourself and your time, by reviewing what it would take to attend this years conference. Take some time to review the NACM testimonials on YouTube, forward them to your boss, ask your company for the opportunity to help them by expanding your knowledge.

Meet New CBA Designee Michele Biehl

Michele
I have worked for my current employer ORCO Construction Supply since 1999. As a Credit Manager I have learned many things over the past 8 years and have seen the many changes as well as ups and downs in the construction industry that have challenged our credit department. I am a firm believer that knowledge is power and was thankful that I was given the opportunity to go forward with this designation program. Although I complained going through it (just ask my children, husband and co-workers)! I have not felt such a sense of pride or achievement in myself (on a personal level) than I did the day my CBA certificate finally arrived.

Internet Intelligence PowerPoint – WRCC Session

This morning I gave a webinar on Internet Intelligence. I am loading the PowerPoint on CMA Daily News so you can see the slides.

Internet Intelligence will also be a session at the Western Region Credit Conference. We will go much more in-depth at the Conference, but the PowerPoint will get you started. I hope  to see you at the Conference – it is an unbelievable source of training. You can do in three days what it might take months to accomplish.

Link to Internet Intelligence presentation on SlideShare.net

WRCC Hotel Deadline Tomorrow

If you are going to the 20th Anniversary WRCC make sure to book your room today!

Our host hotel is the fabulous Monte Carlo Resort and Casino – 3770 Las Vegas Blvd, South, Las Vegas, NV 89109. Be sure to reserve your room by September 14, 2007. Call 1-800- 311-8999 and mention XWRCC7. The room rates are $129.00 per night, single or double occupancy. A charge of $25.00 will be added for each guest over double occupancy with a maximum of four (4) guests per room. Please support our conference by booking your room through the number and code listed above. We know that we’re all on tight budgets, but we have a sleeping room count to meet. Rates cannot be guaranteed beyond this date or in the event the hotel sells all available room. Rooms must be booked prior to September 14, 2007.

Download 20th_WRCC_Program.pdf

Meet New CBA Designee Amy Brumbaugh

Amy_orco
I have worked in the Construction and Credit industry for
over 10 years, and feel totally at home. I joined ORCO Construction Supply in 2001 as a Credit Assistant and
later became a Credit Manager working with customers in our Southern California region.  Obtaining the coveted CBA designation was a
long hard road, but so worth it! Everything that I have learned from this program aids me each day in
becoming a stronger and more confident Credit Manager.

Congratulations to CMA’s New NACM Designees

In August we received word from NACM National that 12 CMA Members attained CBA status and 2 moved on to CBF status. Congratulations for your hard work and dedication to your career and company.

  • ANTONIO ANGUIANO, CBA    COVAD
  • HECTOR BENITEZ, CBA    VERISIGN
  • MICHELE BIEHL, CBA    ORCO CONSTRUCTION
  • LEIGH ANN BOUNDS, CBA    ORCO CONSTRUCTION
  • AMY BRUMBAUGH, CBA    ORCO CONSTRUCTION
  • CONNIE CAIGOY,  CBA    ROLAND DGA CORP.
  • LINDA DAILY, CBA    EXTREME NETWORKS
  • KAREN KRYK, CBA    H&E EQUIPMENT
  • ZENAIDA  PATALOT, CBA    EXTREME NETWORKS
  • ADRIENNE SANDOVAL, CBA    EXTREME NETWORKS
  • ELADIO SERNA, CBA    VERISIGN
  • IPSA VORA,  CBF 
  • PARESH VORA, CBF
  • ALEKSEI  ZUBKOV, CBA    VERISIGN

For more information email or call: Cheryl Hammond  Professional
Designation Counselor
(831) 475-9482  Fax: (831) 475-5797

Meet New CBA Designee Leigh Ann Bounds

Leigh
I have worked in the construction supply industry for 25 years, over 20 in Accounts
Receivable and Credit. In my current position as Credit Operations Manager, my
responsibilities include policies and procedures in support of all credit
department functions, as well as providing our department with the tools they
need to be as efficient as possible. Obviously, our memberships in CMA and NACM have been invaluable to us. I have been fortunate to work for
companies that value continuing education and development, and over the years I
have been curious about the designation program. Still I really had no idea
what I was getting myself into when we began this process, so after months of
study and stress I am truly proud of myself and my coworkers for achieving this
goal (read: mandatory requirement from our boss), and of our company for their
support and sponsorship.

20th Annual WRCC Downloadable Program

20th_program
All the information you need about the Western Region Credit Conference is now available in Adobe PDF format for download.

This promises to be the most value-packed Conference in our 20 year history. With full conference prices starting at $485 for the three day conference, you will receive incredible training for limited cost.

If you are a manager of a large Credit Department consider sending your Department on a "Credit Retreat". Where everyone can receive an intense education at once, and come back to the office with new ideas on limiting credit risk. There are 10% discounts for three or more attendees from a company.

Click through to the WRCC website or download the program.

Meet New CBA Designee Karen Kryk

082907_karen_kryk
Karen Kryk, CBA – H&E Equipment Services

I’ve been working in Credit and the Construction Industry for 23 years.
I’ve been the Regional Credit Manager for the West Coast Division of H &
E Equipment Services for 2 1/2 years.  I’m an active member of CMA and
belong to 3 industry credit groups in Nevada and California.  I’m a Board
Member of the L.V. Materialmens Group as well.

In my spare time I’m a
single mom of 3 beautiful boys.

To find out more about NACM’s Professional Designation Program, click here.

10 Days Left To Reserve Room for WRCC

Monte Carlo Resort & Casino Las Vegas, Nevada
(RESERVE YOUR ROOM BY SEPTEMBER 14, 2007 TO RECEIVE SPECIAL CONFERENCE ROOM RATE)

Our host hotel is the fabulous Monte Carlo Resort and Casino – 3770 Las Vegas Blvd, South, Las Vegas, NV 89109. Be sure to reserve your room by September 14, 2007. Call 1-800- 311-8999 and mention XWRCC7. The room rates are $129.00 per night, single or double occupancy. A charge of $25.00 will be added for each guest over double occupancy with a maximum of four (4) guests per room. Please support our conference by booking your room through the number and code listed above. We know that we’re all on tight budgets, but we have a sleeping room count to meet. Rates cannot be guaranteed beyond this date or in the event the hotel sells all available room. Rooms must be booked prior to september 14, 2007.

Conference attendees who stay at the Monte Carlo save money on their Conference fees. To find out more visit: http://www.wrcc.biz

WRCC Scholarship Winners

We had 13 scholarship applicants submitted for the Western Region Credit Conference.  I am pleased to announce that the scholarship committee awarded 4 $1000.00 scholarships to the following individuals:

  • Michele Carter, Associated Feed/
  • Timothy Cooley, KFSN-TV/
  • Michael Fenner, Tree Island Wire/
  • Linda Hart, Sandberg Furniture

Thanks to everyone who applied. To find out more about the 20th Anniversary Conference click here.

WRCC Closing Session – There Are NO Limits

A spirited program filled with inspiring content and Danny’s unique humor.
Danny presents an unblinking look at non-productive habits, a technique for
working by priority, how to turn challenges into record breaking performance and
how to keep personal morale high. Using this system his team achieved an 800%
productivity increase in a five-year period.

Danny_cox
Click through to the wrcc.biz website to learn more.

Danny Cox, Closing Keynote Speaker

Danny Cox is an "accelerationist", or one who causes faster movement, higher
efficiency and increased productivity.

He spent ten years flying supersonic all-weather fighters in the United
States Air Force. In addition to this he was a test pilot and air show pilot as
well as a speaker to civilian organizations in surrounding cities that were hard
hit by sonic booms. He was internationally known as The Sonic Boom
Salesman.

Upon leaving the Air Force he joined one of the nation’s largest sales
companies. A year later, he was promoted to sales manager and guided his office
in its industry-leading, record-breaking pace of doubling, tripling and
quadrupling old records. Four years after joining that corporation he was
promoted to First Vice President and assigned a district of eight offices and a
staff of over 140. By teaching the same sound leadership principles to the eight
branch managers that he had used, the company saw old records shattered. As
morale and productivity soared, percentage of employee turnover dropped to near
zero. In a five year period production increased over 800%.

Due to the increasing demands for innovative leadership and teamwork
techniques that work, Danny packed his bags and has hardly unpacked them since.
He is in great demand by companies and organizations nationally and
internationally.

Highly acclaimed platform skills have earned Danny a place in the National
Speaker Association Speaker Hall of Fame, a designation for platform excellence
awarded to less than three per cent of the over 3200 member National Speakers
Association. Danny is also an elected member of the elite Speakers Roundtable, a
group of twenty of the most popular speakers in North America.

Now, one of America’s busiest speakers and author of several books, including
Leadership When the Heat’s On, Seize The Day: 7 Steps to Achieving the
Extraordinary in an Ordinary World and There Are No Limits: Breaking The
Barriers In Personal High Performance.

Click through for articles by Danny Cox.

WRCC Opening Session – Don’t Hurt Your Business

What Top Business Managers Don’t Know and How It Can Hurt Their Business,
Abe Walking Bear Sanchez

Whatever we believe, give energy to, is real… to us.
If a company still thinks of credit as a cost center and uses DSO and %
Bad Debt to measure performance…its missing out on:

  • More New and Profitable Sales
  • Improved Internal and External Efficiencies
  • Faster Cash Flow
  • Elevated Customer Service
  • Controlled Losses

      

Credit is a critical business function whose true profit potential is limited by out of date risk management thinking.

Register today for the 20th Annual NACM Western Region Credit Conference to attend this great session and many more.

13 Successful Students Pass Online Financial Statement Analysis

The following students participated and passed the NACM online
Financial Statement Analysis Course taught by Paul Beretz, CICE, Pacific
Business Solutions:

Marylou Acosta, Redback Networks Inc
Michele
Biehl, Orco Construction Supply
Leigh Ann Bounds, Orco Construction
Supply
Amy Brumbaugh, Orco Construction Supply
Gerardo Caroza, II, Chevron
Corporation
Pamela Graham, Chevron
Leslie  Hansen, Chevron USA
Brian
Lacey, Reliance Metalcenter
Trecena McKinney, Chevron
Vivian Ross,
Calaveras Materials Inc
David  Schutz, North Star Surfaces, LLC
Joan Stewart, 360 Systems
Karen Treibel, Chevron Corporation


Congratulations and thanks for your
continued support!

To find out about our online class schedules click here to view the Events Calendar.

FRIDAY FUNDAMENTALS – Webinar Series

A six week webinar series starting September 7, 2007, webinars scheduled every at Friday 9:00 am-10:00 am (PDT).

Friday Fundamentals is the perfect job training for those new to credit, or taking on extra responsibilities. The six webinar  topics are:

  • Establishing a Credit Policy and Procedures
  • Making Great Credit Decisions
  • Setting Credit Limits
  • Negotiation Techniques and the Collection Call
  • When To Turn An Account Over to Collections & How to Choose a Collection Agency
  • Review of the Bankruptcy Process and How to File a Bankruptcy Claim

Package rate of $425.00 for all six sessions. Each Session is $79 for CMA/GAIN Members $109 for Non-Members

Pricing includes a webinar recording link of the program good for 60 days from the date of the event.  Can’t get all your staff together at once?  Half can attend the live performance and the other half can participate with the webinar link!  GREAT VALUE FOR ALL YOUR TRAINING NEEDS!

Download friday_fundamentals.pdf
, or log into anscers.com and go the Events to register.

Meet Jim Menard, CCE, your Friday Fundamentals Trainer
Over the last thirty five years, Jim has held Credit Management positions at International Video Corporation, Litton Industries Credit Corporation, Clossco (Adidas), Verbatim Corporation, Digital Equipment, Wyse Technology, Adaptec and Boyd Corporation.  Previous to his credit management experience he was in banking for 10 years with First National Bank of San Jose (Bank of the West) and Bank of America. Currently Jim is semi-retired and involved with teaching Credit Management classes, webinars, lecturing and presenting seminars on credit topics. He obtained his B.A. degree from St. Mary’s College in Moraga and his MBA in Finance from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Jim also earned his CCE designation from NACM in 1993.

Meet New CCE Designee Nella Dickerson

Nella_dickerson_2
Nella Dickerson, Assistant Credit Manager with Volt Information Sciences, Inc in Orange, CA, achieved her National Association of Credit Management CCE certification after months of intensive studying and preparation.  Nella has been with Volt for eight years, and has more than 15 years of industry experience overall.  Nella started with Volt in 1999 as a Credit Analyst and then moved up to Credit Supervisor where she managed Credit Analysts, Credit Representatives, and Short Pay Assistants.  Her hard work, dedication and business ethic were recognized and she was promoted to Assistant Credit Manager, overseeing Credit Department personnel. Her responsibilities include creating and implementing credit policies and procedures, ensuring that credit practices meet established guidelines for extension of company credit and defining credit approval limits.  She manages her department to assess credit risk for both new and existing customers and communicates risk exposure to management.  Prior to Volt she was a Fraud Analyst at Bancard Systems, where she reviewed over 500 merchant transactions daily to determine if merchants were using customer credit cards inappropriately or if they were violating Visa/MasterCard regulations.  This CCE certification complements her Six Sigma Green Belt Certification that she achieved in 2006.  The Six Sigma project that Nella worked on was to improve credit application cycle time.  Nella started the CCE process soon after she achieved her Six Sigma Green Belt, at the encouragement of Connie Cheak, NACM President for the South Central region.  “Volt’s strong commitment to education, coupled with the support I have received from my upper management, Terry Jordan and Andy Marquiss, enabled me to reach for this goal and attain it,” said Nella. 

Volt Services Group is a division of Volt Information Sciences, Inc. (VIS).  VIS is a diversified information services company, providing staffing services, state-of-the-art automated systems and database information, software and hardware integration, technical publications, logistics support, telecommunications and manufacturing services. In August 2002, Volt became the first staffing company to implement Six Sigma, the statistical methodology that measures a company’s operational performance, practices and systems to quantifiably anticipate and act upon trends.

Meet New CCE Designee Pamela Craik

Pam_clark_2
I have been with my current employer for more than 17 years. We specialize in
wholesale distribution of pharmaceuticals. I started in Accounts Receivable
and progressively moved to the Area Credit Manager position. I
have been the
credit manager since 2000. Education and continued professional development
is important to my company. My involvement with CMA Professional Groups and
Industry Groups has helped me develop and refine my
skills over the
years.

Alexis Scott receives CBF Accreditation

Alexis

"After college I joined Dun & Bradstreet as a senior Credit Analyst, where I received training in Credit & Collections as well as Financial Analysis. 

I have worked as a Credit Manager ever since. Thus far my career has covered four industries; office furniture sales, adhesive manufacturing, air separation and Plumbing.

I joined NACM with my first Credit Manager position and I believe the classes, seminars and conferences have much to do with my personal success. I have just obtained my CBF and hope to soon acquire the credentials necessary to sit for my CCE.

Since 1994 I have been the District Credit Manager for HAJOCA Corporation, one of the largest plumbing & heating distributors in the US. My area includes eleven locations in Northern California through Washington State."

Alexis Scott
District Credit Manager
HAJOCA

Michelle DeBay receives CBA Accreditation

Michelle

"I never intended at the age of 20 to have a career in credit. Fast forward 17 years and I am sure like many credit folks feel fortunate that life took me down this path. Applying the fundamentals of credit management within the construction industry has provided me with many rewarding experiences such as helping young businesses grow and many funny stories like how many different ways someone can explain why they can’t pay their bill!  In the past 5 years I have recognized a shift in credit responsibilities which I felt the NACM Designation Program would now more than ever help support. I am proud to a member of this organization and grateful for the support I received in my pursuit of this award."

Michelle DeBay, CBA
Director of Credit
ORCO Construction Supply

Carrie M. Payne receives CBF Accreditation

Carrie

"I have been working for EXAR Corporation for a little over
nine years as the Senior Accounts Receivable Clerk. I have been doing
collection work for about 10 years, and have been working on credit related
information for the last 9 years requesting trade information on potential
customers. I also am in charge of keeping the customers files up-to-date,
collecting payment, and billing the customer. "

Carrie Payne
Accounts Receivable Department
EXAR Corporation

Webinars will now be Recorded

CMA is pleased to announce that we will now be recording our webinars.  That’s right!!!  No longer will you be disappointed when you can’t attend a particular program!  Even better, if you do attend, you’ll be able to re-listen to the event over the next 60 days!  That means training for all your staff!  Half the staff can attend the live lecture and the other half can listen to it memorex style!  We’re really excited about this new delivery mechanism.

Nuts & Bolts of Mechanics Liens Seminar

Nutsbolts

Nuts & Bolts of Mechanics Liens, Bonds, Stop Notices and Claims in California
Presented by: Gyan Maharaj, CCE

Download seminar_mechanics_fax.pdf

Seminar Outline:

  • What is a mechanics lien and how to file a pre-lien
  • Difference between private and public works
  • Completing and submitting the 4 different lien release forms
  • The stop notice remedy
  • Payment bonds and Miller Act bonds
  • Intent to lien remedies

This is going to be a hands on session where you will learn to:

  • Complete and file preliminary forms
  • Complete and file lien release forms
  • Complete and file intent to lien and bond forms

BURBANK
Friday, May 11, 2007
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (PST)
(Continental breakfast 8:30—9:00 am)

LOCATION
Holiday Inn
(Burbank Media Center)
150 E. Angeleno
Burbank, CA

SACRAMENTO
Friday, May 18, 2007
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (PST)
(Continental breakfast 8:30—9:00 am)

LOCATION
The Firehouse Restaurant
1112 Second Street
Old Sacramento, CA 95814
916-442-4772

MENU
Continental breakfast and a boxed lunch will be provided.

PRICE
CMA Member $199 per person
Non Member $299 per person

Increasing Profits on Canadian Sales – Webinar

Canada

Is your company
currently selling goods into Canada – or thinking about selling into
Canada? If so, this Webinar will expose the “hidden” profit opportunity
lying in your Accounts Receivable if you understand and properly manage
Canadian Commodity Taxes.

If your company is actively seeking
opportunities to reduce costs and add those savings back to its bottom
line this is a program you should not miss. Most companies overlook
significant hidden profits tucked away in Accounts Receivable.

Learn
how by effectively handling price adjustments, rebates, promotional
allowances, bad debts, and short payments you can take advantage of
Commodity Tax savings to add to your company’s bottom line.

Your Presenter, Barry Korchmar a Canadian Commodity Tax and Trade Consultant, will provide specific analytic techniques to help you
understand how to analyze customer accounts. The process covered is
useful for both Canadian and domestic activities.
Specific topics covered include:
• An overview of Canadian Commodity Tax
• How A/R adjustments can result in tax savings
• Canadian Tax rates and structure
• The impact of sales price and bundled pricing on tax liability
• Case study examples Who should attend?
This will offer the newcomer and seasoned credit and finance
professionals an opportunity to increase their understanding of
Canadian Commodity taxes.

Anyone should attend who is interested in
preventing profits from being inadvertently squandered due to poor
management of Canadian tax.

Click here to learn more and Register.

Top 5 Reasons to Attend Success Mastery

Good_employees

“Emotional intelligence isn’t a luxury you can dispense with in tough times.  It’s a basic tool, that deployed with finesse is key to professional success.”     Harvard Business Review

Top 5 reasons to attend:

  1. Learn the difference between expressing your thoughts and feelings and the expression of what will get you the best result in the situation.
  2. Learn to better understand yourself and other people. Use this to improve results and get more cooperation with your co-workers and customers.
  3. Assess your current needs for balancing work and personal demands to create a healthier workplace.
  4. Create a plan to achieve your desired goals and maximize your success.
  5. Last but not least, learn to identify your stress “triggers” and transform stress into positive energy.

About your presenter:  Jodi Walker is a Certified Speaking Professional. Only 7% of the speakers from the International Federation of Speakers and the National Speakers Association have attained this designation.  She has spoken on five continents and works with organizations to tap into the talent of their greatest resource – their people.

Click here to download the flyer, click on anscers Events to register.

This series is designed to provide you with the skills to effectively manage work and life challenges in order to be more productive, profitable and happier. Employees become more enthused and committed by enhancing both their personal and professional development through effective life management tools. The outcome for the organization is improved morale and higher performance from more skilled and accountable employees.

20th Annual WRCC Looking for Exhibitors

Wrcc_20_cma_news

Spaces are available now for the 20th Annual Western Region Credit Conference EXPO. Our smaller conference (about 250 Credit Professionals) provides exhibitors a casual atmosphere to display their products and services.

We also have a traffic builder game that increases your chances of talking with as many attendees as possible during the EXPO. Click here to download more information about exhibiting at this years Conference.

Online Business Credit Principles Course

Online_bcp

Click here to download more information.

Upon successful completion of this on-line course, you should understand the role of credit in financial management, the components of effective credit department systems and procedures, specific government regulations that pertain to business credit, credit and policy procedures, selling terms, negotiable instruments, the Uniform Commercial Code, credit investigations, financing and insurance, business credit fraud, factors associated with credit limits, out-of-court settlements, and bankruptcy.

Here’s what you get:

  • Weekly live lectures with the instructor using CMA’s popular Webinar presentation format
  • 24/7 access to an online classroom where you can find all course materials, get and post assignments, and interact with the instructor between lectures
  • Online forums where you work with classmates on team projects and case studies
  • Online Midterm Exam
  • NACM Certification credit toward the Credit Business Associate (CBA) Designation

Why take this course online?

  • Take the entire course from your office or home — no travel required, ever
  • This is not self-study — get live, personal attention from an experienced, qualified instructor, and learn from classmates
  • Complete the course in just ten weeks

COURSE SCHEDULE
Orientation, April 18, 2007 at 9:00 am (PDT)
Course begins Thurs., April 19, 2007
Live lecture Thursdays from 4 – 5 pm (PDT)
10 weeks lecture

INTRODUCTORY PRICE
CMA Member $899 per person, regularly $1199
Non Member $999 per person, regularly $1299

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
You must have simultaneous access to the Internet and a telephone.

REGISTRATION
Log in to www.anscers.com and go to anscers Events to register, or fax in the Registration Form.

YOUR INSTRUCTOR: Paul Beretz, CICE
Paul is the founder of Pacific Business Solutions, a Q2C partner, and brings over 30 years of global experience in credit, finance and management with industries such as telecommunications, semi-conductors, forest products, chemicals, plastics and consumer products.  He is on the faculty of St. Mary’s College, teaching in undergraduate and graduate degreed programs and has helped create and instruct in on-line certificate programs for FCIB and CMA. Paul received his BBA from the University of Notre Dame, an MBA from Golden Gate University, the Executive Award from the Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management at Stanford University and a CICE designation from the FCIB association.

Communication that Gets Results Webinar 3/20

Would you like to sharpen your skills
at communicating effectively with your customers, co-workers and manager? Many
credit and financial professionals struggle with communication that brings the
desired result. They struggle because they don’t know what to say or how to say
it. They are afraid of looking foolish, sounding foolish and losing the deal.
Consequently they give up before they even try. Don’t let this happen to you.
Instead, learn how communicate and persuade others to take action. In this
presentation, you will learn how to: Use the power of persuasion to get people
to take action. Use powerful body language with confidence. Captivate your
audience with stories. Grab your audience’s attention and keep it. Connect to
your audience and build instant rapport.Get better results in meeting your
business and personal objectives.

Click here to view our education schedule and register for the webinar.

Construction Boot Camp – April 5 & 6 Las Vegas

Boot_camp

Two days of intense credit training for those in the Construction Industry. Click here to download the registration flyer.

TOPICS
Day 1
Who has Lien Rights
Nevada’s Preliminary Notice Requirements
Nevada Mechanics Liens and Releases
Foreclosure Procedures
Federal Miller Act
Nevada’s Little Miller Act                
Progress Releases
Joint Checks

Day 2
Credit Investigations
Investigations of Job Accounts
Importance of Filing Preliminary Notices
Collection Calls
When to File a Mechanics Lien
Using a Collection Agency
Roadmap to a Law Suit
Round Table Discussion on Collection Techniques

SPEAKERS

Dennette Mulvaney, Esq., Bisno, Samberg & Mulvaney
John Samberg, Esq., Bisno, Samberg & Mulvaney
Brian Pezzillo, Esq. of Pezzillo, Robinson
Randy Clark, Young Electric Sign Company
Mike Little, Ahern
Sandy McConnell, Winroc
Michelle Sprinkle, Canac Kitchen

DATE

April 5 & 6, 2007 Time: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm each day. (Continental breakfast served 8:30 am– 9:00 am)

LOCATION

Palace Station
2411 W. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV
702-367-2401

PRICE

CMA Members $399 per person, Non Members $499 per person. Price includes continental breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack each day.

Success Mastery Webinar Series

Success_mastery

Starts March 7, 2007

This series is designed to provide you with the skills to effectively manage work and life challenges in order to be more productive, profitable and happier. Employees become more enthused and committed by enhancing both their personal and professional development through effective life management tools. The outcome for the organization is improved morale and higher performance from more skilled and accountable employees.

Click here to download the flyer.

Students Love Online Financial Analysis

Online_love

The students in our Online Financial Statement Analysis Course, taught by Paul Beretz are loving the course. Here are some of there comments:

1.  On line courses are great no need to drive out of your way. The hours work with any schedule. Frances Rodriguez

2.  This is a great class for working professionals to acquire additional skills in Financial Statement Analysis. The instructor is very knowledgeable and the webinar format is also convenient and easy to use. Christina Gibson

3.  I felt this course was exactly what I needed and was looking for without having to travel to an actual class room. Karen Kryk H & E Equipment Services

Check out anscers Upcoming Events for future online courses.

Credit Law ACAP Course

Crediit_law_web

10 WEEK COURSE STARTS MARCH 28, 2007 – download flyer

This course provides students with a fundamental understanding of business and credit law and the legal environment. Credit Law looks closely at negotiable instruments, debtor-creditor relationships, and government regulations.

The topics covered:

Negotiability and Transferability
Rights and Liabilities of Parties
Checks, The Banking System, and E-Money
Secured Transactions
Other Creditors’ Remedies and Suretyship
Bankruptcy
Agency Relationships in Business
Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships
Corporate Formation and Financing
Corporate Directors, Officers, and Shareholders
Limited Liability Companies and Limited Partnerships
Franchise and Special Business Forms
Antitrust Law
Consumer Law

COURSE SCHEDULE
Starts Wednesday, March 28 meets every Wednesday for 10 weeks
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

PRICE
CMA Member $550 per person Non Member $625 per person

LOCATION
Raley’s Community Room, 2900 Geer Rd. Turlock, CA

Advanced Credit Administration Program (ACAP)
The Advanced Credit Administration Program is a series of college equivalent courses designed to prepare credit professionals for additional managerial responsibilities and for the CBF Designation exam. (A combination of course work and NACM Career Roadmap points is needed to qualify for the CBF Designation exam.)

Doing Business with Sovereign Nations WEBINAR

WEBINAR: 2/13/07 9:00 am Pacific Time

In the past few years Native American businesses located within “Sovereign Nation” territory have become a major business opportunity for many companies. Learn how to effectively do business within Sovereign Nations, protect your company against undue risk and become a valuable vendor to your customers. Specific topics covered include: The statutory and legal authority of Sovereign Nations, Basic credit risk management tools and techniques in this unique environment, The issues surrounding legal proceedings against Sovereign Nations, and the process of appealing a judgment, How to avoid common problems, How to obtain an enforceable waiver of immunity, The importance of written agreements, The difference between actual rather than apparent authority and its relevance to doing business with Sovereign Nations. The session level is Basic/Intermediate and is part of the Risk Management Track.

View anscers Upcoming Events for more information and registration.

Basic Financial Accounting 10 Week Course in S San Francisco

Bfa

Accounting is the language of business, providing a framework for capturing business transactions.

Defined as "the process of identifying, measuring, and communicating economic information to permit judgments and decisions by users of the information", Accounting can sound pretty dry. In reality, learning how to interpret the true story behind business financial information is exciting and invaluable to the future of your career.

Basic Financial Accounting will show you how the accountant thinks about transactions. This knowledge will help you decipher the risk behind a financial statement.

The skills you will attain:

  • Define and apply financial and managerial terms
  • Summarize financial concepts and principals
  • Analyze, record, and report transactions
  • Use cost information to support operating decisions and strategic decisions regarding customers

There is a story behind every financial statement. Find out if that story is good or bad by attending Basic Financial Accounting.

COURSE SCHEDULE
Begins Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Every Wednesday Night for 10 weeks
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

PRICE
CMA Member $525 per person
Non Member $575 per person

LOCATION
Steven Engineering
230 Ryan Way
South San Francisco, CA

Click here to download the Registration flyer.

Keys to Selling Internationally – Webinar 2/1/07

Is your company doing more business outside of the U.S.?  Do you have questions about the financial risks and opportunities involved?  Do you want to expand your professional credit and collections expertise in to the international arena?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you should attend this Webinar.
You can take advantage of PNC’s extensive international expertise by joining Alan Andrews, as he offers insights and explores financial strategies that support international business development. Learn about financial strategies that many successful companies have used, including:
•        Export strategies
•        Mitigating currency and payment risk
•        Growing your company by working with organizations like the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Export-Import Bank

At the conclusion of this Webinar session you will have learned:
•        How successful companies enter new global markets
•        How to ensure payment for your goods and services overseas
•        Understand  the best ways to manage currency risk
•        Understand the growing market opportunities of doing business internationally

To sign up for this webinar log into anscers.com and click the Events tab.

Burbank Seminar – Nuts & Bolts of Liens, Bonds, Stop Notices & Claims

Nuts_and_bolts

SEMINAR OUTLINE:
What is a mechanics lien and how to file a pre-lien. Difference between private and public works project. Completing and submitting the 4 different lien release forms. The stop notice remedy.
Payment bonds and Miller Act bonds. Intent to lien remedies.

This is going to be a hands on session where you will learn to:
Complete and file preliminary forms
Complete and file lien release forms
Complete and file intent to lien and bond forms

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (PST) (Continental breakfast 8:30—9:00 am)

Holiday Inn
(Burbank Media Center)
150 E. Angeleno
Burbank, CA

Continental breakfast and a boxed lunch will be provided.

PRICE
CMA Member $199 per person
Non Member $299 per person

Download the registration flyer, click here.

Online Financial Statement Analysis class starts Jan 22

The starting dates for the Financial Statement Analysis class have been moved to January 22 for orientation and January 23 for the first class. This gives you another opportunity to register for a class, that is sure to expand your career and increase your companies cash flow. Click here to download the flyer.

The emphasis of this course is on analyzing financial statements issued by companies using a variety of analytical techniques in order to understand the customer’s financial condition so that appropriate decisions can be made regarding the customer’s credit standing. Required text: “Understanding Financial Statements, 7th Edition,” by Lyn Fraser (text included in course fee).

CMA Offers Online Financial Statement Analysis Class

CMA is pleased to announce our next online Financial Statement Analysis Class. The class will start Tuesday, January 9, 2007, and will be held each week from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm. There are 6 lectures and one week for the online midterm exam. There is a mandatory training session scheduled for Monday, January 8, 2007 – details will be sent with course confirmation. Space is limited to the first 20 students registered so sign up today. If you’re interested in listening to a live lecture from our Beta Class, let me know and I’ll send you a link. Call me at 510-346-6000 Ext. 221 if you have any questions.

CMA will also be offering a scholarship to this class.

Sincerely,

Jodi Owens, Education Team Leader

FCIB Working Seminar – Incoterms, Letters of Credit and UCP600

Workshop – Limited Class Size
Register Early to Reserve Your Spot

Early Bird Rate Available Until 12/31/06

This workshop is a must for professionals involved in export sales, including credit, finance and documentation preparation.  It will give you an insight into the world of international trade transactions by providing practical understanding of Incoterms, Export Letters of Credit and the new rules governing them ("UCP 600"), which enter into force on July 1, 2007.  It all relates to your business.

Join us this year in Lake Las Vegas to enhance your understanding – share your experiences – work on case studies and real life situations.  This intensive workshop will provide business guidance you can rely on – delivered by experienced, highly successful practitioners. Speakers will share their first-hand knowledge with the attendees.

FCIB Working Seminar
Incoterms, Export Letters of Credit and UCP600

January 24-26, 2007
Montelago Village Resort
Lake Las Vegas (Henderson), Nevada

To view the agenda and to register, please click here

Customer Visits – NACM Teleconference

Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 3:00 – 4:00pm eastern Cost: $59.95 per line 

Presenter:  Susan Delloiacono, CCE

Customer Visits 

  The
best source of information about a customer is the customer itself, and
nothing helps the understanding of the customer more than visitation.
Through visitation, a thorough understanding of the customer and its
operations aids in credit risk management, provides goodwill and can
improve the company’s competitive edge with its customer base. The
credit department can realize significant value by participating in
visits and meeting with key individuals. During this session, you’ll
learn how to prepare for a visit, what to look for and inquire about
during a visit, how to build stronger relationships with customers, and
the importance of follow up after the customer visit.

To register click here.

Construction Lien Webinar – View PowerPoint

Construction Lien 101 webinar on October 19 at 9:00 Pacific Time.

This Webinar will provide an overview for the novice of the various liens available to contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers. Participants will gain a basic understanding of what tools are available to assist in collecting amounts owed to their company for labor and materials supplied to a work of improvement. This entry level Webinar will provide participants with a brief history of the evolution of liens and the features unique to each lien. As an attorney Shaaron Bangs has a wide range of construction industry experience, representing clients, serving as a Judge ProTem and Arbiter and conducting numerous seminars. In this valuable Webinar she will discuss how to use the various tools to your best advantage." Anyone who has recently been given responsibility to collect from Debtor’s in the construction industry will benefit from this session.

Log into anscers.com and click the EVENTS tab to register.

What You Need to Know about Credit Insurance – WEBINAR

What You Need to Know about Credit Insurance.

October 17, 2006 9:00:00 AM to 10:00:00 AM PST
Pricing: $65 CMA/NACM/GAIN Members, $85 Non-Members

There will always be companies that default on their payments to vendors or file for bankruptcy protection. No matter how wonderful we feel (or the Sales Department feels) our customer is, a creditor may never know what future circumstances will diminish the customer’s ability to pay. Accounts Receivables (Credit) Insurance is an indispensable credit risk management product reducing risk in an unpredictable marketplace.

This Webinar will be of value to credit, financial or sales professionals who want to learn the basics of credit insurance and how using credit insurance may help their company.

Specifically the speaker will cover:

  • Protecting Accounts Receivable from bad debt loss
  • How credit insurance is priced
  • How claims are settled
  • How credit insurance can be used to expand sales
  • Enhancing financing options
  • Compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley

If you are not familiar with credit insurance or just need a quick review, please join us for what will be an enlightening presentation. The session level is Basic/Intermediate and is part of the Risk Management Track.

Log into anscers.com and click on the Events tab to register.

Improve Cash Flow – Webinar Tomorrow

Improve Cash Flow Through Automation WEBINAR
October 12, 2006 9:00 am to 10:00 am Pacific Time
CMA Daily News readers get a special bonus. View the PowerPoint presentation for this webinar by clicking here.

What stops an order from being paid at your company?

For most, ineffecient operations that lack automation and integration for order-to-cash management are the major blockage point. In this webinar, you will learn how companies are addressing these challenges.Companies of all sizes are using an integrated approach that embeds policy, automates processes, and drives workflow with online portals for internal and external collaboration.

This new operations approach results in:

  • Increased Productivity of Credit Operation
  • Collaboration Between Credit, Sales, Customers, A/P and Treasury
  • Reduced Dispute Cycle Time and Volume
  • Mitigated Corporate Credit Risk
  • Improved Customer Relationships

Attend the Improve Cash Flow Through Automation webinar then take a hard look at what stops an order from being paid at your company. Learn strategies you can implement right away that will increase cash flow.

To register for this Webinar log into anscers.com and click the Events tab.

Credit Career Counseling

C3_booth You might not be at the Get On Track Conference, but that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on one of the best benefits in the EXPO Hall, Career Credit Counseling.

Are you on track for NACM Professional Designation? To find out download and fax back our information flyer and Cheryl Hammond will contact you and show you exactly where you are on your track for accreditation.

Click here to download.

Standing Room Only for Michael Dennis Presentation at the WRCC

It seems everyone is interested in 20 Ways to Become a More Successful Collector Starting Tomorrow. The room is full as Get On Track Conference attendees learn more tools to make them successful collectors.

Michael Dennis’ session includes: Examples of how to be a more effective leader; Tips on controlling credit risk; Ideas on accelerating cash inflows; Suggestions on managing deductions more efficiently; Examples of ways to be seen as proactive rather than as reactive; Tips on dealing with stress more successfully; Ideas for more effective prioritizing; Learning to do what your manager considers important and providing information your manager considers essential; Examples of early warning signs of customer financial weakness; Tips on what to look for in customer financial statements; Suggestions on handling belligerent customers and antagonistic salespeople; and The do’s and don’ts of debt collection Got6 Got7

Get On Track Conference Registration Desk Pics

The 19 th Annual Western Region Credit Conference has started and here are the first pictures of our Registration Desk.

Over 30 attendees are in the Basic Financial Accounting session with Gyan Maharaj, They are running through Journal Entry sheets faster than we can get them copied.

Here are some pics of the staff at the Registration Desk. Debra Davis, Amber Jackson, Jodi Owens, Cheryl Hammond, Dina Amadril and Raul Mendoza (without his mustache – it is a whole new Raul)

Having a good time and wishing you were here. Make your plans for next year!

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HOW TO UTILIZE ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE (CREDIT) INSURANCE

HOW TO UTILIZE ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE (CREDIT) INSURANCE AS AN INDISPENSABLE CREDIT RISK MANAGEMENT TOOL PRESENTED BY STEVEN P. GAN, CCE
DATE: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2006 TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (PDT)

Unfortunately all too often companies default on their payments to vendors or file for bankruptcy protection. Various factors may be the cause: Management deficiencies, financial restructuring, regulatory changes, product liability exposure, legal maneuvering, political upheaval, or even, as recent history has proven, regional natural disasters. No matter how wonderful we feel our customer is, a creditor may never know what future circumstances will diminish the customer’s ability to pay. Accounts Receivables (Credit) Insurance can be an indispensable credit risk management product reducing risk in an unpredictable marketplace. This Webinar will be of value to credit, financial or sales professionals who want to learn the basics of credit insurance and how using credit insurance may help their company. Specifically the speaker will cover: · Protecting Accounts Receivable from bad debt loss · How credit insurance is priced · How claims are settled · How credit insurance can be used to expand sales · Enhancing financing options · Compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley If you are not familiar with credit insurance or just need a quick review, please join us for what will be an enlightening presentation.

This program is part of the Risk Management Track and the session level is Basic/Intermediate.

Log into anscers.com and click on the Events Tab to register.

WAYS TO UNDERSTAND AND MANAGE CREDIT RISK Webinar

WAYS TO UNDERSTAND AND MANAGE CREDIT RISK PRESENTED BY MICHAEL DENNIS, MBA, CBF

DATE: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2006 TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (PDT)
Credit professionals are actually risk managers. Their goal is not to eliminate risk, but to balance risk in the form of serious payment delinquency or payment default against the reward of selling successfully to both low risk and marginal customers. In this program, we will examine some of the tools that can be used effectively to control credit risk including: · The use of Promissory notes, Personal Guarantees, and Inter Corporate Guarantees · The advantages, costs, and risks of using Letters of Credit to increase sales · The use and abuse of customer financial statement analysis as a risk management tool · Tips and techniques to manage customers identified as high risk · Reducing risk through proper credit investigation and periodic credit file updates · Reducing risk by using a more systematic approach to the credit granting process · Reducing risk by recognizing red flags and responding appropriately to them.

This program is part of the Risk Management Track and the session level is Basic/Intermediate.

To register log into anscers.com and click the Events tab.

Special Webinar Event – Success Mastery Series

A three part webinar series starting November 8, 2006.

This series is designed to provide you with the skills to effectively manage work and life challenges in order to be more productive, profitable and happier.  Employees become more enthused and committed by enhancing both their personal and professional development through effective life management tools.  The outcome for the organization is improved morale and higher performance from more skilled and accountable employees.

Click here to download the information flyer.

CONSTRUCTION LIENS 101 WEBINAR

CONSTRUCTION LIENS 101 PRESENTED BY SHAARON BANGS, ESQ., CRAWFORD AND BANGS

DATE: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2006 TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (PDT)
This Webinar will provide an overview for the novice of the various liens available to contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers. Participants will gain a basic understanding of what tools are available to assist in collecting amounts owed to their company for labor and materials supplied to a work of improvement. This entry level Webinar will provide participants with a brief history of the evolution of liens and the features unique to each lien. As an attorney Shaaron Bangs has a wide range of construction industry experience, representing clients, serving as a Judge ProTem and Arbiter and conducting numerous seminars. In this valuable Webinar she will discuss how to use the various tools to your best advantage." Anyone who has recently been given responsibility to collect from Debtor’s in the construction industry will benefit from this session.

This program is part of the Working Capital Management Track and the session level is Basic.

Log into anscers.com and click on the Events tab to Register.

Walk Ins Welcome at Get On Track Conference

The 19th Annual NACM Western Region Credit Conference "Get On Track" is one week away. Starting October 4-6, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you have not registered for the Conference there is still time to register online, or even register at the door – walk ins are welcome.

Over 200 credit professionals have registered for this event. The Pre-Conference session on Basic Financial Accounting is almost sold out, and our Rocktoberfest Dinner & Dancing networking event is close to maximum capacity.

We still have room for you and would love to see you at the Get On Track Conference. Click here to find out more information or register for the conference.

USING AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE CASH FLOW AND INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY – Webinar

DATE: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2006 TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (PDT)
The management of working capital, particularly accounts receivable, is an important measure of a company’s financial health. Historically, these operations have been highly inefficient due to a lack of automation and integrated systems for order-to-cash management. Attend this educational session to learn how companies are addressing these challenges through the use of automation and workflow technology. Learn how companies of all sizes are using an integrated approach that embeds policy, automates processes, and drives workflow with online portals for internal and external collaboration: · Increase Productivity of Credit Operation · Facilitate Collaboration Between Credit, Sales, Customers, A/P and Treasury · Reduce Dispute Cycle Time and Volume · Mitigate Corporate Credit Risk · Improve Customer Relationships

This program is part of the Performance Measurement Track and the session level is Intermediate/Executive.

Log into anscers.com and click on the Events tab to regsiter.

Effective Collection Techniques – WEBINAR

EFFECTIVE COLLECTION TECHNIQUES PRESENTED BY MICHAEL DENNIS, MBA, CBF, LCM

DATE: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006 TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (PDT)
This Webinar will examine a variety of topics linked to effective trade debt collection. Anyone charged with the responsibility for trade collections will gain value from this no nonsense practical approach. Participants will be presented with specific, proven, tools to improve the effectiveness of their collection efforts. This is of particular value to anyone who is new to the field or who wants to add to their technique arsenal. Topics covered include: · Common mistakes made in the debt collection process · How to avoid making bad deals · How to respond more effectively to stall tactics customers may use · How to prioritize your collection efforts · Ways to accelerate cash inflows · Dealing with special or unique collection problems · Ways to improve every collection call you make

This program is part of the Working Capital Management Track and the session level is Basic/Intermediate.

Log into anscers.com and click on the Events tab to register.

WAYS TO UNDERSTAND AND MANAGE CREDIT RISK

PRESENTED BY MICHAEL DENNIS, MBA, CBF, LCM
DATE:  THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2006 TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (PDT)

Credit professionals must proactively address the process of managing commercial credit risk. Failing to do so is likely to increase payment delinquencies as well as bad debt write offs. This program describes ways in which individuals responsible for commercial credit management can reduce risk and quantify risk. Topics discussed will include customer financial statement analysis as a risk management technique, early warning signals that a customer is in financial trouble, and the pro’s and cons of risk mitigation tools including but not limited to personal guarantees, inter corporate guarantees, security interest, consignment sales, credit insurance and letters of credit.

This program is part of the Risk Management Track and the session level is Basic/Intermediate.

Log into anscers.com and click on the Events tab to register.

Credit Career Counseling at the WRCC

If you want to make sure your Credit Career is on the right track, visit the Credit Career Counseling booth at the "Get On Track" Conference in the EXPO Hall.

Cheryl Hammond, CMA’s Professional Designation Counselor, will be there to help you determine where you stand on your roadmap to Certification and how to take the next step.

Find out more about Professional Designation and Certification by clicking here.

The 19th Annual NACM Western Region Credit Conference (WRCC), October 4-6, 2006 is being held at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas. For more information on this years conference titled "Get On Track" click here.

HOW TO CONDUCT AN EFFECTIVE CUSTOMER VISIT – Webinar

DATE: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2006 TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (PDT)

This Webinar will cover the role and purpose of on-site customer visits in the collection and dispute management process. The topics covered are intended for all levels of the credit and collection organization. Have you ever wondered how to justify visiting a customer’s place of business? As a result of this session participants will have a greater knowledge of why customer visits can more than offset costs. We will explore issues that make the visit worthwhile including how to define your objectives, how to enlist the help of the sales organization and pre-meeting preparation and post meeting actions. Participants will be left with techniques to successfully obtain financial statements and how to solicit management’s discussion and analysis. Additionally we will discuss how you can use the customer visit as part of the dispute resolution process and to build ongoing goodwill. Specifically the session will cover: · The cost and benefits of the visit · Who should attend from your company and who you should seek to attend on the customer’s side. · The role of the participants · Rules of etiquette · Transfer of information and policy · Best practices and pitfalls of the meeting

This program is part of the Communication Track and the session level is Intermediate.

Log into anscers.com and click the Events tab to Register.

HOW TO TRANSFORM DOCUMENTS INTO DECISIONS – Webinar

DATE: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2006 TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (PDT)

Are you buried in paper? Is it time consuming and difficult to get your hands on documentation needed to collect from your customers or to reconcile difficult accounts? Would it be useful to automate the retrieval and sending of invoice and proof of delivery copies to customers who seem to always need them to pay an invoice? Is all this having a negative impact on your collection performance or efficiency? If any or all of these situations is true at your company, you should attend this valuable Webinar. Jeff Haller, an expert in his field, will teach you how an effective document management workflow solution can achieve significant cycle efficiencies within your cash management processes. In this presentation, you will see the A/R document workflow process end to end. This session will walk you through the decision steps for integrating workflow management into your Credit and A/R processes. Learn some common points of efficiency for A/R processes and how to eliminate unnecessary negative impacts on your customer relationships of credit decisions made with less than complete information. Specific situations will be covered including proactive POD and the returns/adjustment process. Learn useful techniques for: · reducing DSO · shortening collection cycles · enhancing customer relationships

This program is part of the Communication Track and the session level is Basic.

Log into anscers.com and click on the events tab to register.

A 360 DEGREE VIEW OF FINANCIAL SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT – Webinar

WEBINAR DATE:  TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2006
    TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (PDT)
   
Improving working capital is high on the agenda of most
CFO’s.  Since accounts receivable are a major working
capital component, savvy credit pros are in a perfect
position to leverage their knowledge of the quote-to-
cash process to improve working capital management
and increase their influence throughout the enterprise. 
This workshop will provide an introduction to the
principals involved in Financial Supply Chain
Management (FSCM), outline the value proposition for
improved working capital management, and identify
specific opportunities for credit pros to participate. 
This is an introductory course for anybody wanting to
gain a solid overview of FSCM and the role credit
management can contribute.  The following will be
presented:
· CFO Survey Results
· A Definition of FSCM
· Principal Components of FSCM
· The Cost of Paper vs. Automated Processes
· Expanding Credit’s Role in FSCM
   

This program is part of the Working Capital
Management Track and the session level is
Basic/Intermediate. This is the first of a three part
series covering all aspects of "Financial Supply Chain
Management".

Log into anscers.com and click on the Events tab to Register.

PHONE POWER COLLECTIONS – Webinar

DATE: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2006
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (PDT)


This Webinar introduces a six step process of value to
both novice and experienced collectors. The session
will cover how to develop a “psychological” advantage
over collectors from other companies trying to collect
money from your customer. In today’s environment,
when money is scarce, you need a competitive
advantage to get paid first.
Phone Power Collections details a six step proactive
process that will put you at top of the priority list for
payment. Specifically the session covers:
1) Re-collection Planning
2) Professional Conduct
3) The Collection Statement
4) Customer’s excuses
5) The rebuttal
6) The follow-up
Within each step there is an explanation of common
sense and psychological advantages to put you on the
top of the paying list. Don’t be an ordinary collector.
Be a collector that stands out in a positive way, so you
always get paid first in an environment of scarce cash.

This program is part of the Working Capital
Management Track and the session level is Basic.

Log into anscers.com and click the Events tab to register.