Company executives are fully aware of the impact sales has on their company’s future, but many of them might not be so aware of how close accounts receivable (A/R) relates to the organization’s sustainability and potential for growth. “It’s really important to show them how credit can affect them,” said Susan Archibeque in a recent CMA-sponsored webinar entitled “Credit Leadership.”
Archibeque noted that while sales may have the most obvious tie to a company’s position, it’s important for the business’ decision makers to understand how important credit is to help the company make more sound strategic
decisions and also to increase the profile and clout of the credit department within the organization. Archibeque noted that the relationship between credit and sales should be an equal and mutually-beneficial one. “The only way that we can change perception of credit is to have a positive experience with sales,” she said. “It’s important that sales and credit are on the same committee.” Archibeque even noted that, in some instances, sales should be tied to credit and suffer the consequences when one of their customers fails to pay.
Before any of these options are put into place, however, Archibeque noted that a credit department needs to take stock both of how they’re performing and how they relate to the rest of their company. “We need to look at your company internally,” she said. “Look at the impact A/R is having. You need to know where improvements need to be made… to change the philosophy of credit in [your] organization.” Archibeque also added that it’s important for credit staff to be involved in the company’s future as much as its present situation. “You need to be on the strategic planning committee so you can be in on your company’s growth,” she said. “You need to know where your company’s going in terms of expansion.”