5 minute credit control tasks: Searching for a quick win
It’s no secret: credit control is a challenging job that requires discipline, expertise and dedication.
It can also be extremely time-consuming, which is why many businesses have entire departments allocated to it. But many smaller companies don’t have that luxury, and those that do will often be looking for fast ways to improve their performance.
Yet sometimes all it takes is five minutes to make a difference. So the next time you are looking for a quick-win, here are eight productive credit control tasks that you can complete in just five minutes.
1. Review your sales ledger
This might sound like a large job, particularly for businesses with hundreds of customers, but a quick review of your sales ledger each morning can be a great way to identify which of your customers are approaching or missing payment deadlines. This information can then be used to target where you spend more of your credit control time to get the best results.
2. Make a courtesy call
It’s really important to keep in touch with your customers throughout the credit period to keep your invoice front of mind. A quick five-minute phone call to a customer can remind them of any looming deadlines, increase your chances of getting paid on time and build your relationship with the customer.
3. Review your invoice
Take a look at your invoice template. Is it as clear as it could be? Do you prominently display your credit terms and expected payment dates? Is it too cluttered, potentially confusing matters? A lot of businesses underestimate how much their invoice template can affect payment times. By taking five minutes to review yours it could help you get paid faster in the future.
4. Credit check existing customers
Every business should be credit checking new customers before offering credit terms, but many fail to regularly monitor existing customers. This is a potential risk to your cash flow as circumstances change and your original findings could be outdated. Finding a customer’s credit score and credit limit can help to highlight which customers you need to trade more carefully with going forward.
5. Explore credit circles
Another way to check the creditworthiness of your customers is to join a credit circle where you can share and access important creditor trends with fellow companies. Take a few minutes to see if you can find a credit circle for your specific industry or trade. You might be surprised what you learn about prospective clients.
6. Prioritise aged debts
If you have multiple aged debts that are consuming a lot of your credit control resource, it could be beneficial to take five minutes to identify and prioritise the largest invoices. Focusing on the higher-value invoices that haven’t been paid can be a simple step to improve your cash flow whilst you wait for payment from your other customers.
7. Get a debt collection quote
If you feel like you’re investing too much resource into chasing overdue invoices and your performance isn’t as effective as it could be, you may benefit from outsourcing the collection of individual invoices to a debt collection agency. Getting a quick quote online will take a few minutes and quickly reveal how much it would cost if the invoice is successfully recovered. And, with the added weight a third party brings, the chances are you will get paid sooner.
8. Send a Letter Before Action
If your collection efforts are being ignored, further action may be needed to encourage your customer to pay. A Letter Before Action informs your customer of your intention to commence legal proceedings against them should they not pay within the next seven days. This process could affect your relationship with that customer, however, so consider all your options carefully.
Do you use any other credit control tactics that take less than five minutes? Please share your tips and experiences below!