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Your customer or client base is probably the most important asset your business has - not simply because of the amounts that your customers or clients owe you today but because of the future sales potential that resides within that base.
But if your customers or clients are not habitually paying your invoices promptly your working capital requirements begin to increase and with them your financing costs - eroding your ability to manage and grow your business and eating into your profitability. Worse still, if one or more of your customers or clients gets into financial difficulty you risk not being paid at all - and nobody likes providing goods or services for which they ultimately don't get paid.
How do you deal with Credit Control? Do you have in-house resource? Or is it the responsibility of the Fee-Earners? Or maybe you have considered out-sourcing but not sure where to look for a partner you can trust to understand the relationship you have with your clients?
We have experience of working with private practices, including Law Firms. Our Credit Controllers are sympathetic to both the fee-earners and the clients whilst remaining firm about recovering payment.
We offer a flexible service that can be tailored to your both your requirements and budgets.
In this industry, outsourcing is something you will have heard of. Possibly, you offer to your clients? But have you considered using someone to assist you with running aspects of your business?
Who currently does your credit control, maybe you have in-house resource, but is it dedicated or are they dealing with many other tasks and credit control is something that is fitted in between?
Our experienced and qualified credit controllers deal with your clients as if they were our own, we can offer a flexible service that can be tailored to both your requirements and budgets.
Are you looking for funds to aid expansion? Coming up to year end and need your ledger brought up to date and unallocated cash investigated? Want to introduce factoring or invoice discounting and get the best possible deal by ensuring your ledger is as up to date as possible?
Following a brief introduction to the business, we can take part or entire ledgers and chase it for you, allowing your staff to concentrate on current accounts or existing good debtors working either at your premises or from ours, we can often be making calls the same day you engage us, seamlessly connecting with your own team with little or no interruptions.
As they are not involved in the rest of the credit control tasks such as opening new accounts and resolving queries, our experienced collectors can solely focus on trying to get the accounts paid.
Issue – Transport Client acquired another company, in the same industry, including a sales ledger with a value of approx. £0.7m. The accounts were heavily disputed and quite old with very little paperwork available. The acquirors credit control team was fully utilised chasing their own debtors.
Solution – The credit control team took on the accounts where they had an account themselves and chased them together.
The remaining accounts were passed to us, with authorisation to negotiate settlements; the objective was to collect the debt without alienating the potential customers.
Result – 62% of the debt recovered and no upset customers!
Should you really hire a credit controller? How do you know where to find a good one? How much should you pay them? What happens if they leave?
How about hiring one that doesn’t take holidays, doesn’t need sick leave, doesn’t require the costs of an office, a computer, a telephone?
If you outsource your credit control to us, we will provide you with an expert service from credit controllers who have years of experience, across a large variety of industries.
Making calls in the name of your organisation, your customers/clients need not know of our involvement. We will keep you regularly up to date with information about expected receipts, record information about disputed invoices and help you resolve them quickly to release payment.
The service can be tailored to your requirements and your budgets, for all or part of your ledger. If any of your customers or clients are overseas, we have the language skills required to cover many European languages but - more importantly with many years’ experience of international credit control - we understand their cultures too.
Industrial Engineering Company
Issue: Client was closing local offices to reduce overheads and wanted to outsource the various parts of the finance function including credit control.
Solution: Accessing our client’s systems using remote access, we pro-actively chase the client’s customers before the invoices are due, to ensure that they are received and confirm that there are no issues, we work seamlessly as part of the team liaising with management and sales when necessary.
Results: With the exception of some contractual issues, the aged debt has reduced and maintained at a lower level, the contract has now continued for four years.
“I would like to put in writing my delight at the payment of our oldest outstanding invoice today. As you know, whilst only small, this debt has been outstanding for well over 2 years and payment has been embroiled in foreign red tape. Throughout this time you have not reduced your efforts to actively communicate with the customer and to find ways through the paperwork mountain in order to get settlement.
In my opinion you and your team have gone above and beyond in this matter. It is a clear example of the commitment you have to the Credit Control process and the way in which you show true ownership of our ledgers and the management of them. I could not have had a better service.“ Finance Director
London Family Law Firm
Issue: The firm previously outsourced their credit control, but approx. 2 years ago made the decision to bring it back in house, however they were having difficulties sourcing and retainer a credit controller. The lack of efficient credit control has resulted in a large % of aged debt, there was a lack of information with regards to the debt exacerbated by the implementation of a new client management system.
Solution: The client therefore searched for a new outsource supplier and contacted Carolyn Hobbs who manages our Credit Control Services team. Carolyn now remotely acts as credit controller, making calls and sending emails in the firm’s name so that the firm’s clients are not aware of a third party being involved.
Results: It is still fairly early days, however there are now regular reviews with the fee earners, there is a shared knowledge of the current position of each account, and a diarised system to ensure all disputes are handled quickly and accounts are followed up on a timely basis. There is a continued growth in the acceptance from the Fee Earners that a good credit controller is required.
“After struggling to replace our previous in-house credit controller we approached Carolyn Hobbs and her team. She has been our credit controller for some time now and she has diligently and professionally taken control of our aged debt in a way that no one else has done. She is persistent, never misses a deadline and does not have to be chased or reminded. The service is not only excellent but means that we can rest assured that our credit control is in safe hands.” Managing Partner
For larger organisations, working with your existing Credit Control staff in a hands on way, we will take time to understand your business to enable us to review your current policies, systems and skills.
Then working together with you we will introduce enhanced methodologies, training your staff and making sustainable improvements to the effectiveness of your credit team.
Our staff have many years experience of managing teams of credit controllers, with innovative motivational techniques to achieve real results improving your financial results.
Issue - £1.3m of Sundry debt, no clear idea of the collectability of the ledger. Some accounts had not been chased for some months
Solution – A review of their current accounting software established that there were various functions not currently being used, by introducing diary driven collections, using status codes, we could establish what was collectable and ensured all accounts were chased if appropriate. We also developed guidelines for the staff to adhere to, allowing the credit team to control how the accounts were being paid rather than the debtors.
Result – All debts now subject to status codes, allows a more accurate valuation of the worth of the ledger. Due to the nature of the account holders there are still a large number of old unpaid debts, however these are now either subject to legal action or being paid by regular, realistic instalments.
Want to focus on what you are good at, let us assist you further by getting involved at an earlier stage of the billing process.
We can help by gathering information to confirm your customer is good for the credit you are giving them, ensure you have the correct legal entity, raise and send your invoices on a timely basis and allocate the receipts accurately.
We can follow this with the credit control services, calling the customer to confirm receipt of the invoice, that they are happy with the charges, and to ensure the payment is received to terms.
Issue: The proprietor of the business was busy building amazing web-sites for his customers on a monthly fixed-fee basis and therefore having to manage his own accounts in the evenings and weekends and as many of the customers were paying the same amount each month, the cash allocation became complex.
Solution: Adding the accounts to branded accounting software, allowed both us and the proprietor to access the accounts, moving the vast majority of his clients to a direct debit scheme reduced the amount of time required chasing overdue payments.
Results: Accounts up to date with invoices being sent regularly, proprietor had time to build the business by taking on another web-designer and let him once more enjoy his social life!
Interim Finance Directors are often put into new situations where there are many areas of a business they need to improve, one part of the business which is often contributory to financial pressure, is the credit control or more accurately the lack of it!
We can carry out rapid cash generation to help fund the turnaround, recruit and train staff, introduce procedures and policies and meaningful reports to ensure the Director is fully aware of any current situations.
Issue ? FMCG Client had a new credit team in place, however insufficient experience and skills to ensure the entire ledger was chased. Supplying to supermarkets - who habitually issue debit notes, our client's ledger was rapidly becoming unmanageable.
Solution ? using our client's existing software, we took on the older part of the ledger and on a % fee basis, chased the debt to establish where the source of the disputes were. This allowed the company to put in place procedures across their distribution depots to reduce the disputes created.
This, in turn, left the existing team with the current ledger enabling them to ensure the accounts were kept as up to date as possible.
Result ? In 4 months the disputes were substantially reduced, relationships with customers were improved, DSO were reduced by over 18 days. The ultimate result was the company was sold on a profitable.