Good Credit Control starts long before you get on the phone to chase overdue accounts.
The damage has already been done by the time you raise your invoice unless consideration has been given to some key areas first:
- Credit and background checks on new customers
- Annual reviews of existing customers
- Clear and concise terms and conditions for all customers
- Clear and precise order, despatch and sign-off system
If you have a clear record that the customer has received exactly what they have ordered, fully in line with terms and conditions that they have agreed, then disputes will be significantly reduced.
Fundamental to any commercial operation is being paid for any sale. The hard work associated with a sale together with costs of product and marketing have all been incurred. Yet I still come across businesses who can’t easily tell whether they have been paid or not!
The main reason for this is that they simply don’t have a system to ensure that all sales are invoiced.
The cost to any business of weak controls in this area can be catastrophic. Like many things, however, the solution is relatively simple – it comes down to having a good physical and accounting process in place.
You then complete your defences by having a robust system of credit control aimed at managing the payment of every invoice and ultimately an effective system for ensuring your hard work is properly rewarded.