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Automating the Collections Process

Reprinted by permission of Federation of Credit and Financial Professionals

Collection of past due accounts is always going to require Credit Department personnel involvement, way beyond what we have seen in the cash application process. It’s a simple fact of life that people with money wish to hang on to it for as long as possible, without hurting their ability to buy and expand. On the other hand, people without readily available money will try to delay, either until they get paid or until…a variety of other reasons/excuses.

Again, the technology and software available today will still allow a company to take some of the more mundane tasks of the collection process and automate them. That will free up time and the Credit Professional to do the really important part of the collection part of the job, collect the money and still keep the customer, so he or she can keep buying, even if it’s on COD.

Information Required for the Process

In order to properly automate collection workflow, there must be data and tasks:

Databases:

  • An accurate Aging, plus Open Item Detail
  • Payment history for each customer
  • Notes on prior collection history
  • Prepared dunning letters
  • List of Sales Associates and Branch Managers
  • List of Credit Department Personnel o Customer Master List
  • Identification codes for all of the above

Tasks:

  • Immediate access to information
  • Prioritization of past due scenarios
  • Various what‐if scenarios, including thresholds for additional action
  • Various notifications
  • Certain manual tasks, such as telephone calls, that cannot be automated, other than the distribution to the appropriate people.

This information is essential to the automation process, so it must all be available from the start.  The step‐by‐step automation process includes reading the data, analyzing it by the what‐if scenarios, taking the next step and then taking the next one and so on.

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Article written by Thomas Gannon, CCE Director of Research & Education Federation of Credit and Financial Professionals

 

 

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