GleeTalks: 5 Top Tips for Credit Control Success with Danielle JonesMember News
Welcome to GleeTalks: your fix of industry tips, tricks and inspiration. In this session, we have our very own Danielle Jones. Credit control is essential to many businesses and even more important during times of business change. So, we thought it would be great to get a little insight from our in-house expert: Danielle! Keep your cash flowing and your account glowing with these handy credit controller tips.
Each week I print out a full debtor list and go through my notes from start to finish on each client. This refreshes everything and I feel fully up-to-speed on where we are with each account. The list is pretty large now and there are usually 100+ clients, so full and legible notes are a must along with contact details / email trails etc. It’s a good idea to put systems in place and stick to them so you always know where you are.
Keep records of everything!
Outlook diary is a must for me – I rely on my calendar entries to structure my day and follow up on things in a timely fashion. I very rarely delete emails – I have folders for all clients and keep everything in these. I know I can access email addresses / contact names / telephone numbers from there easily.
I keep a list of payment terms for each client also for easy reference. A quick check and you can cross-reference against your debtor list and know immediately what’s due / overdue.
Make sure you have all the information needed from the client in order to invoice correctly. Does the invoice need a PO number? Do you have the correct business entity and address? Is there any extra information that needs to be added to the invoice? All of these things can hold up payment and invoices will be sent back if incorrect.
Be tough (if necessary)
At the beginning of my career I took quite an aggressive stance in the role – I soon learned that this isn’t the best approach. A non-threatening / understanding conversation can often result in a payment plan that works for both parties and doesn’t damage any relationships.
Having said that – sometimes the only option is to toughen things up. It’s not something I have to do regularly but it comes part and parcel with the role.
Maintain good client relationships
Maintaining good relationships with your clients is a must. Building a rapport with the accounts team will really help. People are more inclined to take a call from someone friendly who they’ve spoken with previously. This will increase the chances of being kept in the loop regarding payment dates and encourage a trusting narrative between the client and yourself.
Follow your instinct
If you feel like something may be wrong it usually is. If the client is offering lots of different reasons for non-payment / you can’t get hold of them on the telephone / non response to emails usually indicates there’s a problem. A bit of digging will usually uncover what the problem is and then you can figure out a solution.