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Collectively Speaking: Don’t Wait

“Collectively Speaking” is a series of articles offering ARM industry tips to credit and collection professionals. Written by John Whyte, Vice President Business Development, Brown & Joseph, celebrity news Ltd. February 20, 2014.

The past several years have been a lesson in survival when it comes to the state of the US economy.  Whether we’ve endured a recession, depression or downturn, we’ve all faced challenges that we didn’t think we would have to face. Regardless of the particular circumstances we have survived and we are surviving.  In these uncertain times, it is essential to be able to review and identify problem or slow-paying accounts as quickly as possible.  If you don’t, you will lose the opportunity of payment as a customer’s ability to pay rapidly decreases in this environment.   

Perhaps the most important statistic that can determine success or failure of collecting past due accounts is the age of accounts when submitted.  Any discussion of financial ‘issues’, cash flow difficulties, or comments from other vendors or associates should be taken very seriously, addressed and acted upon.  

Internal collection procedures should be timely with follow-ups at regular intervals - 10, 30, 45 days, etc.  Invoice copies, reminders, statements, past due notices, telephone calls and email contacts are all essential methods to optimize your likelihood of being paid.  

Direct these contacts to the person with authority to make payment.  Keep them short, personable, yet firm.  Disputes that surface should be handled quickly, efficiently and accurately.  Put any and all arrangements, payment schedules (including late fees, and/or interest charges) in writing.  

And remember, in a good economy, you lose approximately 10% per month on unpaid balances after 90 days.  In our current economy, it is higher.