In the third part of this credit control best practice series, Brad Ewin from Chaser explores the importance of maintaining a single, consolidate communications history for each and every sales invoice, and how to do it.
If you’ve been with us for this series so far, you’ll already know from last week that RBS has found through its research that businesses spend an average of 130 hours per year chasing late payments. You can never value your finance team’s time too highly and you should be doing everything you can to use it as effectively as possible.
What’s costing you
A needlessly common time cost to finance teams is poor management of communications when conducting credit control. Businesses running tradition credit control practices are still juggling various emails, phone calls, and handwritten notes, very much to their detriment.
With these practices, it’s easy to waste 10-15 minutes at a time rooting around inboxes to piece together email conversations in preparation for a phone call, for instance. Additionally, without a consolidated communications history, you open yourself to the risk of missing key pieces of info. Whether it be a phone call to a customer you didn’t know about, or a note jotted on a scrap of paper that ended up in the bin, these small chunks of time add up to a decidedly not so small cost to your business.
The solution to this is consolidated comms histories. For every sales invoice you have, every piece of communication had about it, whether internally or with the customer, should be logged chronologically within a single space. While this solution could be bootstrapped with Excel, it’s ultimately ineffective as you’ll be in a race against the clock until it collapses under its own weight. Elite finance functions are leveraging automated credit control solutions to facilitate the management of consolidated communications histories.
What you can do about it
With the right piece of software, you can be integrated with your cloud accounting platform in minutes, automatically providing the app with the appropriate customer and invoice data.
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From day one, email chasers and follow up replies will be automatically logged against the appropriate invoice within the app, allowing your finance team to review the entire, consolidated, chronological history of communications in just a few clicks.
Important actions for a particular invoice come out of a finance meeting? Just got off the phone with a customer who promised to pay by a certain date? A few clicks and those notes are stored in the consolidated comms history for the entire finance team to see.
No more rooting through inboxes, no more missing paper notes, and most importantly no more wasted time. The whole finance team always has instant access to the fully-up-to-date source of truth for your credit control function.
With a bevvy of automated credit control apps out there, solving this problem for your business is something you can easily start today. Head to your cloud accounting platform’s add-on or app marketplace and look for categories such as ‘Credit Control’, ‘Accounts Receivable’, or ‘Debtor Tracking’, and start trialling a solution today.
Next week, we break down why you need to be having regular credit control meetings, and how to run them for maximum efficacy. Keep your eyes peeled for Part 4: Credit Control Meetings.