The worst-case scenario for many businesses is having to chase up overdue payments from clients. Not only is it stressful and frustrating for employees, but it can mean cash stays tied up for longer, lengthening the cash conversion cycle.
Considering how many industries – from retail to construction – extend lines of credit to their customers, it’s essential for businesses to know how to collect their accounts recievable with as little time and hassle as possible.
There are a lot of things that contribute to a successful business, but there’s no doubt that cash is a pretty significant one. Whether or not a business can generate enough revenue to not only stay afloat, but make a profit, determines whether or not that business can continue to operate.
But collecting that cash is not as simple as swiping a customer’s credit card. From the first cent a business spends in buying its stock, to the final cent the business receives in payment from a customer, the cash conversion cycle can tell a lot about just how efficient and effective a business is.
Credit management and collection is the important part of business that can easily become problematic. The awkward phone calls chasing up late payments, the back-and-forth emails and reminders that disrupt your workflow, and – of course – the ageing invoices filling up your accounts receivable as you wait to get paid.
Countless credit management and collection apps have stepped up to automate and streamline the process. If you take a look at Xero’s app store you can see just how many are on the market. Yet for achieving ultimately the same purpose, these apps each have their own features and pricing that will influence which one works best for different businesses.
My 7 year old son lent me $5 (which I then lent to his 12 year old brother) and then he lent his brother a further $10 directly so the older brother could buy something he really wanted at the time. Is it getting complicated already!?
This lending happened over a month ago and a conflict is brewing over the $10 he lent to the 12 year old because it was underwritten by his pocket money which had not been paid at the time.
All of a sudden I’m hearing about terms of trade from everyone! Maybe it’s because things are tight and customers need credit? Or maybe it’s because we have started offering course funding at $20 per week!!
We are busy updating our Credit Controllers Course right now. Check out some of the topics included that will get you up to speed.
Do You Have to Drop a Client Because of a Bad Credit Check?
A Credit Check is one of the most important first steps of good credit and debt management but you can still do business if the check comes back negative.
In a previous post on credit and debt management, I recommended that all businesses — regardless of whether they offer credit to customers on a 30-day account or not — perform a credit check on any new client who will spend more than $1000 on goods or services in one sale, on an ongoing basis.
I’ve always believed that as soon as you offer credit you’ve got yourself another business – a credit management business.
When we first created our MYOB Daily Transactions course we designed it to take students through the cashflow process of where money goes when it first leaves your bank account and these are the main steps:
Money in the bank (cash asset)
Buy stock (inventory asset)
Products sold on account (accounts receivable asset – Trade Debtors)
Customer pays their account (cash asset)
The interesting part of this business process to me is the marketing (choosing the products, pricing, marketing message and advertising) and the credit management to get the money back.
You may have a different opinion when it comes to paying your suppliers but I believe you should pay quickly. I’m talking mainly about service providers rather that product suppliers, but I think in small business it doesn’t matter.
Everyone loves to be paid on time and if you can get paid earlier, even better. It once took me 16 minutes to pay a supplier – OK, I was making other payments at the time, but still, it looked impressive.
I mention it today because one of my team told me that I was categorised by their accounting software as “high risk” and I wasn’t too happy.
However, few small businesses suffer from poor cash flow because they’re unaware of how to manage their debtors properly.
Rather they suffer poor cash flow because they lack the resources to chase late payers or, as in most cases, they don’t have the time to stay on top of their accounts receivables to ensure their clients don’t become late payers in the first place.
Aussie company, ezyCollect, aims to solve this problem for medium sized companies – here’s how.
This post has been created to demonstrate simple accounting principles for our MYOB Training Course students. It demonstrates, visually, a very simple fact that is often sensationalised.
I’ve been to many presentations, seminars and watched hundreds of webinars run by people who describe themselves as gurus yet the secrets they reveal are actually just plain old good accounting principles.