As a business owner you are likely looking for ways your company can get better, faster, and more efficient. Collections are generally something every company can get better at managing. Getting a better handle on collections can help you start cutting out time and improving your cash flow. The first step in streamlining collections is to take a look inwards and see how effectively your company handles collections. Here are four ways that you can help your process and allow you to maximize your company’s effectiveness with collections.
Start With a Look Inwards
This is the starting line. Take a look at and audit your current process. This will help pull the big picture together and understand where your current challenges are; what’s working, and what needs improvement. In doing this, you will be able to find holes in the process and start the brainstorming session on how to fill that gap. This audit plays a crucial role in identifying weaknesses in the chain – whether you are dealing with a manual process that can be automated, or possibly a personnel challenge.
You may find, as you review your current processes, that there are a number of places where automation will help. This is something that is worth investing the time in researching. Be sure to shop around for a software that works for you and your company. Things you want to look for are integration with your core accounting system, as well as automated processes to assist with collections that work with the way your company’s business works. Not all automation platforms are created equal, so take the time to find one that will bring a high ROI to your team.
Look for Help
What if you simply don’t have the staff to handle your collections process? Sometimes looking for a third party to help with the collection processes is the smartest decision. Turning over aged accounts receivable to a collections team will free up your existing team to focus on other projects, while still getting you paid.
Make Payment Easy
The easier it is to pay your invoices, the faster you will get paid. Consider links to online customer portals that allow your customers to pay with ACH or credit card, rather than having to write a check. Give them the option to set up automatic recurring payments, if that fits your business model. Provide summary information on what is still due and when those payments are due. Understand that in a world driven by electronic payments, waiting for a check may be one of the things that slows your cash flow down.