A/R Strategy Checklist
Following is a list of items that once included in your business plan will greatly reduce the number of past due customers and most importantly reduce the volume of write-offs to bad debt.
When you are negotiating with or quoting a customer:
- Clearly advise the customer when payment is required.
- Gain their agreement as to when payment is due.
When you take the order:
- Acknowledge the order in writing, emphasizing payment terms.
If the customer is new:
- Obtain a credit application form.
- Check payment reliability and solvency with other trade creditors.
- Send a New Account Welcome letter stressing account payment terms.
When the goods are delivered or the services supplied:
- Obtain a signed proof of delivery or work completion note.
- Ensure your invoice includes the customer purchase order number or other reference.
- Invoice within 24 hours of delivery/supply, stressing the due date.
- Send a monthly statement of account.
When collecting unpaid accounts:
- Have a daily display of past due accounts.
- Apply specific resources to follow-up on delinquent accounts.
- Visit or telephone all large accounts.
- Develop an effective letter campaign for small balance accounts.
- Utilize fax and email as a communication method when customers are avoiding you.
- Establish a clear policy to stop supplying slow paying customers. ü Establish a timetable for collecting with defined steps at stated intervals, including the referral to a third-party for non-paying customers.
If you are a director or owner:
- Monitor daily collections and correct bad trends promptly.
- Devote skilled time, including your own, to collections.
From Author Alan Lakein "How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life" (1973):
“In all planning you make a list and you set priorities.”
…Some food for thought. Make a list.