The end of the year always brings some predictable events. You know that magazines and websites will be releasing their lists of “best movies” or “most memorable events.” You know that car dealers and other large item retailers will be trying to sell off expensive merchandise. You know payroll departments will be preparing to fill out W-2 forms, and accountants will be getting ready for tax season. As a commercial collection agency there are certain tasks we’d love to see business owners add to their annual end of the year to-do lists.
Determine Which Invoices Need Attention
Once an account is 90 days overdue, there’s already a 26% chance that it will never get paid. At 7 months overdue, there’s only a 50% chance that you will get paid. Ideally, business owners would routinely check for late invoices and turn them over to a reputable collection agency while there was still a great chance of getting the invoice paid. But at the very least, reviewing past due invoices is something that should be done at the end of the year.
Update Terms and Conditions
The world has changed a lot in the last five years. If you haven’t updated your terms and conditions on credit applications recently it may be time to make a change. Our free handbooks on Credit Applications and Terms and Conditions may not be the books you want to cozy up with by the fire, but they may save you money in the year ahead.
Are your internal collection policies and procedures working? Can you make changes to improve efficiency and effectiveness? Are you making phone calls when you should be writing emails to get answers in writing? Are you writing emails when you should be making phone calls? Is there anything you could automate, such as overdue notices, which would make life easier for your Accounts Receivable department? An annual review of your policies and procedures may help you identify both problem areas and strengths.
Update Payment Procedures
Strangely enough, many businesses, especially smaller ones, often make it difficult for clients to pay them. If you’ve resisted allowing online credit card transactions, or PayPal transactions because of fees, it’s time to rethink those ideas. Services such as PayPal and Square may make your business more time efficient. Don’t forget to update your check payment procedures as well. Services like Vericheck can help you avoid accepting bad payments.
Check on Your Providers
When you hire a lawyer or a credit collection agency you’re hiring a company that will represent you. The last thing you need is someone from outside your company creating legal or reputation hassles for you. The end of the year is a great time to check in with the reputation of any service provider that represents you. Check Better Business Bureau ratings, online reviews, and professional organization memberships.
The end of the year is a busy time and adding more “to dos” to your existing task list can be daunting. But, making sure that you’re on top of unpaid invoices and payment policies can be a great way to ensure that you start the next year off right. If you’re end of the year tasks reveal debts you need help collecting, make sure to let us know, we’re here to help.