It is crucial to take action on your older B2B accounts receivable as early as possible. Immediately after an account becomes past due, either your own staff or your partner in commercial collection ought to be attempting to obtain full payment. But you need to enhance your odds of successful recovery. Side by side, you even need to take strategies to minimize your bad debt and costly write-offs. Mentioned below are the tips for more effective B2B debt collection:
Provision of Easy to Understand Billing Statements and Invoices
It is commonly said that the best way to reduce bad debt is to avoid it all together. A quick and easy way to how businesses can drastically minimize unpaid accounts is giving their billing statements and invoices a face-lift. The information provided by you in these documents can play a huge role in the determination of the number of accounts that have gone unpaid.
To illustrate, you must ensure the contact information of your company along with the clear visibility of the payment options provisional on all billing statements and invoices. After all, the good thing is to ask a business to pay you, if they are not aware of doing it in the first place.
If you are inquiring that businesses pay via check, then make sure to include your company’s mailing address. In case you offer an option of online payment, you must ensure the inclusion of the URL to your website or online portal of payment.
If you prefer businesses to pay by phone, then you should never forget to list the phone numbers and hours of operation of your company. It looks like it is quite simple, but far too often it has been observed that companies are unable to include this information in their billing statements or invoices.
Lastly, a clear explanation of charges which a business is responsible for paying must always be included. There has to be a description of the rendered services or the details of the unsettled debts, and then, of course, the amount owed and the payment due date has to be included.
When all of this critical information is included, it is vital that your business partners and customers are bound to know how much they owe, what date they are expected to pay by, and most importantly, how to put forward the recompense.
Implementation of a Policy of Consistent and Persistent Collection
Check whether your business is having a clear account receivable management strategy. You must ensure that the action is taken right after the day an account becomes past due. Also, consider the day before the account becomes past due.
In case of a breach in the set standard time for due payments is detected, the following questions are the first ones that come to mind. Let’s see how they are needed to be addressed.
- What is to be done after 30 or 60 days? It is suggested to send payment reminders and make collection calls at all of these intervals. Then once, for over 60 or 90 days an account is delinquent as dependent on your collection approach and A/R management policies, it is highly recommended to outsource the debt to a 3rd party commercial collection agency. If you continue to take the same actions over and over for a longer period of time, it will usually go against you.
- Is there any fee charged for late payments? How much appropriation and effectiveness is there for avoiding slow payers? The important thing for all offending accounts is to follow a consistent policy. Not only this will set clear procedures and expectations for your collection staff, but also for your business partners and customers.
No Hesitation in Offering Payment Plans
Obviously, you would always like to collect timely and full payments. But in today’s still-lagging economy, with bad debt on the ascendancy, you will likely need to be a little flexible in context to payment arrangements. The businesses ought to be given the option to settle their accounts in weekly or monthly recompenses if they are struggling to pay in full all at once.
Installment plans, deferred payment agreements, or partial payments are other common B2B payment arrangements. These sorts of payment plans do take time and you may not get paid as quickly as you’d, but for maintaining positive business relationships and ensuring that you are eventually paid in full, they are known as great techniques.
CCAA (Commercial Collection Agency Association) Membership
There are more than 7,000 debt collection agencies around the globe. And most of them will tell you they can handle commercial (business-to-business) collection accounts. But obviously, you would prefer the availability of best results instead of your accounts to be merely “handled”. The fact is, commercial and consumer collections are two very different animals. And in spite of what they promise, the 7,000 collection agencies have less, if any, experience in collecting dues from businesses.
Membership and Certification Requirements
Membership in the CCAA is limited to those commercial agencies which meet the organization’s rigorous criterion, including:
- Experience: It is mandatory for a business to be at least four years in operations before applying for the membership. Apart from this, 80% of the agency’s collection business must be commercial account collections.
- Financial Responsibility: There must be a separate Trust Account maintained by the members in order to hold all funds that belong to its clients (creditors). The member must ensure that there is no mix up of funds with the agencies’ own accounts. The CCAA Executive Director Trust analyzes the accounts twice a year.
- Ethics: Members must subscribe to the CCAA Code of Ethics, as ethical standards for dealing with debtors, customers, and attorneys are set by this. Unable to adhere to the standards can be hefty as this can cost the agency its certification. A surety bond of at least $300,000 is needed. Besides this, the member has to comply with all appropriate local and state regulations.
- Continuing Education: For members, it is necessary to complete 60 continuing education credits every year, and also attend CCAA meetings regularly.
- Oversight: Random site visits must be allowed by the members of the CCAA Executive Director.
The CCAA works to elevate the commercial collections industry by providing educational, legislative, promotional and administrative services to its members. Its central point of concentration is the creditor. The organization works to ensure that its member collection agencies provide commercial creditors with the highest level of professional services and ethical treatment to the creditor and debtor simultaneously.
Allow us to be the helping hand in your crisis of B2B debt collection. Consult us today.