10 things an accounts receivable specialist would do for your business

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    Credit control & accounts receivables

    10 things an accounts receivable specialist would do for your business

    An account receivables specialist is one of the important professionals any business needs to thrive. An AR specialist can change your business by helping you to reduce late payments and get invoices paid on time. Additionally, the specialist can help shape your business by putting credit control policies in place, giving you the right guidance, and training your team by providing accounts receivable services

    You'll reduce cash flow issues when your debts are cleared on time. With better cash flow, you can ensure your employees and suppliers will also receive their payments on time, allowing the business to run smoothly. 

    In this article, we’ll discuss the 10 things an accounts receivables specialist can do for your business to help make it a success.

    Follow up proactively

    According to a study, almost 9 in every 10 businesses are paid late. Late payments can affect your business operations and your goals. But doing payment follow-ups for all of your customers month over month can be a time-consuming, unpleasant task.

    In particular, when you have close relationships with your customers, or are dealing with long-term customers who have started paying late, chasing them for payments can feel awkward, as you don’t want to jeopardize your relationship. For example, at digital agency Glaze Digital, their co-founders previously built strong relationships with clients, sold them marketing services, but then faced the uncomfortable situation of having to ask them for payments.

    With an accounts receivables specialist

    • Your debts are proactively managed without you needing to commit any time or effort
    • An external specialist will deal with asking customers for payment, so you can focus on growing your business

    An accounts receivables specialist works to get your invoices paid in a timely manner. They achieve this by sending polite follow-ups to your customers. The specialist engages your customers through different means, like payment reminder emails, SMS text message invoice reminders, and credit control phone calls in the right tone. 

    When following up on payments, the accounts receivables specialist approaches customers in a friendly and agreeable manner both before and after the invoice due date. When reminding customers before the invoice before the due date, your specialist will make customers aware of the upcoming payment date and ensure everything is on track for timely payment. 

    Your accounts receivables specialist also thanks customers after making payments, which helps build positive customer relationships and encourages timely payments in the future. Proactive follow-ups help maintain a good relationship between your business and the customers and lets you get out ahead of any issues that may delay payment.

    Deal with your receivables backlog and aging debt

    Do you have outstanding debts building up? The accounts receivable specialist will help you clear out old debts and improve your cash flow. The specialist will look into your debtor book and take a hands-on approach to following up with debtors via multiple channels, including over the phone.

    Your AR specialist will contact debtors with polite payment reminder emails, and if debtors are unresponsive they will try to reach your customers over the phone to politely inquire about what is holding up payments, and when you can expect to receive them.

    For more difficult cases, your accounts receivables specialist will be able to handle invoice disputes and deal with any invoice queries on your behalf, to ensure you receive payment for your work. 

    Additionally, as explored below, your receivables processional can offer and manage flexible payment arrangements on your behalf, to support your customers who may be struggling to make payments in full.

    Diversify channels used 

    Managing and tracking multiple communication channels to get your debtors to pay your invoices can be challenging. As a business, your main focus should be growing the business and meeting client's needs and deadlines, not sending payment follow-ups. With an accounts receivables specialist, you can take credit management off your plate.

    Your accounts receivables specialist will use different channels to remind and ask your debtors to pay, including

    Emails

    Email payment reminders are personalised and your specialist can easily attach customer statements, documentation, and invoices. The email lets your organization send all details and files needed for payment relevant information in a single, convenient message.

    Text messages  

    Your accounts receivable specialist will also use SMS payment reminders to reach customers faster. A payment reminder sent via text message is easy to get noticed and read by clients, at its delivered straight to their phone and avoids being lost in their email inbox. Your AR specialist can craft SMS invoice reminders containing a link to a payment gateway or payment portal for your customer to make instant payments. This helps reduce barriers to payment, as your customer can pay you directly from their phone. Your accounts receivables specialist will customize the messages for every customer to create a personal connection and encourage timely payments. 

    Phone calls

    An accounts receivable phone call can do wonders to resolve disputes with customers. A phone call helps the specialist understand the customer's reasons for non-payment and act accordingly. It also helps create personal understanding with the client as both sides express themselves freely. Calling clients can also help to build a stronger relationship with the business. It's best to call after sending emails and SMS messages requesting payments without an answer. 

    Acts as an extension to your team

    An accounts receivable specialist is like an additional team member for your business. They take care of getting your invoices paid, so you can focus on growing your business.

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    AR specialists will use your brand, customer values, and tone of voice when communicating with customers. Your receivables specialist will act as a friendly extension to your team, so you can save time in your team and get invoices paid sooner - without compromising on customer experience. 

    Provides detailed insights and notes 

    An accounts receivables specialist also gives detailed insights, reports, and notes on your debtors. This can help you spot problem accounts and identify areas for improvement. You can also track progress before, during, and after your service using reports from your AR specialist - to see impacts on your accounts receivables KPIs and performance. 

    Manages payment plans

    Creating and managing payment installment plans can take time and effort for your business. A payment plan should offer a balance between meeting your business and your customers’ needs. 

    For late payments and problem accounts, an accounts receivables specialist will suggest, create, and manage payment plans. Payment plans can help you and your customer come to an agreeable solution on repayment when the customer is unable to pay the full balance in one go.

    For example, payment plans can be useful in instances when an invoice is for a large sum of money in one go and the customer is struggling to pay. Additionally, payment plans can be used to offer support to customers who may be facing financial challenges.

    Payment plans typically are offered after checking the customers' credit histories and deciding on the installment amount and payment frequency. 

    Offer debt collections support

    Hiring an accounts receivable specialist is good if your business needs better credit control. The specialists can help you get debts paid, and help ensure future invoices are paid faster. 

    For problem invoices, your accounts receivables specialist can also offer debt collection support. Debt recovery specialists at Chaser can recover aged receivables on your behalf with a friendly and professional approach. They work towards an agreeable solution for both you and your customer, and get you paid whilst protecting your customer relationships and reputation.

    Train your team

    As a business, you might need accounts receivable specialist support for a given period. The benefit of having them on your team is that your other finance team members will also benefit. The accounts receivable specialist will train your internal team to sustain best practice accounts receivables management after the service has ended.

    After the training, your internal accounts receivables team will be able to handle any problem that arises in the absence of the specialist. Your team will also understand your customers and their payment behaviors better after the training. If you need further support at the end of your service, credit control services can also be outsourced to your specialist on an ongoing basis.

    Create templates and schedules 

    Pre-made payment reminder templates are a necessary tool to speed up reminding your customers about upcoming payments. Having good credit control without ready-made templates and a defined schedule can be difficult. 

    However, this will be easier with an accounts receivable specialist who reviews your debtor books to understand customer payment behavior, payment cycles, and the best timings and methods to ask customers for payment. Following this, your receivables specialist will do customer segmentation according to how your customers pay and what they owe your business, to optimize the way your debtors are followed up with for faster payments. 

    The specialist will create email templates to remind customers to pay. Then use schedules to send the right messages to the right groups of customers before and after the due date. 

    Call your customers

    The account receivables specialists will also call your customers to remind them of their due payments over the phone. Phone calls can be used to check in on upcoming payments, and also when payments are overdue - to understand what is holding up payments from your customers’ side.

    Credit control phone calls are an effective means to hear your customers’ side and get the details on any queries or disputes they may have around invoice payment. Your dedicated accounts receivables specialist will be able to dedicate time to speaking to your customers over the phone to ensure any queries and disputes are handled and increase your chances of receiving timely invoice payments. 

    Bottom line 

    Late payments can negatively impact your cash flow and derail your business. Without effective processes in place, late payments can slip through the cracks and impact your business’s ability to pay suppliers and staff and to keep growing. 

    However, with an accounts receivable specialist, you can improve your receivables process and recover aged debt without the work or stress. An accounts receivables specialist can take credit management off your plate so your team can focus on growing your business. 

    Just hear from one of the current users of accounts receivables services at Glaze Digital:

    “I’m surprised more businesses aren’t doing this. The timesaving alone is enough justification for us, let alone the improvements in our credit control! It’s definitely a job function I no longer have to do and lets me focus more of my time on other tasks.” - Richard Megaw, Director, Glaze Digital. See more about how Glaze Digital has been able to focus on growing its business instead of chasing customer payments.

    If your business is ready to remove the accounts receivables workload from your team, improve your processes, and get invoices paid faster, speak to an expert about accounts receivables services today. Or learn more about what accounts receivables services can do for your business by downloading the fact sheet.

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