Even reputable companies and consumers run into financial difficulties -- especially in a tough economy. Make sure you have in place the people, policies and methods to tackle late-payers in a business-like manner.
Indian Wells, Calif. (Vocus) May 20, 2008
Free advice for business owners and entrepreneurs who are running into problems with late-paying customers is now published at http://www.billcollectorinabox.com.
Ryon Gambill, a collection expert who helps businesses get paid on time, has put together tips designed to help companies and entrepreneurs minimize the expense and frustration when managing past-due invoices.
This month, Gambill provides practical advice on how to begin collection efforts. Previous tips published by Gambill are available online at http://www.billcollectorinabox.com. The topics addressed:
1. Billing and invoicing procedures.
2. Establishing payment and credit terms.
3. Invoicing and follow-up measures.
"If an invoice is past due, it's important to take immediate action and not assume the situation will resolve itself," says Ryon Gambill, developer of Bill Collector In A Box™, software that automates the often time-consuming process of managing past-due invoices. "Even reputable companies and consumers run into financial difficulties -- especially in a tough economy. Make sure you have in place the people, policies and methods to tackle late-payers in a business-like manner."
Gambill recommends that all companies integrate the following measures into their accounts-receivable procedures whenever an invoice goes past-due:
- Send timely and appropriate "past due" notices to remind your customers that they are behind in their payment. Remember: it's important that any correspondence conforms to state and federal laws.
- Start collection efforts immediately when accounts or invoices age beyond 60-90 days.
- Take a personable approach: in addition to mailing reminders, use occasional, polite and business-like telephone calls to remind your customers that invoices are outstanding. These calls can be frustrating so, above all, maintain a professional tone and approach.
- Follow up quickly if a debtor breaks a promise to make a payment. Timely follow-up is critical to maximizing your chances of getting paid.
- If telephone numbers are reported disconnected or your mail is returned as undeliverable, start tracing your customers right away. Bill Collector In A Box includes 25 skip-trace queries that can help track down someone who is avoiding contact.
- Do not delay in reporting past-due accounts to the credit bureaus.
- If all your efforts do not result in the invoice being settled, consider referring your past-due accounts to a professional who can take charge of pursuing collection efforts.
To help businesses deal with past-due invoices, Gambill's company sells Bill Collector In A Box, a comprehensive billing and debt-collection software application designed by collection agency professionals for small-business owners. Bill Collector In A Box centralizes the management of past-due accounts, from initial contact to resolution of the outstanding invoice.
For businesses that already have debt-collection problems, the software pays for itself within months. Bill Collector In A Box runs on Windows PCs and complements popular accounting and personal-finance software such as Quicken®, QuickBooks®, Microsoft® Money and Microsoft® Accounting Professional.
"Small businesses have to deal with chronic late payment and bad debt issues, and this costs time and money," adds Gambill. "We designed Bill Collector In A Box so that small-business owners can manage this process themselves by taking the right steps to resolve past-due accounts, turning debts into cash."
Bill Collector In A Box includes features not available elsewhere that automate every phase of debt collection:
- Automatic printing of professional-quality legal letters that warn a debtor of impending legal action unless they settle the invoice promptly. The software also includes numerous debt-collection letters that comply with state and federal laws.
- One-click reporting to SCAN (Shared Check Authorization Network)--the same central bureau used by major retailers and banks to identify people who write bad checks.
- Credit bureau reporting. Reporting a bad debt to a credit bureau is an effective way to convince debtors that they need to quickly settle their invoices. With one click, Bill Collector In A Box reports a bad debt to the major credit bureaus for up to 7 years.
- Skip Tracing. If a debtor has left town with no forwarding address and has disconnected phones, one click instructs Bill Collector In A Box to engage a professional investigator who will track down the debtor. 25 basic skip traces and 1 advanced skip trace are included with the software.
- Built-in processing of credit card and ACH transactions to enable fast settlement of invoices.
- Recording of court information to provide fast access to details of litigation or small-claims actions.
- Comprehensive report generation as well as importing and exporting of .CSV files to/from popular accounting software programs.
Bill Collector In A Box lists for $49.99 and is available at Amazon.com, Fry's Electronics, J&R Electronics, Micro Center, Office Depot /OfficeDepot.com, PCnation.com, and Shopblt.com. Unlimited technical support, including a one-on-one initial training session, is included.
Marauder Corporation designed and developed Bill Collector In A Box for small to medium-sized businesses. Marauder is one of the nation's leading collections agencies and specializes in small and medium-sized businesses. Its management team has more than 50 years of combined experience and services the collection needs of thousands and companies, coast to coast.
For more information, visit billcollectorinabox.com or call 1-800-650-5118.
tim @ zingpr.com