Get out the binoculars!
November 13, 2014 at 7:13 PM
Put on your reading glasses, get out the magnifying glass or you may even need a pair of binoculars. Take a good, hard look at your accounts receivable invoices....look VERY close. When you extend credit (bill instead of payment at time of service or product purchase), what information do you have on the customer? Do you have enough information to help you collect if they don't pay the invoice when due? Your success (or lack of) in collecting monies owed may be determined by the initial information you gathered from the customer.
Be sure you have a FULL, legal name. It might be hard to locate a "Jane Doe" if her legal name is "Sassafras Jane Garblegook". This could be the case if socially she uses her middle name “Jane” and husband’s last name “Doe” (but didn't legally take her husband's name).
Do you have the customer's current address and cell phone number? Here are some interesting statistics:
- 4 in 10 U.S. homes are cell phone ONLY (no landlines). And it's not just young adults. 48% of people aged 35 to 44 no longer have landlines. Get a cell phone number!
- Nearly 33% of the people who move do NOT report their new address to the U.S. Postal Service.
- Most people keep the same cell phone number, even when they move to a different area code.
A quick phone (cell) call from you may be all you need to do to recover the past due, saving you time and money or the necessity to send to collections. At the very least you may be able to get a current address when phoning and this will help in the collection process.
If you determine you need to enlist a collection agency to recover accounts receivables, the more information you can provide, the better. Professional Collection Service offers online submission and the placement screen gives you the opportunity to provide a great deal of information. The "required" information is first and last name, address, last charge date and amount. However, more is better so we can do our job - recover money owed to you.