4 Tips on How to Collect Your Accounts Receivables

4 Tips on How to Collect Your Accounts Receivables

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common trucking accounts receivable collections process

It can be one of the most frustrating things when running a trucking business. You've done a great job, delivered your shipment on time. And then your customer doesn't pay on time or takes up to 90 days to pay. Too much revenue sitting in accounts receivable for long periods of time can be crippling to a business's cash flow. Improve your accounts receivables collection process.

That's why we created a A/R Collections checklist to help you improve your accounts receivables collection process.

Here are 4 tips to help you manage and reduce those dollars sitting in accounts receivable:

Tip #1 - Prepare for accounts receivable before they happen

It's a certainty if you extend credit, you will have shippers who won't pay on time. To minimize the number of dollars in accounts receivable each month, you need a formal account receivables collection process for:

  • determining how and when you'll extend credit (start by doing a business credit search)

  • issuing timely and accurate invoices that identify credit terms

  • tracking systems that automatically alert you when accounts are coming due

  • automated systems that flag milestones in the collection process (ex: due, 15 days past due, 30 days past due) and initiate a follow up response (phone call, letter, etc.)

  • escalating delinquent accounts receivables for further action

Tip #2 - Know the facts before you escalate an accounts receivable to collections

Before you send a sternly written collection notice or submit an accounts receivable to collections, be sure you've actually communicated with your customer to see why they haven't paid. There will be some times when it's a simple oversight, or the check really did get lost in the mail. A good test is to see how your customer reacts when you bring the late payment (politely) to their attention. If they immediately look into the problem and issue you a check, simply chalk it up to experience (and remember to say thank you!).

Tip #3 - Communication is the key; keep it professional and consistent

  • To communicate means to connect. Be sure that the media you're using to inform your customers about late payments fits with how they typically communicate. It's a good idea to mix up the ways that you notify customers about delinquent payments (email, phone, letter mail, etc.). As you find a customer's preferred way to communicate, make a note of it in their file.

  • Always keep it professional. That means keeping a cool head and having your facts ready before you make the call. If you can't keep your cool when discussing money with a customer, pass the job to a qualified individual who can.

  • Be consistent. A customer should know that as soon as their account becomes overdue, they're going to hear from you. Remember, by not following up consistently on accounts receivable, you are training your customers that it's okay to pay you late.

Tip #4 - Get help with managing your accounts receivables if you need it

If the idea of tracking invoices and following up on late payments makes you break into a cold sweat, consider outsourcing your accounts receivable management to a professional accounts receivable management company. You can leverage their experience, processes and knowledge to greatly improve your accounts receivable follow-up without the headaches and hassle of doing it yourself.

Does this sound like something for you? Give us a call at 1 (888) 982-1101 or contact us.


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