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MASTERCLASS SERIES

Top 10 Tips Every AR Manager Should Know to Get Paid Faster

Webinar Transcript

Select the tabs below to read the transcript of different sections of the webinar. Or check out the webinar blog post for the key takeaways.

Introduction

AJ Singh:

Thank you, once again, for all of you that have joined us. We’re really, really thrilled to have Susan here from The Better Food Distribution Company. Today, Susan is going to be sharing her knowledge with all of us and just to get started, let’s go through today’s agenda. I’m going to do a quick introduction to Susan to explain why is Susan talking to us today, why is she imparting the tips and the insights? And then we’ll go into a bit of a deep dive, a really educational session on how you, if you’re an AR manager or if you’re a finance professional, how can you run a more effective AR team and get paid faster and it’s really… If you have any questions or if you have any comments, please use the chat or the Q&A box. It is a webinar, so it is a listen-only. But we can take questions and we’ll try and answer them during the webinar or towards the end of the webinar. But please interact as much as possible. We want it to be a really educational and informative use of your time.

AJ Singh:

Now, before we get into Susan and before I hand over to Susan, let me share a little bit about Susan. Susan has been a client of ezyCollect for the last four years and she works for The Better Food Distribution Company. Not only does she work for The Better Food Distribution Company, she was there since its inception. It was a business that was doing $0 in turnover and in the last… Since, I guess, 2016, it’s gone from zero to $40 million-plus in turnover. You can see some of the brands. These are some of the most loved and trusted brands and there are over 40, 50 brands sold and distributed by the business. I don’t know about you, but these are the brands that I use almost every day at home.

AJ Singh:

I’m told that Tony’s Chocolonely is an amazing chocolate. I haven’t had it yet, Susan, but I’m told that it’s amazing. I guess, you can see why the business has grown so, so fast. It’s a good product, it’s a great business. Susan has been there from day one and she’s managing the account receivables team, with a team of just about two and a half, three people and she’s doing that… She’ll share how she’s doing that, how she’s keeping her people front and center, how she’s keeping customers front and center. Susan doesn’t come from an accounting background. In fact, she ran her own business. She, I guess, understands the pain of getting customers, but also getting paid by customers, because a sale isn’t a sale till we get paid.

AJ Singh:

Susan left running her own business to, I guess, follow her passion, which is accounts receivables and finance and so here we are today. We’’re lucky for her to share her life learnings in that journey. A lot of our customers and prospects who have joined us here today, I think there’s a lot of wisdom to be taken from Susan, because she’s gone through the growing pains. Please share back with us your own experience. Without further ado, Susan, thank you and welcome. I’ll hand it over to you to share some of your knowledge about AR management and your top 10 tips.

Susan Jersky:

Great. AJ, thanks very much for the introduction and thank you, everyone, for joining this webinar. It’s really a great opportunity for me and I’m quite excited to share it with a bunch of amazing finance professionals, such as yourselves. I’m very lucky to be working for such an amazing company and its been an amazing challenge for me, at this time of my career. What I’m going to talk about today is, the AR department that I’ve put in place with the process of honing and refining systems all along. Obviously, as AJ said, I started with the company on day one, and I’ve learned and built everything from the ground up. I’ll share some of the key learnings with you and also tell you about how ezyCollect helps us to achieve our goals. 

Better Foods Distribution and ezyCollect

Susan Jersky:

Yes, I’ve been using this software since 2016, AJ, I think that’s six years. What led me to it, initially, was an absolute panic on my side about the number of spreadsheets that I was using to manage my accounts receivable. I did a lot of research and came across ezyCollect and I’ve been using that ever since.

Susan Jersky:

 Just so that you know, in the last few months, we’ve upgraded to the onboarding and Credit Insight modules that are now available from ezyCollect. Basically, we have a one-stop-shop from onboarding to debt collection which, by the way, isn’t required very much. It’s just improved our metrics so much, by having that one-stop-shop which is now available from ezyCollect.

Key to success is a happy team

Susan Jersky:

Obviously, I know and we all know that everyone can implement best practice methodology and there’s good technology available, but I have to start off from a place where my belief is that the key to success is the human factor.

Susan Jersky:

We know that everything starts with a happy team. I know it sounds obvious, but we all function in a positive and uplifting environment. It’s my responsibility as a manager to create that environment and I do that straight away from the onboarding and coming on board of a new team member.

We cultivate an environment of constant improvement. As soon as someone comes on board, we immediately tell them what our philosophy is, so that people know that we want to hear their ideas and we want them to think laterally, we want them there. Team members who come on board have got a lot to share and we want to take everything on board. As AJ said, I don’t have an accounts background, so I get that skill from elsewhere. We spend a lot of time in our team talking and listening to one another, and I find that this encourages participation in processes, and that’s what makes the team so well. Obviously, we have regular meetings where that feedback is taken on… That’s the ground basis for our success. 

Top tips for managing staff

1. Focus on reward and recognitions

Susan Jersky:

One of the biggest things that I focus on is reward and recognition. I’m not going to sit and let the HR department dictate what the accounts receivable department deserves. Very often, accounts receivable is pushed down to the background, not appreciated the way it should be. I will go into bat for my team any day of the week and I do that all the time. I want to ensure that their salaries are benchmarked to their appropriate skill. I will not accept anything less for the team, because this is the basis for a happy team as well. 

AJ Singh:

When you talk about reward and recognition for a team, is it just salary or do you think incentives work well as well, when you try to motivate and manage staff?

Susan Jersky:

Look, I will use any method that I can think of. One of the main tools at my disposal is time and people appreciate the time. People need time and I never look at the clock when it comes to achieving goals. If my team, and as a whole, has achieved their goals for the week, there will always be an early mark on Friday and those are the sorts of things that I can do. I can give people a day in lieu when they have overstepped and worked harder than they usually do, or achieved a great goal. Those are the things that I do constantly. I’ll take my team out for lunch and it instills an environment of a great team environment.

2. Focus on strengths and improve weaknesses

Susan Jersky:

Yeah. One of the biggest things, I think, is to focus on one’s own strengths and weaknesses, as well as your team’s. I’m going to spend a lot of time getting to know my team, getting to know their strengths, their weaknesses, and also their idiosyncrasies, because everyone has a different way of working. I have to make sure that my team is comfortable with my idiosyncrasies as well, so which minimizes conflict and encourages productivity.

AJ Singh:

It sounds like it’s almost… It’s a very personal thing because in a lot of AR teams it’s like you come in, you have a job to call these 100 customers, go home. But from the sound of it is, you spend a fair bit of time trying to understand the people, is that fair to say, before you get started with the actual work?

Susan Jersky:

Yeah. That’s because the process can be learned and if you’re a stickler for detail and you’ve got your process documented and in place, then the only differential is the people. We’ve got the great technology of ezyCollect backing our processes and we’ve got the processes in place, so it’s about the people, how they feel. It goes beyond the AR team, of course, everything is. We are 100% customer-focused as well, so that’s a very important element.

3. Lead by example

Susan Jersky:

And then as for leading by example, well, yes, I always do and I’m always at the beach at two o’clock on Friday and that’s the way. But no, seriously, I do think that acknowledgement of the importance of the work-life balance is a huge motivating factor for people, especially after all this time, the last couple of years, we know that time is crucial to us and we can… Our mental and physical health is also crucial. It’s very much a focus of balance. We are seeking a work-life balance and I will do my utmost to provide that to people.

AJ Singh:

I think that getting and retaining staff is really, really difficult at the moment. Everyone you talk to is in the same boat. You’re right about work-life balance, especially for an AR team. It’s a very hard, grinding job and sometimes when you deal with customers’ disputes, issues, it’s very… You’re right. Push the bottom, get it done, it’s not sexy. Giving them that personal recognition, I can see why it’s so important. I guess, if you’re managing people, I guess, the takeaway is people first, right?

Susan Jersky:

I just cannot stress that enough. That is the groundwork and the basis for all our future success.

Process and Productivity – Key Insights

Susan Jersky:

I just want to show you a video that highlights the importance of processes in enhancing productivity. My manager showed this to me when she started her role initially, and I immediately knew we were totally on the same page. This video keeps me motivated to constantly improve. Just when you’re watching it, watch the bottom part of the video for five seconds and then move to the top. Okay. Thanks, AJ. I hope that’s been a very practical way of looking at things. That’s pretty much what I focus on. I am continually going to address operational issues that arise. I take on ideas for improvement. I get my team members to keep a notebook of issues and ideas that are constantly recorded. Those are brought to the discussion at the monthly meeting so that the process of improvement is constant. Obviously, anything urgent is brought up straight away and how ezyCollect fits in here-

Susan Jersky:

These guys are on the coalface. They’re dealing with ongoing operational issues that I’m not necessarily dealing with anymore. I need to have that information brought to me and it just instIlls an environment of communication and improvement. Obviously, ezyCollect is the technology that enables us to drive all our processes. One of the key things that I find very valuable is the ability to segment clients. You can create tabs, delivers a very custom and specific message to clients. It’s also easy to be confident that you have the right priorities in place, because ezyCollect delivers that information to you on a daily basis, tells you who the most important people are to clients, or to call. It gives you your oldest overdue, largest overdue. Everything is working in the background and it’s very, very easy to access.

AJ Singh:

Susan, just while you’re saying that, I think calling is something which I always bring up in webinars we do, because I think it’s something that people feel like, hey, if I have an email reminder system, they get lazy by calling. I don’t know, because in my own… Before we’re running, starting easy, but I ran my own wholesale business. I know, no one wanted to call. It was one of those things or if you could just send automatic emails, people will pay. But people don’t always pay on that basis. You’ve got to have those conversations, right?

Top Tips for enhanced processes and productivity

4. Create Custom TABS for customised client communication

Susan Jersky:

Here, I was talking about the custom tabs, but really in talking about the way we speak to clients. First of all, I spend a lot of time doing that. My goal is to understand my clients. My goal is to form relationships with clients and that is probably… It’s very time-consuming, I know. But the payback and the feedback from clients is so valuable and the loyalty that results from customers is just phenomenal. We just get results by understanding our clients and being flexible and able to adapt to different businesses and their different requirements, so as well, we…

5. Consistent messages to clients

The message has to be consistent to clients all the time and that’s another wonderful thing about ezyCollect. When you’ve got the whole process in place from onboarding, then immediately upon onboarding, you can start instilling the information and the terms and conditions by which you wish to conduct business with your customers.

When customers sign up on board the ezyCollect module, part of that is that they have to read and sign our terms and conditions, so there are no surprises for customers in how we do business. They know what to expect. They know what’s going to happen if they don’t pay, and when it’s going to happen. We just keep on reinforcing that message through the regular reminders that are built into ezyCollect. That consistent messaging is critical.

6. Entire company focus on data integrity and process

Susan Jersky:

I see this (data integrity) as actually, in the background, being one of the most important things that I’ve focused on, because, hey, if you’ve got the wrong email, a client’s not going to get a reminder. If you call up and someone Adam, when their name is Anthony, they’re not going to be happy. It’s not only the AR team that needs to be focused on company information and data, it’s the whole team from sales to admin to management. This is also what I’ve managed to instil. It just means every little tweak that you do in this area enhances your communication with clients and results in better results.

AJ Singh:

Susan, how do you go about actually getting the data up-to-date? Do you have any strategies or tips for the listeners on how do you keep the data integrity up-to-date, like you said, first name and email addresses? What’s the process, or what can you share with the audience?

Susan Jersky:

Well, the one process that we do ongoing is, everyone who gets a bounced email, that goes into a folder, which then transferred to the admin department, who then goes through a process of updating those emails. That’s as far as email is concerned, that’s more of a conscious process. Obviously, opportunistically, if there’re ever first names missing or you have to call someone and you get wrong information, we do that. But we’ll constantly be looking at downloading the whole database and having a look and seeing, are there any ABNs missing? That’s something we might do every quarter, check the deeper things like ABNs. Yeah, that’s pretty much what we do.

AJ Singh:

Thank you for sharing that, Susan. Just one more thing before we move on to the next slide is, you talked about consistent messages to clients and as you mentioned, ezyCollect does emails and phone calls and letters and we said that the value of calls, but they are automated emails too, right? How do you keep emails not look like they’re a automated message? What are your tips for… When you use ezyCollect, how do you make it, so that it’s relevant, and then they think it’s coming from a real person and not a system?

Susan Jersky:

Yeah. Well, first and foremost, we spend a lot of time on those templates. I’m always conscious of the fact that I’m talking to an individual, so the language is relatively conversational, obviously, respectful. This is a tip I actually learned from Amanda Lee, in the last webinar that I attended. This is a brilliant tip as well, in that she advised to put something additionally personal, every month, into the messages. For example, I hope you’re managing with the current flood situation, so that aside from having, addressing the person by their first name, using very conversational and understanding language. That additional thing, thanks, Amanda, was just amazing.

AJ Singh:

That’s a great tip, actually, because… Yeah. I know, if I got an email that’s from a system that’s automated, but it had, like you said, hope you’re staying dry during this rainy season, it’s one of those things where, hey, hang on, is this a automatic message or is it coming from someone who actually typed up this message? You take a double-take, right? Yeah.

Cash Flow Management – Key Insights

Susan Jersky:

Again, talking about customer focus and that is 100% focus. One of the policies that I’ve put in place, very rigidly service plus one. If I make a mistake or the AR team makes a mistake, and we’ve done wrong by a customer in some way, we will always give them something service plus one, that means we will fix the problem and we will give them something additional to acknowledge that we’ve stuffed up, and that we’ve most likely wasted their time to some degree. I think it’s a very lovely thing to do and it comes back in spades. People really appreciate it. When I’m speaking with a client, I liken it to a dance. In the beginning, it’s pretty easy. You just really try and understand and mold into the client’s payment terms and how they work. And then, obviously, at times one has to have a slightly more intense exchange, but the philosophy is always a carrot, not stick approach, and then nothing… You can’t improve anything, unless you measure your success the whole time.

AJ Singh:

A carrot, not a stick? Okay. That’s really interesting. If you can just pause there for a second, Susan? I thought that sometimes you need a stick, right?

Susan Jersky:

Hmm?

AJ Singh:

I’ve heard, sometimes you would need that stick approach, but you’re saying it’s always a carrot first. Is that the philosophy that you follow?

Susan Jersky:

Yes, I find it… Maybe I can count on my hands or on my fingers, the amount of time I’ve had to, we had to dig in, in a more aggressive way. But any conflict, any situation, 99.9% of the time can be solved by good communication, good listening, and a deep understanding of what’s causing the problem for the client. There’s so many ways that one can help a client. I’ll just bring one of the ezyCollect, the new ezyCollect features into play here, and that is a payments module. When you go to pay through Simplypaid, you can choose to either pay by credit card and you can pay by direct debit, but you can also pay in payments. This is a very helpful element to clients and there’s always a solution. I’m talking about a carrot rather than a stick, that’s what I mean.

AJ Singh:

Listening to them, empathizing with them, and really feeling the pain, because I guess what you are saying, if I can just say it in a different way, people are generally good. They want to pay you, but it’s about understanding why do they delay the payment. As opposed to thinking, hey, this person is intentionally trying to screw me over, no, no, they want to pay me, how can I listen and help them, is that?

Susan Jersky:

Yeah. It’s very easy to recognize those that are intentionally trying to screw you over. Unfortunately, they do exist and when it comes to those types of businesses, then we know very well how to handle them. Ideally, we don’t actually want them as customers, because that’s… We just prefer to have an ethical approach. If you’ve tried everything and you cannot reach your client with this type of philosophy, then you’re probably most likely never going to reach them.

Top tips for better Cash Flow

7. Provide multiple payment options

Susan Jersky:

As I said before, one of the wonderful things as well about ezyCollect is the customer portal. This, to me, is critical for client satisfaction. I was talking about the multiple payment options, that’s a starting point. Also, the ability to download invoices and statements, so that’s saved us a lot of time. We used to get a stack of emails from clients saying, please send me a copy of my invoice. This doesn’t really happen anymore. First and foremost, we’ve automated the delivery of invoices upon delivery through ezyCollect and over and above that, they can self-serve by going to… Which has a beautiful interface and it’s very easy to use.

AJ Singh:

Susan, on this tip seven, multiple payment options, when we talk to some of our clients, they often say that, hey, no, we don’t want to pay, get our customers to pay by the credit card, because it’s too expensive to pay by Visa, MasterCard, and it makes them… What’s your view on that? Because as a tip for better cash flow, I hear that a lot from our clients. How do you see that and what does Better Food do in this respect?

Susan Jersky:

Well, in our company, I would say 80% of our small operators would be the ones that are paying by credit card. We don’t expect payment from our large multi-store operators and most likely we won’t be offering that to them. These are small operators who often don’t pay on time, so the percent that we’re paying for the credit, which is usually around 1%, far outweighs the collection efforts that have to go. We are talking about multiple clients, very small amounts. Our client base is divided into small customers that pay small amounts, and a lesser amount of customers that pay big amounts. We focus on the small customers. We know that that money takes longer to come in, usually. It works out brilliantly for us. The 1% that we are paying on credit card is pretty much nothing compared to the collection efforts and the late payments that we receive.

AJ Singh:

Yeah. Okay. One tip I’ll share with you, Susan, and with the rest of the people on the call today, is across our entire client base, we are seeing an increasing trend where people are paying after 5:00 PM or before 9:00 AM, so outside business hours, by credit card. I think it was, I think, roughly 18% of payments were happening not during business hours. That’s a really telling factor as well, where if you don’t, may provide a lot of options, but do it in a way they can pay when they want to pay, right? Not call unnecessarily or pick up the phone, right?

Susan Jersky:

Yes. No, that’s just, I cannot… I mean, the amount of the increased cash flow that we’ve experienced as a result of the customer portal and the payment link in the credit cards is really phenomenal and making a big difference to us.

8. Client onboarding and risk mitigation

Obviously, another thing, in relation to cash flow… Again, we are talking about risk mitigation from the word go, and this is another beautiful element in ezyCollect. The Credit Insight module that’s been brought in is, it calculates and provides the risk ratings that are associated with each ABN and each client. Everything is graphically presented, so it’s very, very easy to understand. We set up our rules for what sort of credit we can provide to customers, based upon the information that we get from Credit Insight. It also saves time on the AR side, because we know that terms are going to be provided according to the customer credit information that we receive by ezyCollect, so it’s a very… We actually have very few defaults and our defaults have decreased as a result of the robust onboarding process.

AJ Singh:

Susan, one thing I’ll add to that as well is, if you see a customer that has slightly higher risk levels, because the actual data is showing that to you, what I’d suggest is, not necessarily say no to the customer, but get them onto direct debit. Get them to sign up and say, “Look, if you actually want terms, that’s good. We’ll give you 30-day terms, but we need your credit card or your bank details and we’ll automatically debit you on the due date.” Right? That way you’re managing your risk. That’s something which we, as ezyCollect is basically trying to do more of, like automating that capture of the credit card and bank details upfront and automatically debit on the due date for different types of customers. 

Susan Jersky:

Yeah. That’s absolutely something we focus on constantly. In the onboarding process, clients also have the opportunity to link to a direct debit form and that’s also increased our payments from that method.

9. No charge CC if possible

Susan Jersky:

I mean, we also, we’ve clients that have a very high risk factor. We virtually never say no to customers, but we say, “Guys, if you want to do business with us, you have to prepay.” We’re just not prepared to take risks anymore. The information that we get from ezyCollect is so robust that it’s very, very helpful for us in making decisions. Yeah. As AJ said, we do absorb the credit card fee. We found that payments by credit cards just went up hugely when we took that step, so that’s beneficial.

10. Talk a lot with problematic clients

Susan Jersky:

I think it’s something I learned when I had my own business that I rarely… It’s damn difficult running a small business. It’s damn difficult running a big business, but it’s really necessary to understand the specific problems that people are going through. There are a lot of supply chain issues right now, many specific issues that have come to light as a result of the last two years. The more you speak with clients, the more they appreciate it and return the favour. You’re going to be prioritized for payment.

AJ Singh:

Yeah. I think that tip number 10 is probably one of your best tips. No one wants to talk to problematic customers, but I think just facing it, hearing them out, they just feel better. Also, then you also know what’s the problem and sometimes they become your best customers, right? Because you actually work with them and they want to be heard.

How these 10 tips are applied in Better Food

AJ Singh:

Yeah. Okay. All these 10 tips, I mean, so what has that meant for Better Food as a business?

Susan Jersky:

Well, our results are great. We are very proud of our results as a team. We measure constantly how we’re tracking, so we know what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong. We aim for consistency and improvement and one of the key metrics that we measure is the DSO, which is obviously the time it takes, the number of days it takes on average to convert a sale to cash and that we sit between 25 and 30 days consistently. My goal for the team is to get to 25 and below. That’s the next standard that I’m trying to achieve. Also, on accounts receivable, as a result of the combination of our approach as well as the brilliant technology that we are using, that combination method, our accounts receivable, we pretty much never have anything beyond 60 days. We just don’t let it get there and we hardly have anything beyond 30 days.

AJ Singh:

Just a question. You mentioned 25 days and below is your target. This is just more for discussion, generally. Do you think it would work to go to your entire base of customers and say, “Look, if you all provide your payment details, let’s call it credit card details or bank, however they want to pay upfront, so we can direct debit you.” What do you think is that carrot that you would give them, to get them to give you bank details? Yeah. That’s something that you can kind of… Never have to actually have that risk that it’ll be a bad debt or you have to chase.

Susan Jersky:

I mean, the first thing is, obviously, just the fact that you’re absorbing the costs, the surcharge, so that’s the key. In terms of carrot, people do respond to the hassle of having to pay their bills, especially a small entity. But another thing is, we ask our sales team to be involved. That’s a key factor. We work in conjunction with our sales team. Our sales team knows because they’re the ones that are interacting, bringing the customer on board in the first place and that’s what we sell. They understand that if they don’t pay if they’re seven days late, they’re not going to get any product anymore. Therefore, it’s in their interest to give us their credit cards. We’ve had success in that area, but again, it’s about consistently going back to them and going to the sales team as well.

AJ Singh:

Do you believe in giving discounts for fast payment?

Susan Jersky:

No. I cannot get my CFO to go anywhere near that. When you look at best practice, so that’s the one point that is often suggested and it’s the one thing that I haven’t put in place. I don’t see it happening in the near future, even though I do believe in it. I do believe that giving that extra carrot to a client is worth it, but the company… Obviously, margins are critical and it’s a much bigger project to take on and one has to do a lot of analysis to work out whether that is achievable or not.

Q&As

AJ Singh:

Susan, we’ve got a question that’s come up here, someone just asking. Do you believe in giving extra terms to capture credit card details on file? I think what the question here is, would you extend terms, let’s say, someone’s on a seven-day terms, would you give them 14 days if they agree to save their credit card details with you?

Susan Jersky:

Absolutely, at the drop of a hat. I think that’s an absolutely brilliant idea whoever brought, asked the question. Thank you. I think it’s a great idea to actively go to clients who, say for example, are on seven-day terms and say, “Hey, do you want to have 14-day terms?” I think that that is great.

AJ Singh:

We’ll save your banking details on file, then you’ve got it and debit automatically, right?

AJ Singh:

Okay. That’s good. Thank you for that question. Look, so this brings us to the end of the webinar and we can ask any questions here. But I just want to firstly say, thank you, Susan. I mean, I know how busy you are and how busy your whole team is, so to take the time out, just to prepare for this and also, to then run the webinar, I want to thank you very much. For those of you who have questions, there’s a Q&A and a chat box. Just hop in there and ask a question, or a comment, or whatever you have. There’s a question here, Susan, that’s come up as well. Just a couple of questions here. One is asking, do you have a time of the day or a day of the week that’s the best time to be calling customers or sending reminders? Do you have any thoughts on that, Susan?

Susan Jersky:

Yes. In terms of calling customers, it depends whether it’s… I look at what type of customer it is. When you’re talking about hospitality clients, it’s a hard and fast rule never to call them between 7:00 and 9:00, while they’re pumping out the coffees, and never call them between 12:00 and 2:00, when they’re making lunch. That’s the one thing. Yes. When it comes to Horeca, those are the hours. Retail, I actually find it’s very good to call customers early in the morning, because managers are usually there, completing their paperwork before the day gets started. I find that even if I call people at 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning, I can often get hold of them.

AJ Singh:

That makes sense.

Susan Jersky:

Never call on a Friday afternoon.

AJ Singh:

Because you’ll be at the beach with your whole team, right?

Susan Jersky:

Yeah, that’s it.

AJ Singh:

Someone’s made a comment as well, by the way, Susan. Someone says, “Susan, you sound like an awesome boss to work for.” There you go.

Susan Jersky:

Well, that’s a big compliment. I’ll only put one caveat in there. First, you have to get to know my idiosyncrasies before you know that.

AJ Singh:

Look, I guess, the last comment here, at least for a question from me is, when is it too late to escalate a debt to a third-party debt collection? When you have a customer that you’re chasing, at what point do you go, hey, you know what, enough carrot, I’ve done the stick. When do you have to go to a… When is the right time to escalate to a legal and debt collection, like third party?

Susan Jersky:

Obviously, there’s a time factor and there’s a normal process in place, that is automated in ezyCollect. We know that after a certain number of days, first reminder, second reminder, and then a call comes in and however way you structure your credit process. At a certain time, anyway, you’re going to be flagged that a certain customer has to go to ezyCollect, has to go to debt collection. I find that, usually, a primary indicator is lack of communication. As soon as you send two or three reminders, you’ve made a call, you cannot get hold of client, you know that you’ve got a problem. Those are the ones that you need to focus on with gusto. Sometimes, you just can’t reach people and there’s nothing further that you can do. You’ve tried understanding and talking, and there’s just going to be those people you cannot, but I would usually appeal to people’s personal ethics.

Susan Jersky:

I’ve got one guy, at the moment, who owes us $20,000 and he’s paying us $300 a week. I know, it’s not ideal and my boss keeps telling me that it’ll only be paid off in 2026, but I think it’s better than losing out on the money. Anyway, it’s an isolated incident.

AJ Singh:

No, that’s it, right? That’s it. Work with your customers. Look, I got a lot from this today, Susan. Thank you. I think from the polls which we’re sharing on screen, hopefully you can all see it, the number one was, do you want some quick tips to getting paid faster? Hopefully you all got that? I think one of my big tips was, that I got from this today was, having the difficult conversations with your customers, have those, don’t avoid that. That was my number one tip, which I’ll take away from today. Thank you for that, Susan. Hopefully, all of you got what you wanted from today. Please feel free to reach out to us, if you want any more information, or you wanted to talk to Susan, or you want more information about ezyCollect. More than happy to have that chat, but thank you all for your time. With 10 minutes to spare, I think we can give people back 10 minutes in the day. Susan, once again, thank you from everyone at ezyCollect. Everyone, have a nice morning. Bye-bye.

Susan Jersky:

Thanks very much, AJ. Thank you, everyone. Cheers.

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