How many times have you and your agency wondered aloud, “our agency is not a bank and these clients need to pay on time!” Well, you’re not alone when it comes to managing client receivables, agency cash flow and timely client collections. “Timely collections of agency receivables is a sensitive topic to many agency executives,” says Ellen Coulter, president of Advantage Software. “At times there is a delicate balancing act of mutual respect in the partnership between agency and client to manage their receivables to keep the agency operating and profitable.”
We Are An Agency, Not a Bank!
Best business practices tell us that monitoring receivables and cash collection on a regular basis helps keep an open line of communications between the agency and the client. “We have an incredible Executive Dashboard inside our Advantage AQUA agency software that clearly assists agency executives with managing client receivables and cash flow,” said Coulter. “Having this dashboard available 24/7 is critical in managing the agency’s flow of client receivables and subsequent operating capital and we take pride in our executive dashboard function.”
Handling Past Due Invoices – Easy As It Goes!
The executive dashboard inside Advantage AQUA is the most accurate and up-to-date tool that agency account executives and managers use to communicate invoice and account information to the clients. “Our dashboard gives agency executives immediate access to their client’s past due invoices, including due dates, invoice copies and collection notes,” says Coulter. “This dashboard holds the key to empowering agency executives to easily manage a client’s account and, at times, can serve as the impetus for halting further agency work until invoices are paid.”
Step 1: Don’t send a nasty email or make a demanding phone call! First, review all of the account details from the executive dashboard. Make sure the dates and amounts are correct and that the recipient has indeed received the invoice.
Step 2: Make sure that the client actually received the invoice. Was it caught in their spam? Did the post office eat it? Do you use return receipts from email?
Step 3: Send a clearly worded and friendly email to the client. Tell them in the email that you are following up on an invoice that has not yet been paid. Include a copy of the invoice as a friendly prompt. Ask if there is any further information that the client would need to process the payment.
Step 4: Document your steps inside the executive dashboard for all to read.
Step 5: Include a “call to action” in the email, for example, “We look forward to receiving your payment this week. Thank you for your continued business!”
Step 6: Communication is key. Leave your emotions out of the email and phone calls! And remember to keep all of your notes inside the executive dashboard.
“One of our very important features inside the executive dashboard is the ability to proactively monitor ‘expected’ payments, to identify potential problems, and to make better informed decisions by using the A/R Cash Forecast feature,” added Coulter. “The A/R Cash Forecast object in Advantage AQUA is a projection of payments all based on each client’s payment history.”
Learn more about how the Executive Dashboard and related tools provide instant and visual insight into your business in real time to solve real problems! For more information contact Tina Hussion at firstname.lastname@example.org.