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It is Rewarding to Collect a Debt

By Judy Smith |

Every business has to deal with its accounts receivable - that is, the money customers owe. No matter the size of the business, procedures for the collection of this revenue must be established. Moreover, to ensure that a consistent approach to collection is followed, this information must be conveyed to staff members who handle accounts receivable.

For any business, a number of outstanding accounts can be devastating. Yet, collections are often avoided as one of the more unpleasant tasks to be performed in the office. In part this is due to the widely held stereotypical view of collection personnel. Ask virtually anyone to describe their impression of a debt collector and you will probably be presented with the image of a rather unsavory person.

This feeling is derived from many sources. In literature and film we frequently observe the villain as the person who demands money from some hapless soul or ejects him or her from their home for nonpayment of rent. Indeed, Robin Hood is a hero because he stole from the rich to give to the poor. As a result, the act of asking for money makes us feel like cruel people who are acting badly.

Even though you recognize that the collection of accounts receivable is very important to the financial health of your business, it is understandable that you may feel unsettled asking customers or clients for the payment of their accounts. Nobody really likes to ask someone for the money that they owe, particularly if the person who owes it is suffering hard times or other personal difficulties. It is extremely unpleasant for both parties.

However, once you are able to accept that asking for money will not transform you into an ogre wielding a baseball bat, then it will be less painful and more rewarding to perform this task. Remember, you are collecting a legitimate account and that you are entitled to be paid for goods delivered or services performed.

Moreover, the collection of past due accounts is generally perceived as a "Joe job" and is not recognized for its importance to the well-being of a business. However, every business will function more effectively when its accounts receivable are paid. Therefore, it is evident that collection personnel play a major role in the achievement of financial success.

The collection goal extends beyond simply getting your money from the customer. Ideally it involves building a positive relationship with your patient with the result that you are able to collect your account and retain the customer. Work with your customers to develop mutually agreeable solutions and both parties will be rewarded.

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