The key to getting the best return from your debt collection agency lies with you, initially. The more information you can provide your agents, the faster they’ll be able to trace your debtor and the quicker they’ll be able to secure payment for you.

This simple checklist will help you gather the detail you need to pass on to your collection agency.  It won’t always be possible to get hold of each these items but the list should help you put good processes in place to ensure you capture the information from all other clients in the future.

  1. Customer Contact Details

    If your debt collection agency needs to carry out a trace on your debtor, they will need to be armed with as much historical data on your client as possible. You should provide details on every address you have ever used for your debtor, with every contact name, position, phone number, email address and fax address. If the company has changed names or trading status, you should provide this too. Make sure you include names of accounts personnel as well as contact names for those individuals who made the orders and set up the account with your sales team.

  2. Details of Monies Owed

    Your agency will need to know exact amounts owed to you by your debtor. You should provide copies of outstanding invoices and statements with information on when each of these documents were sent (originals and copies), by which method they were sent to the debtor (e.g. post, email or fax) and to which addresses and contacts they were sent to.  Details of your debtor’s payment history will also be helpful with information on bank accounts used, cheque signatories and previous payment schedules.

  3. Copies of Correspondence

    You should always keep copies of any correspondence you have received from your debtor with any letters, emails and faxes you have sent to them. You should also include any past correspondence between you and your client, before the debt became due, as these communications may provide vital clues to your debtor’s whereabouts and financial situation.

  4. Details of Telephone Conversations

    Ideally, you will have captured details of phone conversations between you and your debtor, with notes of contact names, numbers called, commitments made and dates/times those calls were made and received. The more information held in these notes, the better. If you don’t have a customer database, you should try to record as much detail from memory to give to your collection agency and make sure you add a more comprehensive process into your credit control procedures from now on.

  5. Your Internal Payment Procedures and Policies

    You will need to tell your debt collection agency about your own payment policies and credit terms held with your debtor. They need to know the payment terms you have agreed with your client with any terms and conditions, signed contracts and details of interest or fees that have been accrued.

Arming your debt collection agency with this information will greatly increase their chances of getting your invoices paid. Introducing these processes to your own credit control procedures will greatly reduce the amount of bad debtors you have too. To find out more about credit control best practice, visit www.pjcds.co.uk.