Money Collection: Get Action In Just 24 Hours

Professional Collection Services is a money collection agency, with offices across the country – we’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings in a St. Lucia office. Now, we have offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth. More importantly, we’ve amassed a wealth of experience throughout our two-plus decades of operation and helped thousands of companies of all sizes to save time recovering seemingly lost funds.

With time, we have improved our money collection process to make sure that our clients have the greatest chance of recovering their income.

Get Action On Unpaid Money In 24 Hours With Our Money Collection Services

Yes, it’s possible! Further, companies like ProfColl aim to avoid angry clients putting your reputation at risk by collecting your money with care. We are well aware that your relationships with clients are crucial and you need to uphold them. We can customise or adapt our approaches by acting as an extension of our clients’ accounts processes.

What Do Debt Collectors Do?

Companies hire debt collection agencies like us when debtors owe them money. Collections agencies usually operate for a percentage of the total amount collected. If the agency’s efforts are unsuccessful, you may not need to pay them! That is the case with ProfColl, at least. However, with over 23 years of experience and a reputation for being Brisbane’s #1 debt collection agency, we’re confident we can help you.

How to Collect Money Owed to Me? Tips From Specialists

It’s OK to try and pursue a debtor yourself. However, given how overloaded business owners often are and how important it is to retain good relationships with clients, an external resource can always be helpful.

If you’d like to keep trying, here are some tips from our specialists.

Get the Details

As you speak with your customer about the outstanding debt, try to note all the details of your talk. Enter all data in your company’s tracking software. With time, continue to add any additional information to your file to keep it as updated as possible.

Know Everything

Make sure you are as aware of your delinquent customer’s circumstances as possible. Make copies of all contracts, invoices, and any other information that will help you speak with them personally and knowledgeably.

Don’t Make Assumptions

Before initiating collection procedures, always check if the debt has been paid. Don’t risk putting your customer off and risk doing business in the future. Choose your words wisely, and listen to what the customer says patiently. Document data accurately and carefully.

Stay Calm

Your tone can impact the outcome of your conversation. Your customer is more likely to respond adequately if you start the conversation on a friendly note. Confirm the debtor’s identity and ask if you or a money collection company could do anything to help. If you don’t try to understand the debtor’s side of the story, he might get defensive. However, don’t fall for sob stories either. Our ultimate objective is to collect the debt – and in full – as soon as possible.

Money Owed To Me: What Are My Options?

Your customer appreciates options just like you. Try to work out a repayment schedule to both your satisfaction. Never lose track of the objective – to get them to repay the debt as quickly as possible.

Keep Talking

Even if the person can’t make good on his debt right away, keep talking. You never know – their circumstances might change. If you work together, you have a better chance of figuring out a way for them to start making payment soon. When money has been owed for a long time, collecting it may be harder.

“How to collect money owed to me” is something lots of people ask themselves. Your ultimate goal should be agreeing on a payment plan. Once this has happened, recap the terms. In other words, summarize the payment plan, including any dates and methods. E-mail or post the terms so your customer will have a written copy. Ask them to call or e-mail you after making payment.

Things often work out when you’re using the right approach. However, there is no guarantee they will. However, sometimes you may need professional services like ours despite your best efforts to reach an agreement with the debtor.

Money Collection – How Do We Proceed?

If you’re not comfortable chasing down debts on your own, or have perhaps been unsuccessful, look for a company that has techniques that could improve your collection prospects. You may find the choice of providers of these services overwhelming – when you type in any phrase containing “money owed to me”, Google pulls up one website after another.

Choosing the right agency for your business

Always pick a reputable agency with simple, clearly outlined procedures. Professional Collections Services has a user-friendly interface. It takes just minutes to submit your debt collection request on our website. We will get to work within an hour of getting the details of your case and, often, can take action within 24 hours of receiving the debt. We have a vast database and the skills needed to find the people who owe you money.

Before reaching an agreement, we’ll always run through payment plans with you so that you always have the last word!

Affordable Debt Collection Services

We don’t charge any joining fees or lock our clients into contracts. If our collection efforts fail, you won’t pay anything. Our company operates on a purely commission-based principle. We work with all types of businesses and intervene only when asked.

ProfColl also conducts free feasibility studies and provides advice on the extent, to which your debt is commercially viable. We do not initiate procedures if we believe their positive outcome is unlikely.

Money Owed to Me: Track Progress At Any Time

We’re open and transparent with our clients, ensuring that they’re kept up-to-date with the collections process at all times. We can support multiple the submission of multiple debts. To get started with your debt submission, head over here.

One Point of Contact

We think having multiple points of contact is impractical. Therefore, we assign a dedicated account manager that you can turn to for all relevant collection services and enquiries. Your account manager will work with you to create a reporting system depending on the number of debtors and the amounts you are owed.

Customization is on a case-by-case basis taking all relevant circumstances into account.

Going the legal route

ProfColl works in close cooperation with the Australian Collectors & Debt Buyers Association and the Institute of Mercantile Agents Limited as well as specialised debt recovery lawyers. We involve the latter in complex cases where the debtor refuses to make payment. Legal action can be a necessary step. We work with debt recovery lawyers who specialise in debt recovery, insolvency and commercial litigation.

Represented, in front of the best

ProfColl clients are represented before the Australian federal and state courts, enquiry commissions, and specialist tribunals in cases of a regulatory investigation. Our lawyers can advise on the most optimal course of action to get your money back quickly and economically thanks to their vast arbitration experience.

The ProfColl legal team has technical expertise spanning decades and they ensure optimal commercial outcomes for our clients.

Put Your Trust in a Reliable Company

Our approach to collecting debts is multi-faceted and calculated. Prior to the commencement of legal action, our specially trained team will assess the viability of your case. We’ll advise you against proceeding if your chances of pursuing debt through the legal system are limited. If, on the other hand, your efforts need to be augmented by legal action, our professional account managers will explain the procedure, provide a quote and contact lawyers to make sure you have all of the information and support you need.

How to Collect Money Owed to Me: Investigation as a Factor

Professional Collections Services’ investigators will make efforts to find and confirm the location of your debtors so that collection processes can be initiated. Our vast database and state-of-the-art technologies will certainly help achieve a successful outcome.

Databases and Technologies

The collection process can begin once a location is confirmed, breathing new life into a formerly uncollectable account. Account managers will provide details of the findings to you in your preferred method. On the off chance that the debtor cannot be conclusively located, and a site cannot be determined as a result, your account manager will be prepared with next steps.

We cannot offer you a guarantee, but our vast tools, experience, and paid databases will ensure the best possible outcome of your case. We’ve been known to track down even very hard-to-reach debtors. The investigators who work with our agency are experts at tracking these down to serve demand letters, repossess assets, and negotiate payments.

Our dedicated team will do everything possible to facilitate your collection efforts.

Additional Services

A credit check can be an invaluable tool to assess or prevent the need for having to collect money from clients down the line by picking up on issues other companies may have had. This is a comprehensive report outlining details of a registered company or business, including its credit rating. To issue a credit check without providing our services, we charge a flat rate of $55 per credit report.

Credit Checks: What you’ll get

Credit checks can prevent bad debt, offer a context for legal action, and put an end to further lending costs. Our company credit reports include entity status, adverse action, office holder details, and of course credit score.

Entity status includes entity age, type of ABN, and whether it is a registered business. Our adverse action report will show if this entity has any payment defaults on its credit file. Credit scores range from low to critical.

The credit check process transpires in three quick steps. In the brief form on our site, you enter the data of companies or businesses that you want us to investigate. You’ll receive a contract with confirmation of the credit check. Within an hour of signing the contract and making payment, we’ll get the full credit report back to you.

If you apply outside business hours, you’ll get it the next business day.

Other Asset Checks

We also offer searches of the Personal Property and Securities Register (PPSR), which lists ownership and financial details about a number of assets, such as vehicles. This search can help identify any outstanding debt connected to these assets.

Get Past Debt Collection Myths – Call Us Now

A lot of individuals and companies in Australia are struggling with unpaid debt. Yet, they shy away from services like ours because they think they are expensive. Every agency charges fees at its discretion, but agencies get most of their earnings from commissions on collected debt. If we don’t collect your debt, you don’t pay us. Our commission is only a small part of the money owed to you. However, if our clients’ terms include a penalty clause to charge legal or recovery fees, we will try to recover our commission fees as well as the outstanding debt.

When your client finally pays, you’ll have almost the full amount. If you take into account that hiring a debt collection agency could mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful debt recovery, you will see that you can’t afford not to get in touch with one.

Our terms are fully transparent and our enquiry submission process is the simplest possible. Don’t struggle with unwilling payers driving your profit down – Contact us now to find out if we can help.

Accounts Collections: 3 Tips To Get The Maximum Back In Minimum Time

accounts collections

You are a professional who is able to prepare accounts collections letters and mail them. Unfortunately, that’s just one of many steps in the debt collection process. You need to track down the person or company who owes you the papers and make sure the letter is actually delivered.

You’d be amazed at how much easier this will get with our 3 simple accounts collections tips!

Best Collection Methods And Procedures: Start With The Amount Owed

Generally, you can afford to invest more time and effort in collecting larger sums than you can smaller ones. Any accounts collections procedure should begin with the amount owed. That said, don’t be in a hurry to write small balances off because they can add up, but don’t be too persistent in your efforts either. The outcome of either approach can lead to unprofitability, the latter through escalating recovery costs, and the former – through direct loss.

Data of the Credit Research Foundation show the value of the receivable falls dramatically as a function of time. The longer the money has been owed, the less likely you are to get it back.

Another issue to consider is the pattern of payment. Has your client made any real effort to repay their debt? How long have they been a client? (If you have a new client, always make your accounts collections policy clear from the get-go.)

If they’re not new, take previous dealings with them into account. Have they lived up to their commitments in the past? Has their account ever been closed?

Principles of Collection: Accounts Receivable Collection Techniques

There are four pillars of accounts collections, so to speak. Apart from the actual collection, there is systematic follow-up, discussion, and preservation of goodwill.

The debtor is obligated to make payment within the terms of your agreement, and your job is to ascertain this obligation is fulfilled. Your client may be having financial troubles at the moment, but this won’t last forever. It is important to preserve goodwill in one’s accounts collections efforts. This requires knowledge of the industry and the customer, but mostly, it requires tact. One of the advantages of hiring an accounts receivable collection agency is that they can develop and utilize these techniques in the best possible way.

Accounts Receivable: Best Practices

How are accounts collections best carried out – in person, by phone, or by mail? Before you start making accounts receivable collection calls (undeniably among the least costly approaches), make sure you have enough information to complete the call. This includes invoice details, purchase order and/or contract numbers, credit memo detail, related correspondence, unapplied checks, previously disputed open items, and any shipping or billing instruction copies. This data may also need to be provided to a collection agency should you decide to contract one.

Also, take the time to review and update your credit file for recent data on your client’s paying habits with your company. Review their financial status and operations. This may help you find out why they are not paying, enable you to ask more pointed questions, and customize your payment request to ensure a better outcome.

Specialists tend to agree that face-to-face collection is the best method because you obtain the most information this way. Telephoning can be very effective as well. It’s fast and gives the collector the chance to really listen to what their client has to say. Still, watch out for excuses, i.e. the product was defective or returned, the system isn’t working, or the accountant is on holiday.

Keep a neutral tone and don’t express strong emotions even if the client gets abusive. Stay calm and businesslike, and resume the conversation when the client calms down. They will eventually – most clients are reasonable people who will respond to rational arguments, such as that paying off collection accounts will improve their credit score.

Consider the Accounts Receivable Collection Period

When we say “accounts receivable collection period”, we are referring to both the statute of debt limitations and the average collection period of accounts receivable. To put the former in layman’s terms: How long before a debt is written off in Australia? Simple contract debt has a 6-year limit in all AU states (QLD, etc.) with the exception of NT (3 years). The statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a claim in court. Note the court’s judgment can affect the statute of limitations – if the court rules in your favour, it is 12 years throughout AU with the exception of VIC and SA (15 years).

Accounts receivable debt collection periods can have a gigantic impact on your organization’s cash flow. These periods are measured in so-called average debtor days. The average accounts collections period is calculated by dividing the average accounts receivable balance by total net credit sales over this term and then multiplying that by the number of days in the period.

This involves how many days have passed between when the credit sale was carried out and when the amount was repaid. The period is best evaluated over time – for example, a collection period of 20 days would be acceptable if invoices were issued with a one-month due date. However, excessive repayment periods will put your organization at financial risk. A 2017 survey by Digital Finance Analytics of 52,000 small and medium AU businesses found that over half had an average collection period of just under two months. What’s worse, this is increasing year on year and having a series of adverse effects on companies’ working capital.

accounts collections agency

Hire an Accounts Receivable Collection Agency

It can be tricky to get a debtor to fulfil their repayment obligation, particularly if they’ve skipped town without leaving a forwarding address. In your desperation, you might consider writing off the debt. Don’t let it cross your mind! You’ll find an agency will alleviate the accounts receivable collection process greatly.

How? Collection agencies employ professionals who use a variety of effective tactics like skip tracing (tracing people who skip town). In the days of the Google Almighty, finding someone has never been easier. Public and private records are available to these agencies. Of course, public records are available to everyone – for a fee. You will have to deduct such fees from the debt owed, while an agency will make you a lump-sum offer that could include fees to check records.

Below is some information you may find useful in your efforts to track your debtor down. Keep in mind that this process is very time-consuming and involves managing a lot of details apart from paying fees.

Public Records

Land and property sales are public record, as are marriages, births and deaths. Knowing someone has recently had a child or got married can help a company locate a debtor that has gone AWOL. You can find information about all this in newspapers, through government offices, or online. You could also search public bankruptcy records in the accounts collections process.

Business Information

You can try looking up current or former business owners using an Australian Business Number (ABN) or their company name or number. Anyone can do a quick search with the ABN Lookup Tool. Listings with executive summaries, directors’ profiles, staff lists, key staff members, staffing changes, new member announcements, and industry awards can be a rich source of accounts collections information.

Vehicle Data

Information from each state agency enters the database of the National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System (NEVDIS). Those trying to track down a debtor can do a quick search on the latter’s chassis number or VIN.

Online collections search

Online Search

If you have a photo of your missing client, try uploading it and Google will give you a list of sites where it’s been used. You could also search for someone on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Flickr. Don’t limit your search to Google – Bing, Dogpile, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo can be helpful too. Many online apps perform search functions as well.

Your debtor may have moved to another country – in this case, choose search engines commonly used in the country where you believe they could have gone. Popular search engines in China include Baidu, Easou, 360 Search, WeChat, and Sogou. In India, people use Khoj, Epic Search, and Rediff.

Collection Agencies – Why Us?

The process of accounts collections is very protracted and cumbersome. Ideally, you are a patient, methodical person who is good at managing details. The internet does provide a wealth of data and a lot of it is free, but you need to give yourself quite a bit of time to this end. An individual or organization that’s in a hurry to recover missing debt doesn’t always have this time. People find themselves crumbling under the pressure, especially if the accounts receivable collection period has become excessive and outstanding debt is threatening their company’s very survival.

A collection agency will deliver much quicker results.

Customised Collections Solutions

Our customised accounts collections solutions can help organizations reconnect with existing clients faster. We can also help you prioritize your approach by being better equipped to predict which clients are most likely to pay. We have access to court records to help you evaluate the history and financial status of new clients. Our well-sized, current, and comprehensive credit data bureau offers excellent prospects and insights.

Locating debtors: A problem no more!

Whether you want to locate a debtor, recover on bad debt, or decide which debt to sell early in order to maximise your revenue, just give us a call. Our accounts receivable collection agency can be your primary debt recovery tool, revealing your debtor’s history with other loan providers. This will make it possible for you to segment your clients, make accounts collections a priority, use your resources optimally, and, most importantly – find your debtor and ensure your letter is received!

We can also provide an expertly summarised file to segment clients and a detailed report on each one to help you establish which debt can be collected. With us, you will have peace of mind knowing the most up-to-date and useful data is at your fingertips, allowing you to make smart debt management decisions.

We are able to make a variety of facts about your debtor known, such as change of name, address and job details, whether the person was a director at a company in the past or is now, data on loan defaults, past mortgage and recent credit enquiries, and more. Our search service, designed specifically for the debt collection industry, is fast, user-friendly, and accurate. It can help your business save precious time and money by locating missing debtors. With a large number of data categories and information sources, it also helps identify economic growth opportunities with a more detailed picture of your clients and target markets.

Advanced Reference Tools

Our advanced people, record and business search tools and cross-referencing capabilities help us verify the most current insights from one of AU’s biggest and most reliable data centres. We’ll help you avoid wasted accounts receivable collection calls and letters by only searching accurate and current data.
One question many debtors often ask is how to remove collection accounts from credit reports. Did you know they can’t do this without your permission even if they repay their debt? We can provide you with many details around this aspect. Our specialists know the applicable laws governing the area of accounts collections. We’ll help you improve your understanding of client risk profiles and create better management strategies with credit scores.

Single Interface Search

Using your client’s last known name, address, or phone number, we can find proprietary legacy data and data from commercial sources, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and historic address records. We also use bankruptcy judgments, survey data, Australian Business Research (ABR) public data, marketing data, and Google Maps.

Finally, property and land sale and rental data can indicate movement within an address to find the broker, who can prove to be an excellent source of information.

As you can see, we have a wealth of data and records at our disposal. Contact us now to learn more.

How to use Pinterest for small business

how to use pinterest for small business

Keeping up with the latest developments in marketing for your small business means staying up-to-date on the world of social media. Aside from the challenge of simply staying informed about new platforms and changes to existing platforms, figuring out how to maneuver within the sometimes overwhelming sea of actual socializing to make your company’s presence felt – and not ignored or resented – presents a serious challenge to small business owners and marketing professionals.

Not to add to that challenge (but we’re about to), the time has come for all small businesses to take a look at the new kid on the social media block, Pinterest. Realizing that you could be using Pinterest to engage with your online audience is a far different thing from knowing how. And even knowing how is sometimes a far cry from knowing how to best engage with them. So to start sorting all that out, and to build a plan for your small business to start “pinning”, here are some tips to follow:

Think visually

Across all social media avenues, posts with strong images attached to them get on average three times as much user engagement as those with no images. This is especially true on Pinterest, being almost entirely focused on image content. The more immediately captivating your pin is, the more likely it is to be repinned. No matter what your content, find a stunning image to accompany it. Or better yet, translate your data into charts and infographics. Infographics are insanely popular. Not only will it appeal to your audience based on the content, but it will reach a whole new audience just for its sleek design.

Pin book covers

If you, or someone in your company, has a book or e-book, pin that cover! Pinterest is primarily a visual medium, but people do dig deeper into posts. So if you want people to download your book, or read a specific excerpt, post that cover. Ideally, the cover of the book that you post will be in line with your brand, so that it gives people a better insight into your business. People who are interested enough in the topic will follow up on the suggestion.

Have a guest pinner board

Getting your followers involved in your boards (collections of pins) is a great idea for small businesses. It increases your user engagement, makes your followers feel more personally invested in your brand, and gives you automatic feedback and insight into the interests and opinions of your audience. Similarly, creating a board specifically to share stories and feedback from customers is a great idea to represent how deeply your small business wants to connect and service its clients. Showcasing this board prominently on your website will also allow you to more effectively demonstrate your ability to satisfy customers, which will encourage future prospects to engage with your business.

Introduce yourself

As is true on all social media, your small business will have a stronger brand if it’s built on the actual people running the social media outlets. Introduce yourselves! Pin a photo of an employee’s face, attached to a profile or fun interview with them. Post one per week, and collect them all on a board that serves as a truly personal, vibrant company profile. It’s the Pinterest version of an “About Us” page, and is much easier for customers to connect with than a simple wall of text.

Pin videos

By now you’ve probably grasped the idea that Pinterest is a hyper-visual environment, and extends beyond just 2D images. Pinterest also allows you to pin videos, and this is a feature that you should certainly take advantage of. You can post videos either produced in-house or from relevant industry sources. This can either be content that directly communicates something from your business to your customers or something you think would interest them. Remember: social media for small business is almost entirely about becoming a hub for information that’s of interest to your clients and customers, not just about selling your particular business. Online users want to see brands that are about their needs and wants, instead of just about your business agenda. And if you can find and/or create content that achieves both goals, then you’ve hit the jackpot!

Promote deals with graphics

Translating any deals, sales, or special offers into smart-looking graphic coupons is a powerful way to boost their circulation. The days of simply putting a sign in your shop window to let people know that you’re having a sale are long gone. Nowadays, many people will either shop online or at the very least decide where they’re going to spend their money based on online searches. If you want to capitalise on the online market, you’ll need to notify people of your sales. Using graphics to promote sales and deals online can further develop your company’s brand in a way that doesn’t just offer great deals, but looks chic while doing so.

So, these are just a few of the ways that you can make Pinterest work for you and your small business. It’s quite a unique social media platform in comparison to more generally applicable mediums like Facebook, so you’ll have to see if it works for you. There are no doubt some businesses that will find more success using Pinterest than others, but it’s worth a shot regardless. The potential reward is huge, as there are a lot of committed users on Pinterest that almost solely consult the platform for everything from deals to meal ideas. So get going, and make your boards Pinteresting!

Small business debt is growing

small business debt growing

Small business debt in Australia

Current surveys show that small businesses are owed over $10 billion; of this amount, bad debts account for over 60% of this outstanding amount. Surveys conducted by the Commonwealth bank of businesses with turnovers up to $2 million shows the average debt owed to each business is around $20,000 and rising. Of all the Businesses surveyed, 60% agreed that late payments are “standard practice” and the other 40% are holding on to payments to preserve their own cash flow. Queensland Businesses are shown to be doing marginally worse with a total of 66% of all debts owed falling into the overdue category.

What does this actually mean?

This research reflects a recent report from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), which shows that 62% of business accounts were settled an average of 53 days or later in December. While this shows an Improvement from the post-global financial crisis high of around 56 days, it still underlines an increase in accounts being paid outside of standard payment terms. The figures of small business debt clearly point out a direct need for prompt action to recover outstanding monies owed as well as an increased need to grow cash flow and secure funds.

What you can do to collect bad debt?

Before enlisting the help of an expert debt collection, like Profcoll, there are tips you can take to resolve the bad debt. If you have bad debt have you can try these tips to handle customers with outstanding accounts:

  • Avoid harassing people with outstanding accounts: As a business owner, you probably don’t need to reminded not to harass customers, but when it comes to collecting debt, it’s a good legal practice as well. If your actions are ruled harassment then you could be facing a legal challenge. If you decide to call your debtors, make sure it no more than once a day.
  • Keep calls short: When you call customers, make sure you keep calls short. Stick to one central message, short and formal. Avoid attacking your customer, or making threats. Remain calm during the conversation and avoid become defensive.
  • Write letters: In addition to calling them, you can also write a demand letter to your customer who owes you money. You should also save copies of the letters because if you do decide to enlist the help of a debt collection agency, they could be useful.
  • Hire a debt collection agency: That’s us! Profcoll is an expert debt collection agency that can help recover your bad debt. You wouldn’t do your own wiring, so don’t leave your debt collection DIY, instead enlist the help of the experts. When you’ve exhausted over avenues, like contracting them yourself, then it’s time to turn to debt collection. We know exactly how to legally recover your debt, and you can get back to what you do best.

Why Profcoll for small business debt?

Profcoll is an expert debt collection agency that is ready to help recover your debt. Bad debt is code for cash that should be in your business! So, don’t leave it hanging, pursue your bad debt with the help of Profcoll. Trust over 20 years experience in the industry and expert account managers that will handle every step of your case. Whether you live in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney or Perth, you can enlist the help of Profcoll to recover these pesky debts. Get your cash back in the back in your business where it belongs.

To discuss ways we can help you do this please call our Sales Manager Aaron Bey on 0417 030 761 to book an appointment now. If you want to stay in touch with Profcoll, follow us on Facebook and stay tuned ot our blog for the latest tips and tricks on debt collection and small business debt.

How do debt collectors recover debts that you can’t?

how do debt collectors collect debt

We take a closer look at the professional debt collection process.

Getting paid for your products and services are the cornerstone of any business plan. There are few things are more frustrating than having your cashflow disrupted by clients not paying their invoices. As you probably know, cash flow is key to any business and can be the difference between success or failure.

There comes a time when you’ve followed up on the overdue payment to no avail. No matter how many times you have requested rightful payment for goods or services provided, you have made no advances in getting the invoice paid. It may be time to accept that your late-paying client has become a non-paying client, or worse still, a runaway debtor.

If you have exhausted every possible step of your in-house debt collection procedure, you might be wondering if it’s time to turn to the professionals. Here, we look at the steps, techniques and legal rights that debt collectors use to make sure your unpaid invoices get paid.

4 key characteristics of professional debt recovery:

1. Fine-tuned debt collection processes

Professional debt collectors have a streamlined, step-by-step process for recovering debt. Their efficient process, combined with years of specialist experience, means that a great debt collector often gets faster results with more chance of a successful resolution.

From issuing a reminder letter for payment to following up with calls and SMS reminders, conducting searches and investigations, offering payment plan management and, if necessary, pursuing legal action. Professional debt collectors have a streamlined selection of debt collection tools and techniques at their disposal beyond the average businessperson’s repertoire.

2. Tools for tracing runaway debtors

If your non-paying clients have become runaway debtors, you may be wondering how debt collectors find them in Australia (or even overseas if necessary).

Effective debt collectors use a variety of professional tracing services, databases and paid search engines to conduct location searches and in-depth investigations to track down persons of interest (runaway debtors beware!). These services are also available in Australia, where there are much stricter privacy laws and less tracing in comparison to some other countries.

3. Ability to leverage the law

Collection agents have an in-depth understanding of the ins and outs of the debt collection code of conduct and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s debt collection guidelines.

Additionally, any respectable collection agency has expertise in debt collection rules and legalities. They’ll know your rights as a creditor, the rights of your client and how to avoid costly legal action by knowing the most effective channels.

Typically, a professional debt collector will step-in between the expiry of your letter of demand and the first step of legal action. They may be able to reduce the cost of legal action or avoid matters being taken to court altogether. This is particularly the case for debt collectors who enjoy strong working relationships with debt recovery lawyers.

They are also familiar with undertaking legal action and can help throughout the process, with field agents assisting with out of office tasks such as serving a court order. Once legal action is underway, the recovery process may typically involve sending a statement of claim to the debtor, then hopefully being awarded a court judgment, and finally enforcing the judgement (If payment still isn’t received) through further action, with the majority of costs being added to the debt.

4. Debt collection professionals focus on logic rather than emotion

Debt collection agencies take emotion out of the debt collection process. They make sure it is entirely factually based. They don’t have a history or ongoing client/supplier relationship with the debtor complicating the recovery process – instead they simply act as an independent extension of the accounts department.

As an impersonal third party, a good collection agent will maintain an amicable, professional manner with your debtors, peers and suppliers throughout the process. What’s more, in the event of a dispute, debt collectors can act as a mediator between you and the debtor, whilst being on your side and acting in your interests.

Collection agents are also less likely to accept unproven excuses for non-payment, thanks to specialist resources and processes for determining and confirming genuine financial hardship.

Sometimes, all it takes is the involvement of a third party to signal to the debtor that you are serious about recovering that payment. In some cases, simply having the matter escalated to a debt collector is enough to finally see the overdue payment settled. Having professional support behind you is a great way to encourage debtors to pay. They can see that you are serious and willing to take it further.

Next steps

Debt collectors are able to fast track collection, saving you time and resources whilst offering additional tools and expertise. From drafting letters of demand for overdue payments through to making calculated follow-up calls, chasing up debt is a drain on resources and time that could be better spent elsewhere – like bringing in new clients and helping the business grow.

Plus, at Professional Collection Services we have no signup fees and only charge commission for debt that is recovered, so your bad debt doesn’t cost more than it needs to. If you’re in need of any debt collection advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so one of our specialists can give you a hand.

A simple debt recovery process for small business

debt collection process

For small businesses, cash flow is very important. So it’s important to stay on top of chasing outstanding payments from customers (or recovering debt). Having unrecovered hanging over business can crash it. However, collecting debt is a very delicate process. They are many legal minefields to work through to protect you and the customer. So, if you feel overwhelmed it’s important to enlist the help of a debt collection agency like us! Otherwise, your company should devise a debt recovery process, and we’d love to help! So, if you’re small business doesn’t have a debt recovery process yet, read on!

If you’re struggling to collect payment, this process will help you stay on top of your ‘slow payers’. And of course, you can always call in the big guns (us!) to help you sort out pesky debt.

Debt recovery process

You may like to use the following procedure or parts of it to help develop your own. Apart of your debt recovery process is knowing when to call a debt collector, like us! If debt becomes too stubborn, then it’s time to call a debt collection agency. It’s important to know when to call in the experts to help get that money back in your business.

1. Friendly reminder

Once the payment is overdue phone or email the customer. Remind them that payment is due and has not been received. Ask them when they will be paying you and keep a record of the conversation or email. Remember to be nice, they may have forgotten or paid into the wrong bank account. It’s important not to attack the customer, just inquire politely about the unpaid income. You’ll want to avoid the customer becoming defensive.

2. Overdue reminder

If they do not respond to the phone call or email, try contacting someone else in the business. Let them know who you are trying to contact. This often results in a return response from either the person you were trying to contact or someone else from the business. Throughout the debt collection process, it’s important to remain polite to your customer. Whether you intend of having them as a client again, or not, to avoid further legal battle, stick to alternative means of communication, not aggressive.

3. Final notice

When the customer has not paid as per the terms and conditions agreed upon, give them a final phone call or email to let them know that you have not received payment. Again, it’s still important to remain polite during this process. Don’t let your anger and frustrated dictate the conversation. To avoid a legal challenge with your customer, remember to adhere to debt collection guidelines. If you feel overwhelmed by unrecovered debt, enlist the help of a debt collection agency (that’s us!).

4. Direct contact

If there still isn’t a response consider visiting the customer in person (or phoning them if the previous contact has been via email) to ask for payment. This sometimes helps create a personal relationship with the customer that could useful future payments. When contacting people regarding debt, it can be tricky and sensitive. That’s why it’s important to remain calm and professional. If you think you’re too close to the situation, then it’s best to call in the experts. If you need some debt taken care of, enquire today by filling out our form.

5. Formal letter of demand

In the event that all attempts to contact them have failed, consider sending a letter of demand. This should be only done as a last resort, as it can damage your relationship with the customer.

Formal letters of demand are just one of the many services we provide.

If you still haven’t been paid, then you should consider using a debt collecting agency to collect the outstanding money from your customer. It is useful to check a list of fair debt collection practices, developed by Consumer Affairs so you know the boundaries of debt collection.

# Helpful Tip:

Train your staff

It’s important staff are aware of payment terms for their customers. Often sales staff are rewarded for the number of sales they make and so they may ‘bend the rules’ to book another sale. One way to avoid this is to reward your sales staff once the money has been collected not when the sale is made. You should have financial policies and procedures manual which every staff member goes through as part of their induction.

We hope this has helped you with your cash flow needs. If you have any further questions you can contact us on 1300 799 067. We have expert debt collection managers to handle each step of your case. Don’t be overwhelmed by uncollected debt, instead, call in the professionals!

Why ProfColl?

When it comes debt collection sometimes you need the help of the experts. That’s us! You can trust 23 years in experience, and a commitment to expert and professional debt collection. ProfColl understands that when it comes to debt, things can get tricky. That’s why we employ a professional manner and expert strategy to help recover your debt, so you can get back to what you do best. At ProfColl, we think that we shouldn’t get paid unless you do. That’s why if we fail to recover your debt, we won’t charge you for our service.

Make sure your business is in safe hands with ProfColl. DIY works for homewares, however, for debt collection it’s best to turn to the professionals to avoid unnecessary legal matters or fees. At ProfColl, we adhere to all the correct protocol and uphold a professional manner when working to collect your debt. So, if you’re looking for some help with pesky debt, fill out our enquiry form and tell us about your situation. From there, we’ll assign your case an experienced manager that get to work recovering your debt and returning your money back where it belongs.

5 steps to great cashflow forecasting

cash flow forecasting

A well-prepared cashflow forecast is an early warning system that lets you spot signs of cash trouble months or even years in advance system. More importantly, it provides the time and space for businesses to take action to avoid a cash crunch.

The bad news is that cashflow forecasting, like most of life, follows the GIGO principle (garbage-in-garbage-out). You can’t just grab a notepad and pencil or fire up Excel and expect to throw together a robust cashflow forecast in a few minutes. It does take some effort, but the effort is worthwhile if it means you can enjoy Christmas lunch without worrying about where your next meal is coming from.

What is cashflow forecasting?

Cashflow forecasting is vital to any small business that’s just getting off the ground. Developing cashflow forecasting at the beginning of your business helps to guide you through your money intake. For those who are first-time small business owners, then it’s vital to help understand just how much you expect the business to make in the first month or even year. Start by laying out how much you expect to earn in sales, then how to it cost to run the business day-by-day, and how much you can expect to receive from outside sources (such as bank loans, or investors). Cashflow forecasting isn’t projecting profit, rather it’s highlighting when and where you receive income and where you spend it.

So what does it take?

Thankfully, there are software tools like Castaway Forecasting available that make it easy to prepare your cashflow forecast the right way. They will look after the calculations, freeing you up to focus on getting the assumptions right.

The goal when building a cashflow forecast is for the model to reflect reality as closely as possible. The more realistic the model, the more reliable the outcomes, so the more confidence you can have in making the right decisions. To help you get there, I’ve boiled down the 5 principles of building a great cashflow forecast:

1. 3-way is the only way

If you want to be sure your cashflow numbers are properly calculated, the only way to go is a 3-way forecast. This is a special type of model that combines forecasts for all 3 basic financial reports for a business – the Profit & Loss, the Balance Sheet and the Cashflow Statement. Banks love 3-way forecasts, because they know the cashflow numbers have ‘accounting integrity’. They also provide a great sanity check to make sure you haven’t missed anything in your forecast workings.

Although it may sound complicated at first, the idea is that you forecast the Profit & Loss Statement (revenues, expenses, taxes and dividends) and the Balance Sheet (assets, liabilities and equity), and then the cashflow numbers will ‘fall out’ of movements in the 2 reports. The great thing is that if the Profit & Loss numbers are realistic and the movements in the Balance Sheet seem sensible, then the cashflow forecast by definition will also make sense.

2. Set specific cashflow attributes for every line

In the real world, the cashflow pattern for, say, your Electricity Expenses line will be different to the cashflow pattern for Staff Wages, or Rent, or Stock Purchases. Electricity Expenses might be paid quarterly, Staff Wages might have, say 70% of the cost being paid in the current month with 30% being held back to be sent to the Tax Office next month. Rent might be paid one month in advance and Stock Purchases might involve a 30% deposit up front, with the other 70% paid 30 days after the goods are received.

A good forecast will reflect these differences by using a separate set of Cashflow Attributes for every line. This means a little more time in setting up the forecast, but the increase in accuracy is well worth it.

3. Build a dynamic model using operations drivers

When putting a forecast together, you will often face a choice between entering static numbers or building the numbers up from the underlying operations drivers.

Consider these two alternative approaches. If you decided to enter static numbers, (the first approach), you might enter $1,000 for revenue, $600 for Cost of Goods Sold and $1,200 for Closing Inventory. If you instead worked from drivers (the second approach), you might enter sales as 50 units being sold at $20 each. Cost of Goods Sold would be set as 60% of sales and you would hold 60 days of Closing Inventory.

Both methods will show the same results on the Profit & Loss and the Balance Sheet, so you might think the simplicity of the first method is more attractive. However, when it comes time to update the forecast, you will find the second approach far more useful. Let’s say business has been good and you want to increase your sales forecast by 10%. In the first approach, you would need to work out the new sales, COGS and inventory figures and then enter them into the forecast manually. In the second, more dynamic approach, you only need to change the sales units (up to 55), the forecast will then automatically update the sales revenue, COGS and Closing Inventory numbers for you.

4. If it’s not up to date, it’s out of date

In business, the only constant is that things change. Customers come and go. Prices and margins change. The business environment changes. As the world changes around your business, it is important that your cashflow forecast changes to match it. We encourage our clients to review the forecast often (at least monthly) and update it where necessary so that it always reflects the ‘best view of the future’. An out of date forecast is at best misleading and at worst dangerous as a basis for making business decisions.

5. Play with different scenarios

As economic times become more uncertain, our approach to forecasting needs to become more sophisticated. Once you have a robust cashflow forecast in place, don’t stop there. Create several copies of the model and test the cashflow impact of different scenarios – it could be general sales growth or decline, gaining or losing specific customers, taking on new product lines, buying new assets, or whatever is on your mind.

Getting started

When you’re getting started with your small business, cashflow forecasting is vital, however, it’s also important to have a debt solution. Luckily, Prof Coll are the experts in all things debt collection, so if you ever need a helping hand collecting your funds, enquire today!

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5 steps for preventing bad debts

5 steps prevent bad debt

We know how painful debt can be. And we also know how hard it is to recover. We are professional debt collectors for a reason. We understand debt and how it hurts. So, we’d like to pass on some wisdom for preventing bad debt from building up and taking over your finances, like an ugly weed.

Bad debt can be crippling for an individual or a small business. So, it’s best to prevent bad debt before it starts to grow.

As a small business, bad debt can be a financially painful and even disastrous experience, especially if cash flow is tight. When it comes to bad debts, prevention is always better than the cure, particularly when it comes to the impact on customer relations. As a small business owner, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent late and unpaid client invoices from happening in the first place.

Check their credentials:

For larger transactions, conducting a credit check on a potential customer can give you some idea of their ability to pay on time. We can provide varying levels of credit and financial reports for businesses you are considering taking on as a client or customer. It may also be a good idea to speak with industry contacts such as other suppliers or business owners. In some cases, you may be able find out about customers who have a frequent habit of making late or non-payments.

Upfront payments:

For large sales or long-term projects, it may be advisable to ask for partial upfront payments before delivering the product or service, according to Small Business NSW. For example, a business may ask for a 25 per cent upfront payment before beginning a project, with the remainder to be paid on completion.

In the event the client fails to pay in full, your business will still have recouped some of the losses. Alternatively, it may be possible to ask for staggered payments, with customers invoiced for each stage of a work project. This can be especially useful for freelancers and contractors who may need a regular source of income while working on the project.

Agree on payment terms:

Where possible, ensure you have an agreement in writing regarding payment policy. This not only provides clarification to your customers but can also assist in the event of legal action. Invoices need to be professional and detailed, listing each specific charge and how it relates to the products or services your business provides. It is also extremely important to detail payment terms and payment options on invoices – otherwise, your customers may decide to pay by their own terms!

Offering incentives to pay on time can also be effective, such as discounts for early repayments. Alternatively, attaching late penalty fees or interest can motivate customers to pay on time or reap you financial compensation for late payments, but it may also damage the relationship with your clients.

Communication:

In many cases, customers who fail to pay on time may have simply forgotten the matter. If you don’t hear back from a customer shortly after sending an invoice, follow the matter up. Send regular, but polite reminders by mail or email. Remember, it’s your income you’re searching for, so you can follow-up multiple times. If the customer fails to respond, try calling. However, avoid any form of harassment or even publicly “naming and shaming” late payers – this is not only unprofessional, but it can also expose you to legal action.

Record keeping:

With so many other duties to tend to, small business owners can often fall behind on collecting payments. Ensure you have an efficient, up-to-date database of customers and outstanding payments. Accounting products such as MYOB usually include invoice records software, or you can use a generic spreadsheet product. That’s where Prof Coll can help. We the debt collection experts that you can trust to collect your cash. There are no joining fees; if we fail to recover your debt, then you won’t be charged a cent.

Of course, if all else fails, you can take the next step outsourcing your debt to an experienced debt collection agency. This allows you to receive more cash sooner, focus on core functions and reduce your operating costs, if you get to this point you can call us here at PCS on 1300 799 067.

Why Prof Coll?

Sometimes bad debt happens and you may need some experts on the scene to help collect it. If you need some bad debt collected, we can help! We are an expert debt collection agency that can deliver results, professionally. We want to get your cash back to where it belongs. So, inquire about your debt today and we’ll get to work learning about your business and returning your money back where it belongs. At Prof Coll, you only get paid if we do. We assign dedicated managers that will individually assess your situation and to produce the quickest outcome.

We aim to provide affordable debt collection for small businesses and individuals who have found need some help with bad debt. Invest in 23 years experience when you need some help recovering bad debt.

The real cost of bad debt

real cost of bad debt

Most business owners know the sinking feeling they get when a debtor either refuses to pay or goes insolvent and cannot pay. There are few options left for a business owner whose debtors go insolvent. While this is a frustrating situation, it can also be a dangerous situation for the health of your business.

Bad debt can affect virtually every part of your business. Plus, when it is allowed to go on for too long or you find yourself with too many debtors who cannot pay, it can even endanger your business. The lack of cash flow can make it impossible to run your business on a daily basis, not to mention the added stress and possible closure of your business.

Limited Cash Flow:

Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. Without cash flow, there is no business. Unfortunately, a large part of your cash flow is tied up with people who owe you money. While there are some things that you can do to make sure they pay you what they owe you on time, it is ultimately in their hands whether you get paid or not. That can be a very scary thing for a business owner. This is literally putting the future of your business in someone else’s hands – someone who has no interest in whether or not you stay in business.

Added Stress:

Another real-life cost of bad debt is the added stress both on the business and on you, the business owner. Stress can slowly pull the rug out from under a business. Whether it is financial stress on the company or physical stress on you, stress is difficult to overcome. Having debtors who cannot pay you is a definite source of stress. That stress may ultimately cost you quality of life, time away from your family and even make your business suffer under the weight of emotional stress. This stress can also take away from the time that should be spent concentrating on good credit control and preventative strategies to avoid bad debt in the future.

Facing Insolvency:

Finally, bad debt can even put you in a position of facing insolvency yourself. This is the true final costs of having bad debt. If you do not plan for all possibilities, having insolvent debtors can adversely affect your business to the point that you must close the doors. No business owner wants to face the day when he has to think about giving up his business dreams and hard work. That is especially difficult when it is a result of bad debt that could not be paid by debtors. Unfortunately, this is a reality for many business owners who do not plan for the worst.

Bad debt is one of the worst nightmares of any business owner. It is also a nightmare that can be avoided with some simple business practices and by having commercial risk insurance. The cost of bad debt is not worth the minor cost of protecting yourself against it. No one wishes for the day to come when they have to close the doors on one’s dream, relinquishing all the hard work they put in to get there in the first place.

Luckily, there is a simple way to avoid the detrimental domino effect of bad debt. So, if you’re facing bad debt and aren’t too sure on what to do, give us a call at PCS and we will do everything we can to get your business back on track.

Or find out how to get a credit check