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Understanding the different jobs in a credit control department

There are lots of different jobs in a credit control team. Some are phone based, some are purely data entry and others involve a degree of accounting knowledge.

Cash Collection

Today cash collection goes beyond making calls to overdue clients. A lot of businesses chase their clients through the traditional methods of phone calls and dunning letters and then, if the client’s debt reaches an unacceptable age, they are put onto hold, so no further orders can be sent. This works to encourage companies to pay if they are buying products from you but it can’t be used in service industries like engineering consultancies or plant hire companies. These companies have to take cash collection a stage further.

Legal

Having sent the customer dunning letters that contain warnings of the repercussions of their failure to pay, a credit department is within its rights to escalate the debt to their solicitors. This can often be the responsibility of one member of the team. This role doesn’t ask for any legal training as it’s an administrative function. The job is to liaise with the company’s solicitors and be a conduit between the team and them.

Administration

There are various administration functions that the credit control team have to carry out. Some involve recording the cash collected and reporting the results to the business. Other functions include data entry, like allocating cash and inputting journals. Assessing a client’s credit worthiness and opening new accounts is another important administrative function.

Management

These different functions attract a disparate group of people so management is an important function. This role requires a little bit of each credit controller’s skills. The leader has to be a good communicator, like the phone based staff, who has enough accounting knowledge to be able to review the figures. The manager also has to be aware of the legal implications of the department’s actions and be able to accurately assess a company’s credit worthiness.

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