For many small businesses, particularly those in rapid growth or experiencing hard times, managing accounts and debtors is a chore at the bottom of a large list. It’s important, but nearly always comes second (or third, fourth, fifth…) to generating sales, following up leads, delivering the actual product or service. Without good debtor management though, a business is always going to struggle to maintain good cash flow. This is where a virtual credit controller (VCC) can step in and navigate these sometimes rough waters for you.
Virtual Credit Control 101
A Virtual Credit Controller may work for a few hours a month or several hours a week, depending on the amount of work required.
Primary responsibilities include:
- Ensuring the agreed debtor management process is followed every week / month
- Following-up customers via email, phone and SMS
- Resending invoices and statements
- Assisting in the resolution of disputes and queries
- Building rapport with customers, obtaining expected payment dates or negotiating payment arrangements if required
- Improving and refining the credit control system
- Providing updates, reports and recommendations to the business and key stakeholders regarding the status of Accounts Receivable
- Being a buffer between the business owner and late payers
Additional tasks can include:
- Processing payments & setting up direct debit authorities
- Recommending next steps for difficult accounts
- Initiating debt collection action
Who is a Virtual Credit Controller good for?
Similar to a Virtual Assistant, a Virtual Credit Controller is perfect for businesses where:
- you can’t justify hiring a full time, or even part-time person to manage debtors
- there are dozens of other things to do with your time
- it’s a struggle to consistently stay on top of debtors
- you find debtor management stressful or angry
They’re virtual, will they actually do a good job?
Over the past couple of years the global pandemic has really changed the way we work, and the pace of this change. Gone are the days where face to face had to be in person. Contactless, zoom, virtual – this is the space that many businesses and customers now play in the majority of time.
Whether your credit controller is virtual or sitting at the desk next to you, they are part of your team. As such they’ll get to know your business, any intricacies, and most importantly, your customers and their accounts. Your customers won’t know they’re virtual. Any calls or contact they make on your behalf will be as a representative of your company. They’ll introduce themselves as if they are an employee of your business. Your customers won’t know that a third party is making the call, maintaining that close customer relationship for you.
The bottom line is that a virtual credit controller is dedicated to doing credit control. They are fully trained in debtor management. They’re experts. They know all the tricks and tactics customers might use to delay payment and they know how to counter these in a way which is personable and maintains the customer relationship.
How do I find a Virtual Credit Controller?
Have a chat with your business network, you’ll probably be surprised to find at least one or two people who already employ a VCC or bookkeeper doing credit control and could make a recommendation. Alternatively, take a look at your accounting software and the apps available. Tools like CreditorWatch Collect are simple to set-up and use. They not only automate your accounts receivable, but can also act as a virtual credit controller for your business through their team of AR specialists.