Tag Archives: Collection Services

Not all Debtors are created equal!

27 Feb
After being in the ARM (accounts receivable management) industry now for many years, I can honestly say I’ve heard almost every story in the book from CEOs, CFOs, healthcare administrators, doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, billing managers to janitors as the reasoning or excuses from clients as to why their outstanding balance had not been paid.
Here are some common excuses:
  • They have been traveling.
  • They just lost their job.
  • They just moved and were not getting the invoices.
  • They came across financial hardships and needed some extra time.
  • They just had surgery and have been in the hospital so needed some time to get their things organized.
  • They weren’t satisfied with the service or product so didn’t feel the need to pay for it.
  • They were used to paying all their vendors after 60 or 90 days.
Here are some off-the-wall responses:
  • They said they were going to get their checkbook from their car and never returned.
  • They didn’t remember ever ordering that product or service.
  • They’re going through a divorce and to call the soon to be ex-spouse who is responsible for the balance, not them.
  • They were wondering if their creditor would be willing to barter instead.
It might seem odd to hear even the common excuses listed above if you aren’t in a business that extends credit or if you are in general a good paying consumer.
It may even seem like an episode from a spin off series of the Twilight Zone where customers walk into Costco, load their shopping carts full of items, walk past the cash registers, give the friendly greeters their mailing address to send them a bill and walk right out.  Luckily for Costco, it isn’t the case as they don’t extend credit (only through a 3rd party financing credit card partner).  Unfortunately for millions of other businesses around the world that essentially happens every day.
In my opinion the most vital thing to understand if you are in a business that extends credit or carries an accounts receivable is:
I explain to my clients that they’re only going to have to deal with 4 types of payers.  I laughed the other day when a client told me that 4 payers is 3 more than he’d care to deal with.  Can you blame him?
Here are the 4 Payer Types:
  1. Dutiful  (Always pays their bills on time, probably has an 800 or higher credit score.)
  2. Distracted (That busy working professional who is good for the money but hasn’t yet gotten to all 10-12 monthly bills on their kitchen table.  They simply need a reminder text, email, phone call, letter and they’ll pay up.)
  3. Disrespectful (Has disregarded and ignored at least 2 billing cycles from the same creditor and hasn’t called to explain or apologize about non-payment.  Are paying some bills more timely, but they have chosen which bills to put off that don’t seem so urgent.)
  4. Deliberate (Have expressed to their creditor verbally that they will not pay the balance owed or expressed through non verbal cues of long periods of silence, mail returns and disconnected phone lines.  These are the most high risk debtors.)
Now be honest with yourself, which category do you fall under?
I want to note that, in my experience, these 4 payers types are found in all socio-economic income levels, meaning some wealthy people fall into the category of Deliberate high risk debtors while people from low income levels can be in the category of Dutiful payers.
I won’t get to into details about the psychology of why these 4 types of payers/debtors respond, react or do nothing in this article.  What I can tell you is by simply understanding that there are 4 payer types and that not all debtors are created equal puts you FAR ahead of the game and your competition.
The BILLION DOLLAR question is how do I efficiently and professionally address each of the 4 payer types to recover my past due balances? (That is if you’re in a business that extends credit, if you don’t have to worry about this then lucky you!!)
I would love to hear your comments, create some dialogue around the 4 payer types and hear your ideas on how your business effectively maximizes your accounts receivable in-house.

Statistics That Will Shake Up Your Accounts Receivable

31 Oct

If you sell products or services on credit, then chances are that the words “accounts receivable” are enough to give you a headache.

Nevertheless, successfully managing your collections department is critical to your growth as a business. Recent numbers suggest that uncollected receivables could cost your company into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Plus, surveys show that most businesses aren’t that great at staying on top of them.

Let’s take a closer look at how much your collections are costing your business, and what you can do to fix it.

Numbers Don’t Lie

Figures from Inside Account Receivables Management clearly illustrate how receivables lose significant value over time. By the time they are 90 days overdue or more, they could be worth only 20% of their original value:

Not only is value lost on the money owed, but overburdened AR departments can cost your company in other ways. Increased workload, reduced productivity and resorting to bank debt to maintain cash flow are all symptoms of poor collections practices.

A payment practices study in 2016 proving that even though it’s costing them money, many American companies have room for improvement when managing their collections:

  • On average, companies write off 1.5% of their receivables as bad debt.
  • 93% of businesses experience late payments from customers.
  • 47% of credit sales are paid late.
  • Average payment terms are 27 days, but actual payment period averages 34 days.
  • Survey participants see maintaining cash flow levels as a key challenge that is critical to business profitability.


Clearly, your accounts receivables could be costing your business a sizeable sum. However, there are a few best practices that you can implement today that will help to tighten up your collections department and allow you to put money back into your business.

Do The Math

The first step is to calculate your average collection period. This will give you a clear idea of the number of days on average it takes for your business to see receivables turn into cash.

very informative post on The Balance outlines exactly how to perform this calculation. It requires some basic financial information about your business:

Days in Period x Average Accounts Receivable / Net Credit Sales = Average Days to Collection

Let’s break that formula down to its basic elements:

Days in Period — This can vary; it could be 365 days or 90 days; whatever works best within your business. The key is that however long this period is, all other parts of the formula must span the same number of days.

Average Accounts Receivable — Using the period of time established above, total the accounts receivable both at the beginning and at the end of the period. Then divide it by 2.

Net Credit Sales — This is the total of your gross sales minus the total of all returns during the set period.

For example, Company XYZ sees that their outstanding account receivables sit at $30,000 at the beginning of the year. By the end of the same year, they have risen to $36,000. Net credit sales came to $100,000 by the end of the year.

Using this example, the formula looks like this:

365 x 33,000 / 100,000 = 120.45

According to the math, it takes an average of 120 days for Company XYZ to see their account receivables resolved and translated into all-important cash flow.

Next Steps

Now that you have an idea of how long it takes credit customers to pay you, you can implement strategies to improve. For instance:

  • Narrow your credit requirements to cut down on credit-consumers
  • Train staff to clearly illustrate credit payment policies
  • Be prepared to enforce your credit policies
  • Incentivize early payment
  • Consider enlisting outside help to manage accounts receivable

We are dedicated to helping companies collect their accounts receivable while maintaining customer service excellence. Our years of experience can help you streamline the process of debt collection, now and for the future, while optimizing cash flow and increasing productivity in all areas of your business. Contact me today to learn more.

Source: TSI

Cash Flow For The Medical Practice

25 Feb

I was a guest on the Top Docs Radio Program on Business Radio X, talking about Cash Flow For the Medical Practice with host, CW Hall.  Here is what he wrote about the interview:


I sat down with David Wiener, aka “Mr. Cash Flow” on this week’s episode.  I connected with David first on LinkedIn a few weeks ago.  After learning more about the various ways he is able to help a medical or dental practice recapture revenue that is currently being lost, I knew I needed to have him on the show.

David spent numerous years as a practice manager for a doctor’s office, so he knows very well the challenges these practices face trying to maximize the revenue they get to keep for the care they provide.  With patient out-of-pocket obligations significantly on the rise, physicians are experiencing a corresponding increase in the number of patient balance bills they must collect upon to be paid for their services.

David provides access to a service that for only $12 per claim (instead of a typical % of the amount to be collected), that dramatically increases the success rate for bills collected to over 80% in the first 30-45 days from date of bill.

We also talked about other ways Cash Flow Strategies, Inc., is able to help their medical and dental practice clients drop more revenue to the bottom line.  One such way is to enroll their staff into a wellness program as provided for by the ACA.  Businesses that do so can save as much as $500 per employee per year on the Federal income tax they must pay for each of them.  Additionally, as employees take advantage of these wellness benefits, they tend toward better levels of health, decreasing the company’s expenditure for health benefits.

David also talked about a company he’s partnered with that can help a business change all the lights within the building to LED lights, saving enormous amounts of money on utility bills.  They offer a plan through which the business can pay for the lights over time, with the payments + new utility bills amounting to less than previous utility bills were, providing savings from the first month.

There are several other ways David is likely able to reduce amounts being spent by the business, such as procurement costs for necessary supplies through a competitive group purchasing organization and others.  It is clear that any medical or dental practice can benefit from taking a few minutes to talk with David to determine just how much additional revenue they can capture—all without having to work longer or harder.

For more information on how this might help your practice, call David at 888-780-1333 or email him at david.wiener@cashflowstrategies.us



Did You Open Your Business To Specialize in Collections?

8 May




Entrepreneurs, specialists and CEO’s who operate companies did not open their respective businesses to collect on past due accounts. Each started their business to provide a good or service to fill a need. Often, there is not sufficient time, resources or understanding of the best way to collect on past due payments. Many wonder:

  • How soon after the first invoice do you send the next?
  • When do you call?
  • What do you say?
  • How do you protect the relationship you worked so hard to build?
  • Are there laws regarding collections?

As a result of unanswered questions, lack of processes and time, many debts go unpaid and ultimately factor into business failure. Company owners can lose traction while trying to split time between managing a shortfall of cash flow and collecting on past due payments while also attempting to concentrate on operating and growing their business. This is when companies should rely on the experts at collection agencies to recover delinquent accounts.

A company who must send their clients to collections no more wants to do so than the client wants their account sent. Unfortunately this step is sometimes necessary. When a business or company provides credit for goods or services they expect to, and should, receive payment. Multiply the effect of bad debts, late payments, slow paying and non paying client across thousands of businesses across the country and it is easy to see the negative impact this could have on the total economy.

A debt collection agency can assist in recovering debts and improving account receivables so business owners and operators can focus their energy and time on growing and running the business. Collection agencies possess the systems, resources and trained personal to improve cash flow. A good agency will have researched and studied consumer behavior and know the proper steps to take when dealing with the different types of debtors many companies and business encounter today.

When selecting a collection agency, make sure they are compliant with the varied and ever changing state and federal regulations that govern this highly-regulated industry. The wrong choice in a collection agency could result in large fines as a result of negligent actions with regard to state and federal regulations.

For more help in selecting the proper agency for you business, medical or dental practice, contact me.  I’m happy to help.


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