Working the aging report is the most crucial and time-consuming task collections specialist working in house have.
An aging report is usually available with a click from any software used to invoice the clients. Usually, the ERP or the main accounting solution for business use. For smaller businesses, there are invoice-only solutions that can provide such report.
For best result, before combing through the report you must determine what is your goal, this will affect what are you searching for.
Common scenarios include:
Maximum cashflow boost – end of month or end of the year are the time to make a big push for the best cash flow result, so you want to get as many payments as you can by the deadline. Because your time is limited, you must focus on largest invoices with the best payment by the deadline changes. It is a game of expected values. Example: invoice A is $10,000 with 50% change is preferable to invoice B which is $13,000 with 10% ($5,000 > $1,300).
Clear old balances – you will have to sort invoices by days past due and work with ones that have oldest balances. This is a common exercise that helps to determine which invoices are collectible and which ones are a write off (you basically give up on collecting them).
Resolve risky balances – this is the trickiest one because it relies heavily on you knowing the clients VS hard data. If you aren’t familiar with them a good starting point for that type of search would be taking clients with largest balances, old balances or multiple unpaid invoices, these have the highest risk of default and will affect your business the most by not paying.
After gathering a list of accounts or invoices you want to follow up on, gather all the relevant information (contract, purchase order, payment history etc.) before reaching out to the client.
Make sure that you have the right contact and their contact information.
The fun part begins now – reach out to your clients via E-mail. SMS, letter, phone or any other media to inquire about payment date for your invoices.
If you are dealing with more than a dozen of invoices, best practice would be to use receivables tracking solution that is used to track invoices and debtor and reach out automatically regarding any unpaid invoice, saving hundreds of working hours a year and increasing results do ut’s superiority to the human collector.