An effective credit research management policy protects a company from customer defaults and late payments. While ensuring that employees and customers comply with the firm’s credit policy, credit research management helps grant credit, set payment protocols, and recover payments on time. According to credit research analysis, several bankruptcies among MSMEs occur due to customers defaulting on their invoices. Consequently, customers’ late payments affect the company’s creditworthiness. That is why credit research management is essential to run a business successfully.
An effective management system uses a proactive and constant process to identify risks, evaluate loss potential, and strategically guard against the risks of lending credit. Wondering how credit research management can be performed effectively? Here are some crucial steps.
Defining the Existing Process
The first step is to analyze the company’s existing credit research management practices and services. Identify who is in charge of managing credit research: an individual, a team, or executives who don’t have time to make decisions accurately. Analyze the rules regarding late payment processes and payment terms. For instance, if the company pays suppliers before the payments come in, it might need to adjust its payment terms and billing cycle. Diversifying the customer portfolio is another step that helps maintain a healthy mix so that the company’s business does not rely on a few big customers.
Establishing Client Creditworthiness
Taking proactive steps is crucial to efficient credit research management, which involves understanding the client’s financial situation. Companies are always eager to welcome new clients, but ensuring they do not become a liability is crucial to credit research analysis. Create a credit risk mitigation program to identify their risk of payment defaults before onboarding them. Even conduct periodic reviews for existing customers to avoid default despite healthy relationships.
Support Management with Relevant Documentation
Keep these tips in mind while entering into an agreement with the customers:
- The agreement should include payment and delivery conditions clearly and explain all applicable and acceptable provisions.
- Ask an expert to review the agreement before entering into it.
- Clarify the clients’ payment policies, idiosyncrasies and procedures to identify bill recipients and request acknowledgement receipts.
- Send bills earlier and address them to the right contact name and address for prompt treatment.
- Including the customers’ contact details, order references, prices in appropriate currency, payment period, and payment details maximizes the chances of timely payment.
These simple credit research management tips significantly reduce the probability of no or late payments.
Monitor the Client’s Payment Habits
Despite these measures, there is no guarantee that customers will clear their payments on time. That is where credit research management proves indispensable again. Monitoring the client’s payment habits help avoid any unpleasant surprises. Review their payment frequency and align them with the perceived risks that each customer presents. In the case of missed payments, maintain good relations by calling them personally and following up with firm but polite reminders. However, if the bill remains unpaid despite reminders, turn to professional debt collectors.
For further help, look for professional credit research analysis services. Although credit research management has plentiful benefits, they help create a well-defined strategy to cover all risks and safeguard against bad debts.