Monday, May 25, 2009

Collecting Accounts Receivable

Establishing a system of collecting accounts receivable so that your receivable strategy is consistent and timely is critical to successful collections. It is incumbent upon the CFO to provide the direction to implement the Accounts Receivable Collection strategy. Here is an example of a strategy that if applied consistently and timely will lead to successful Accounts Receivable Collections:

Assume an invoice with terms of net 30 days

  • Between the 35th and 40th day contact the customer. If the customer is a customer you know pays within 30 to 40 days based on a history that you have with that customer then do not contact until the 40th to 50th day.

  • If customer does not return your call or you were not satisfied with the customer’s answer then send a 10 day Demand Letter, requiring payment within 10 days or account will be put in collection.

  • If not paid by the 11th to 15th day then put the account in collection.

  • I always use a collection agency that has a legal staff so that if the account is not collected using traditional collection methods legal action can be taken right away. Once again the key to the process is consistency and timeliness.

    Accounts Receivable collection strategy is one of many important CFO Services.

    Saturday, May 16, 2009

    Break Even Point

    I don’t hear much about Break Even Points. Does anyone use them anymore? I know business owners want to hear about them and since I am a CFO For Hire and work for multiple business owners it is important that I listen to the business owner. During challenging economic times business owners want to know where their New break even point is. What I mean by New break even point is now that they have downsized and adjusted their expenses for this new economy it is time for us CFOs to recalculate the break even points and communicate them to the business owner. After this calculation the business owner will then know what monthly or weekly sales levels will need to be attained. It is also a good idea to provide “what if” break even point scenarios especially for different owner salaries and other moving target expenses. By the way, for the small business owner I usually calculate break even point from a cash flow standpoint versus a pure income statement standpoint.

    It is an important CFO Service to provide break even analysis. Many times the CFO forgets about calculating break even points because they get tied down with other aspects of forecasting.