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Rediscovering collection time

Timing is everything when it comes to credit control, says Hilton-Baird Collections (  So whether it is sending invoices punctually, making courtesy calls at the opportune moment or knowing when to take firm action, timing plays a crucial role in a credit controller’s ability to do a good job. Yet, increasingly, the luxury of time is being taken away from us as a result of the sheer number of customers who don’t pay within terms.

Two separate studies have found that around three in every five invoices are paid late – with many of those still outstanding two weeks beyond due date. If ever there was a stat to demonstrate just how challenging the life of a credit controller has become, this is it.

While much analysis of the impact this has on a business rightly goes on the cash flow implications, the knock-on effect this can have on the rest of a company’s ledger is often forgotten. Yet it can have just as devastating an impact on a business if not managed carefully.

However, the time between an order being placed and the invoice falling due is arguably the most important phase of the credit control process. Without close attention and carefully timed calls, it becomes easier for other customers to delay payment, creating a snowball effect that drains resource and exacerbates any cash flow problems being caused by late payment.

Many of Hilton-Baird Collections’ clients found themselves in this exact position before they contacted Hilton-Baird, with more and more of their time being consumed by chasing overdue invoices.  They recognised that commercial debt collection agencies do much more than use their expertise to recover debts that are proving difficult to recover – they give businesses back the time to re-prioritise their resource by drawing a line under things and making sure other invoices don’t follow the same path.  See case study at

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