A robust and rigid credit control policy in place is essential to successful recoveries. Start by setting it out in bullet point formation a single sheet of paper.

Failings in this area are generally more commonplace in smaller companies where the focus on the owner is on the day to day running of the business. Having a credit risk strategy and chasing monies is all too often replaced by a “we chase money only when we need it in” or “when I have time to chase” attitude. Sometimes a business is reluctant to chase a customer, concerned it may jeopardise their good relationship.

At the other end of the spectrum there is specialist software or debt collection agencies with their online automated credit control system and process; helping to instil good payment habits in customers and thereby significantly reducing the amount of time needed to chase.

It’s worth remembering that credit is not a right of your customer- it is very much a privilege that you have offered them. To abuse it beyond terms puts them in the wrong, not you. If a customer wishes to avoid being unhappy at the tone of a chase letter or phone call received for an overdue account they should pay on time.

Once again my thanks to Ken Brown of Account Assyst for this Blog

I never stop learning which is why, no matter what networking event I attend I always manage to learn something. Whether it is talking to another business or listening to a guest speaker there is always some little tip or another which I like to either use myself or to pass on. For example for marketing people they use the acronym TLA which apparently stands for a Three Letter an Acronym for an Acronym; who knew! However, I was listening to a presentation last night by a guy called Owen Conti who is the managing director of Code 56, a Derby based IT company and he used an Acronym called EEE

I have to admit it;I hated networking! I used to be sent along to events by my firm and had absolutely no idea how to go about it. Put me in front of an audience of 250 people with a lectern and a laptop with a PowerPoint presentation and I wouldn't bat an eyelid! Ask me to go into a room full of strangers and join in a conversation....not a clue! Once I started my own consultancy and realised that you get no clients sitting in a room at home in front of a computer and hope somebody finds you, I decided to grit my teeth and jump in the deep end. And you know what? I actually enjoy it!

If you are a charity trustee, please be aware of the new rules which come into force from 1st August regarding disqualification of trustees and senior managers of charities. Introduced by the Charities Act 2016,the new rules disqualify people from being charity trustees or senior managers if they have committed  offences such as being put on the sex offenders register or  have unspent convictions for crimes such as terrorism or money laundering.

So what does an ex-accountant know about choosing a new advisor? Well as the one often being asked to tender for my work over the years, quite a bit as it happens! Also one advantage of being a long-term advisor yourself, you are the trusted professional that clients come to for advice as to other professionals. At this point you are thinking that the old boy network comes into play; you scratch my back I will scratch yours; the old school tie; the masonic handshake; the friend at the golf club. You could not be further from the truth!

Of course if you recommend another professional to your client you hope you might get something back but there is a bottom line.  The person you recommend has got to be up to the job. Not only is it a disaster for the client if the recommendation is not up to scratch but who do you think is going to get the blame for your recommendation and it is the fastest way to lose a client that I know!