The Credit Control challenge

There are so many different types of Credit Controllers (CC) out there: some who I would describe as having the ‘complete package’, and others who are only at the tip of the iceberg.

The latter category might only have to deal with incoming and outgoing calls rather than having contact with their Customer Services and Sales departments. They might not have to deal with reports, allocations and general day-to-day requirements.

This might not be due to the fault of the individual Credit Controller, but more to do with the structure of the company whose directive does not allow the CC to become as involved as they would like to. Organisations might also have separate functions in place to deal with any issues that this type of CC would not cover.

If you are this sort of CC, you might not reach the required experience level to put on that all-important CV. You could be left at a disadvantage, depending on what the recruiter or employer is looking for.

The more hands-on you are with your accounts, the more knowledge you will attain. You will discover how efficient the client is at settling their invoices on time, whether they keep rigidly within the set credit terms, if they settle slightly outside of term or whether the chase is on early to let them know that you are there and what you expect of them.

If there is a query you are aware of and are dealing with, you do not have to wait for allocations to take place. The responsibility would fall to the individual CC, giving you instant knowledge of who has settled, how much and to which account.

The world of Credit Control can be highly stressful; anyone who has dipped their toe into CC or chosen this career will hopefully agree with me when I say that many, if not most people do not have an appreciation for just how hard this profession can be.

I fully acknowledge that a strong Sales team is prerequisite to any organisation, but it should also be acknowledged that CC has a huge role to play within every company (let’s not forget that cash is king).    The other day, a client commented to that Credit Controllers are unsung heroes. This is perhaps overly overdramatic, but at the same time we as a team have to deal with a subject that everyone would much rather avoid: yes, the sordid topic of coin.

We have to be persistent in our endeavours, attain settlement and ensure cash is continually being received by the company, and we have no choice but to make this happen. The many phone calls, emails, queries, reminders, statements, polite clients and not-so-polite clients, all lead us to one optimum goal: cash collection.

So the next time any Credit Controllers out there are not having the best of days, they should think of themselves as the unsung heroes of their company (superhero outfit is optional).

Caroline Simon has had a varied career as a Credit Controller and Manager and has worked for Barclays Bank, Western Union, and various organisations within the Fashion Industry. She is currently the Legal Credit Control Manager for Trinity Mirror Digital Recruitment.

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