Ever wondered if Credit Control might be the right career path for you? GAAPweb have created this post to guide you through the role and responsibilities of a Credit Controller. Keep reading to learn more about what a Credit Controller does, and whether you have the skills to pursue a career in Credit Control.
Overview: What is the role of a Credit Controller?
Credit controllers are responsible for collecting unpaid money from individuals or corporations who have failed to process payments on time. They are also responsible for ensuring that accounts are kept fully up to date and accurate.
Credit Controllers fulfil a challenging yet crucial role within any business – they work towards maximising sales and profit whilst minimising the risk of non-payment.
There are two types of credit:
- Commercial = business related
- Consumer = credit attributed to individuals
Credit Controllers typically work in a company’s finance or credit department, or at a 'third party' collection agency. As part of a department, they will chase late payments from suppliers and customers on behalf of the company.
Credit control roles vary depending on the business and industry sector. However, the responsibilities and skills required remain the same.
What are the typical duties and responsibilities of a Credit Controller?
- Manage cash flow
- Maximise revenue, mitigate credit risk and minimise bad debt
- Check customer’s credit and approve or deny applications based on company standards and requirements
- Build strong relationships with customers to create a rapport based on trust and mutual respect
- Ensure customers pay on time
- Resolve account queries both internally and externally
- Set up the terms and conditions of a credit loan, negotiating repayment plans
- Set up and maintain customer files, keeping accurate records of loans
- Initiate legal action if debts have not been paid within the agreed time
- Analyse the effectiveness of the credit control system and suggest improvements / implement strategies to increase profitability and reduce bad debts
Credit Controller Qualifications and Experience
- There is no minimum qualification to become a credit controller, however a good academic background is key for most employers.
- Strong GCSEs with particular confidence in English & Maths is important in credit control. If you have enrolled in Higher Education, then a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, Mathematics, Business or the related field would be beneficial.
- Previous experience of working within an accounts function advantageous
- Previous experience of credit control, customer service, accounts and bookkeeping
- Whatever your experience level, CICM Qualifications can be taken to enhance your Credit Control potential. Browse the list of qualifications here: https://qualifications.cicm.com/
What skills and traits do you need to be a Credit Controller?
- Excellent communication skills which translates into excellent customer service
- Able to exercise good business judgement; listen to customer needs and negotiate solutions
- Excellent customer service; able to explain financial matters clearly to clients and other employees
- Strong critical thinking and decision-making skills
- Strong analytical skills, able to reconcile complex accounts
- Strong organisational skills, able to work to strict deadlines and prioritise a demanding workload
- Able to keep calm in high pressure situations
- Excellent eye for detail
- Competence in all elements of Microsoft Office, Excel and accounting software programmes
As previously noted, Credit Controller roles may vary. However, the same principles of effectively managing credit and dealing with clients remains constant. Credit Control is an area of accountancy and finance which is often overlooked, but it can be both challenging and rewarding. If you have a focused, analytical mind, strong interpersonal skills and are particularly good with numbers, then becoming a Credit Controller could be the next step in your career. Browse and apply for a range of Credit Controller jobs across UK on GAAPweb.