Offering a credit control service to clients can be an exciting new phase in your accountancy practice. We run through the top things you need to consider, and how to get started.
Sounds obvious, but central to a new offering becoming a success is having a solid rationale for doing it. Perhaps it’s the thought of adding another revenue generating stream to your firm, or maybe you have clients who could benefit from a credit control advisory service.
Either way, sit down and think about why you want to offer this and how it could benefit both you and clients. Here are some reasons to get you started:
Once you’re convinced by why you’re doing it, the second step is to put in place a solid structure for delivery - or building blocks, as we like to call them.
Satago works with accountants and bookkeepers who provide credit control services to clients and has done for many years. Below are some highlights of our framework, as set out in full in our downloadable guide. It gives a preview of what the process might look like - although everyone’s will be different.
You may want to consider Satago as a solution for your credit advisory service. There’s a lot of benefits to the platform - if we do say so ourselves - including all clients’ debtor data in a single view, personalisable email templates, sending schedules to reflect your clients’ customer relationships and downloadable credit reports.
Integrating a new service into your practice will mean creating a new process for yourself or your staff to follow and training them up on the solution you choose. You’ll also want to think about a pricing model.
It’s also worth spending time getting to know clients’ internal processes. This is because there are many elements of the credit control process, and each can impact how long it takes for an invoice to be paid - so it’ll enable you to understand what’s happening and why.
Some elements to become familiar with include:
And if they don’t currently have a credit control process, clients will need to establish this along with a credit risk policy and customer information policy and reporting process. These are all things you can help to shape - thereby adding more value for your clients.
Satago has a host of tried and tested techniques outlined in this downloadable guide, but here are a few ideas we’ve picked out.
Firstly, carry out some background work in identifying common client problems across your portfolio. Then identify a handful of clients to try the service out with before rolling it out fully. Email these clients with a brief invitation to a call, outlining the issue you’ve identified and how you’d like to help them (example available in the guide).
For the clients that do book calls in with you, use the SPIN technique on the call to outline the Situation, Problem, Implication and Need. Chat with them about what your credit control services could really mean to them in real terms - whether that’s less time chasing debtors, more cash to invest in marketing or something completely bespoke to that client.
This article is a very light touch, whistlestop tour in offering a credit control service. But it does act as a rough starting point for you to start thinking about the important elements - from how you’re going to offer it to clients to pricing and more. Read our downloadable guide before you go any further as it’s packed with much more in depth detail.