Managing Your Debtors – Some Friendly Small Business Advice

Not every business transactions are cash and carry, so properly managing your debtors is an important skill for any business owner. Debtors, clients and customers who else owe you money, become accounts receivable in terms of your books. Keeping track of who owes what and when is actually due can play a big part in financial statements, income reports, plus profit and loss projections. While revenues have yet to be realized, the sales have, and should become recorded appropriately. However , debtors are not just accounts in your books, these are your customers too. It takes attention to details and good business acumen to balance both sides – the client and the account.

The first rule to get managing your debtors is to set policies you can live with in terms of income. Do not offer net 90 terms if you cannot afford to wait 90 days for the customer’s payment.
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Granted, you must also think about market practices in your area, as these might dictate what customers expect as far as payment terms. However , your business goes to you, it is up to you to make sure you place policies and terms that allow your business to operate efficiently and profitably.

As for extending credit and managing accounts receivable, most customers will pay their particular debts. Many will pay their debts on time or early. Unfortunately, a few will drag their feet with regard to reasons of either neglect or even their own cash flow difficulties. It is attractive when your favorite customer complains of economic woes to offer an extension, however this is not the best way to manage your debtors. While allowing a good customer a little leeway during tough times can be advantageous and promote good will with clients, going too far with payment extensions damages your ability to stay afloat.

As a rule, do not offer extensions on payment terms. This will allow you the positive cash flow you will need so that each time a good customer does need a little understanding, you will be in a position to be flexible without having hurting yourself. Managing your debtors takes a warm, friendly approach to customer support, but a firm, sensible approach to accounts receivable. In short, set payment conditions that work for your cash flow needs, become firm in your expectations of payment, but do not be so inflexible that you create ill will with clients. Balance these three tips, and your accounts receivable records, as well as your financial statements and customer loyalty will remain healthy plus profitable.


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