Tony's Tip No. 18: Make the accounts people your friend

Tony’s Tip No. 18: Make the accounts people your friend

In most companies, the accounts people are those who deal with invoices for payment.

The problem is that our payment is not the most important thing in their lives, even though it is in yours.  The poor accounts department gets hassled by everyone.  They get hassled for many different reasons, which makes life for the accounts ladies even more stressful: the boss wants the latest figures; the sales reps need the accounts to chase customers for payment, as they don’t think it is their job; then there are the customers, who can just as easily turn shirty when they’re chased.

The list is endless is it any wonder that she feels like this:

Acct Clerk

So you need to break this cycle to help yourself and your business.

The easiest way to do this is to make a friend of the accounts department, so they enjoy talking to you and don’t dread your call, which will mean reasonable conversations rather than slanging matches.

In our businesses we try hard to make friends with them and in fact at Christmas we send them chocolates. Think about it, at Christmas while the managers and sale guys are having fun the poor old account department is forgotten. Be friendly to them and you will benefit, your contact will help you by processing and getting your invoice signed quickly. Once you have built that relationship with your contact in accounts, your debt-chasing becomes much easier, and if you then follow the simple rules of credit management, your debtor days will start to come down.

We practice this and a while back we lost a big customer, I worked hard to get them back and after two years we got another order.  We sent over the invoice, and following our rules 7 days later rang to check whether they had got the invoice.  We were amazed by the result, they told us they knew we would call and were waiting, that they were already dealing with it and we would be paid on the due date.  All because we had been friendly and sent them presents at Christmas presents, and it was only a very small box of chocolates! But it is the thought that counts.

Tony Dalton

© Tony Dalton
author of Cash Management
published by A & C Black ISBN 978-1-4081-3984-4
Buy it here!