An Ongoing Struggle with Credit Management

by Steve Murphy 0

cash management

This referenced post is essentially about cash cycle management, something that we have been harping on now for a couple of years, given that ‘the good times’ (think Ray Price, in one sense) of easy money seems to be reaching its end. Now while the posting is made by the CEO of a credit management software company, therefore might be a bit self-serving, it is not a self-endorsement piece, but a brief and good discussion about the better management of working capital. And after all, one is supposed write about things one knows correct?

“All too often in the UK, late payments are seen as a problem for small businesses only.  Large corporates are cast as the villains, flexing their muscles by holding back the cash owed to smaller suppliers…..In reality, the problem is so widespread that the UK is said to have a ‘late payment culture’. In a further study conducted a few years ago, more than 62% invoices submitted by UK firms were paid late, compared with just 40% in other European countries. YouGov also reports that one in ten business owners believe that the problem has become worse since the Brexit vote, with the uncertainties making firms even more reluctant to part with their money.”

He goes on to point out how in his own interactions the UK trails other European nations in deployment of more efficient cash cycle software solutions, which have been around for decades.  The piece then references the continued widespread reliance upon Excel for credit management use cases, which, despite the software’s many attributes, is a ‘good intention, wrong solution’ scenario. While spreadsheets may be ok with smaller firms, as size and complexity increases, they fall short of effective risk tools. Even enterprise solutions require some steroids here and there, which is where more tailored made risk solutions can integrate and assist for better results.

“More specialised systems are more highly configurable enabling sophisticated data management and segmentation to prioritise and minimise risk. Segmentation is already strong in many B2C environments to define how statements and invoices are sent and the type of debtor a company is dealing with. For example, it can be unproductive to send an octogenarian a statement via social media, yet this route could be highly-effective when communicating with twenty-year-olds.” 

Worth a few minutes browse to get perspective from a european expert, especially if you are selling cash management stuff.

Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

Read the quoted story here