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No time to follow-up on overdue invoices?

February 3, 2021

How an accountant & their client solved this problem
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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As accountants we strive to help our clients' make their work life easier. That’s exactly what Kate Mosquera at Acuity set to do for her client, Cassie Vosbrugh with ACES Quality Management. Cassie simply didn’t have the time to follow up with customers that were past-due on their accounts and Kate was able to offer her up a solution that got Cassie paid on 80% of accounts submitted and decreased the days outstanding of her average invoice.

Cassie was the incoming EVP of Finance just over a year ago with a goal of improving the financial processes for the company to properly position them to scale. She had the vision and expertise with her background in consulting, but not the internal manpower. She had a part-time bookkeeper ensuring bills were getting paid and sending invoices to customers, which was all the company needed when it started out, but that was about to change. She needed someone to own the process of closing the books and giving her insights into the financials to help her strategize and prepare the company for future scale.

Cassie needed to free up her time. She was unable to do that when worrying about the daily and monthly tasks that came with closing the books. Reconciling, entering bills and invoices, ensuring payments were sent and received, adjusting journal entries - this list of tasks go on and on. The accounts receivable management process is an area that required even more attention because it involved reaching out to customers who aren’t paying invoices on time. While ACES Quality Management didn’t necessarily have an AR issue, but once an invoice was significantly aged, there wasn’t a designated person giving attention to it.

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“I don’t have time to be following up with people every  single week.” Cassie Vosbrugh, EVP of Finance, ACES Quality Management

It was time to make a change. That change was bringing in the Acuity team. A controller and bookkeeper to handle the daily and monthly tasks of bookkeeping, including the management of accounts receivable. Kate came onboard as her Cloud Accounting Specialist, responsible for reconciling her books as well as entering transactions including bills and invoices. Kate saw the same thing Cassie did - an AR aging report that had minimal culprits that were letting their invoices age. However, “[Cassie] was on her own, reaching out by email, wasn’t getting responses and her plate was full.” They both recognized Cassie following up on unpaid invoices wasn’t the best use of her time. Cassie wanted help taking the tasks off her plate. Kate also didn’t have the burning desire to be calling on customers asking for money, so instead she offered up technology as the solution.

Kate had suggested CollBox as the software to possibly solve their issue. Both Kate and Cassie were new to CollBox, however, Kate was won over by CollBox’s user-friendly interface and services it provides to help businesses get paid on overdue invoices. The software provides two services, Assist and Collect, to help automate the accounts receivable management process. Assist is recommended for unpaid invoices between 1 - 90 days overdue. Accounts are sent to a professional receivable specialist who calls and emails the proper contact to give gentle reminders to pay their outstanding balance. The receivable specialist will re-send invoices, if necessary and facilitate receiving the payment, which 100% goes to the client. Collect is recommended for overdue invoices greater than 90 days. Accounts submitted go to a vetted collections agency that will give the client the highest likelihood of success of collecting on the past-due amount.

The right technology provides great value to its users. In this instance technology is not only taking an undesirable task off Cassie & Kate’s to-do list, but also helping ACES Quality Management collect on overdue payments in a more timely manner resulting in a healthier cash flow for the business. According to Kate, “CollBox has been a success in that it's not just a general email or an email coming out from a random software domain name. It's coming with a personalized phone call.” Utilizing CollBox has also allowed Kate to save approximately 5 hours a week on managing the AR process, and allows her to have productive meetings reviewing and analyzing the AR Aging report with Cassie.

In this instance technology was able to deliver the value to its users. In Cassie’s words, “I couldn't be happier with Collbox. It's definitely changed our business for sure. For the better.” And Kate along with the Acuity team is successful in making their client’s life at work just a little bit easier.

“I love working in Collbox. If anybody says, hey, my client is looking for collections: Collbox." - Kate Mosquera, Cloud Accounting Specialist at Acuity

Why leave it there?

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