Setting Up Your Accounts Receivable System Part 2: Establishing Policies

Even after you’ve set up a structured and well organized accounts receivable system, unless you have strong accounts receivable policies with clearly defined transaction terms, not to mention consistent adherence to those policies and terms, all that organization will be meaningless.

The first step is to make sure your policies and procedures are in place before you take on a new customer. Once a customer comes your way, present the transaction terms. Make sure the terms are clearly spelled out and are always in writing. Also, consider having each page of the sales agreement initialed by both you and your customer to reinforce an understanding of the terms.

Let’s take the terms of a sales agreement as an example. The terms should always include a payment schedule which outlines the time frame for payment, as well as penalties should payment be received past specified due dates. A penalty might be, for example, a certain amount of interest added to the amount due upon payment. Be sure that the payment terms are consistently reflected on every invoice. Consistency helps to maintain your customer’s trust and respect.

The amount of credit you offer a client reflects how much risk you’re willing to take. Therefore be sure to establish clear credit management policies. This must include a procedure for checking a customer’s credit worthiness. One policy might be to require new customers to pay up front or on delivery. When you do offer credit, keep the limit low initially and monitor the payment history over a period of time (perhaps six months, or a year). As your customer makes regular purchases and consistently pays on time, then increase the credit limit gradually.

The Jayaram Law routinely and successfully assists its clients in their business-to-business (b2b) collection needs.  We take pride in obtaining payment on accounts receivables without fracturing critical business relationships or engaging in time-consuming and costly litigation efforts.

If you need business debt collection services conducted in a professional manner, contact our B2B (business-to-business) debt collection law firm by calling 312.454.2859 or visiting