Letter-only Collection Services Are Definitely NOT Your Best Alternative

By Frank Nuck

Hypothetical: you have receivables out over 90 days. Perhaps up 180 days and beyond. You really, really hate the idea of paying a collection agency 33% to get the money that you are legitimately owed. “Why should I have to give that money away. They (the customer/patient) OWE it to me darn it!). So some guy calls on you and asks you the same question but with a twist. He/she says “… Why should you pay an agency to simply send out a letter, collect the money legitimately owed you, then take one third of your money!? After all you would send a check if you received a collection letter in the mail… wouldn’t you? Hire us, and for a mere $7.99, we will send not one, but 4 or 5 letters for you and if you collect your money, you won’t owe us a single dime more! And if the money does not come in, don’t worry, we’re a collection agency too. So then we’ll still try to collect, but it will cost a contingent fee at that point.”

Allow me to plant a seed… a common sense/and verifiable concept that YOU will understand: The older the account, the less likely it will be collected. It is one of the few constants in the collection industry.

Before you allow yourself to be sold “cheaper is better” approach to managing your businesses’ life blood… it’s cash, PLEASE take time to NOTE:

1. Remember rule #1 above. By sending out at least 4 more letters, you have effectively doubled the age of the account thereby decreasing the likelihood of collections. Except now if it goes to their agency, it will be at an unusually high fee… Like 50%!
2. You will most likely be required to purchase letters for accounts up-front. What have they got to lose, whether or not you need the services for all of those accounts at this time.
3. You will most likely be required to sign a contract. Would you rather be contractually tied to a vendor, or have a relationship with a vendor based upon performance.
4. A certain number of accounts will always pay upon receipt of a collection letter. If you have 1 or 2 accounts and want to sign a contract and gamble that most of your accounts will pay with just a letter, then go ahead. We’ve worked with large companies for years, and NONE of them ever thought that letters, all by themselves, provide the highest net result. HARD, SKILLED EFFORT ON THE PHONE COLLECTS MONEY – not the itinerant letter. We can give you names of clients who have switched to us from Letter-only services, and they will tell you why!

Contact Financial Control Solutions for more information about debt collection services and getting your accounts receivables under control.

How is my Credit Card Transaction Rate Determined?

By Frank Nuck, Financial Control Solutions

Your credit card transaction rate is primarily determined by federal law and RISK.

“Risk” in this case refers to the risk of dispute over, or cancellation of, a given CC sale. “Risk” will be extrapolated from factors characterizing the, 1) merchant (a sporting goods store will tend to pay more than a doctor’s office), 2)product/service purchased (see no. 1 above), and (3) the nature of the “plastic” accepted (debit card transactions are less costly than any CC taken over the phone).

Additional merchant characteristics include, average per-sale value, average monthly transaction volume, seasonality of merchant and longevity of merchant. Think of “risk” as the potential costs involved not only in consummating the sale, but in modifying or unravelling the sale if disputed. Many businesses will not be accepted by a given merchant services provider. Collection agencies, for instance, are more likely to be rejected as applicants.

Contact Financial Control Solutions for more information about our credit card processing services.

Scan those checks. Don’t chauffeur them! (Remote Deposit Capture can be great)

By Frank Nuck, Financial Control Solutions

Technologically speaking, Remote Deposit Capture (scanning/depositing checks remotely) is not new. The $64K question… the one you might consider… is whether your organization’s life can be made less costly, easier, or more effective by, 1) scanning all of its checks to be deposited at a central location, 2) eliminating paper check inventory and check handling, and/or 3) importing checking deposit/customer information into it’s enterprise/accounting software to enhance or newly create checking-related information.

Benefits include:
– Reduction/elimination of depository trips or the need to courier checks
– “Scanability” from multiple banks to any one bank (interbank comparability)
– 24-48 hour maximum actual clearing
– Exportability of depository information via Excel, CVS, or PDF file formats
– Secure data transfer: 128 bit triple DES SSL protection
– Auditing of all depository information by iStream Financial before deposit
– Possibility of reduced banking expenses

It may be time to eliminate the time consuming and inefficient process of managing paper checks. Billing offices, property managers, or any other organization that manages multiple depository locations either for operational or banking reasons may want consider RDC. Investigate how much you are paying to manage your paper checks now… or call us an we will help you figure it out. Then compare. The difference in your firm’s operational life could be huge!

For more information about Remote Deposit Checking services, contact Financial Control Solutions.

Use A Single Vendor for both Outsourced Statements and Collections

By Frank Nuck

Why outsource patient statements? Generally because the process is labor intensive which reduces ROI per receivables dollar…AND it’s a pain in the butt! You should get an even greater benefit if your vendor is also a collection agency, since you will maximize the management of BOTH current and past-due A/R.

Every month, you fight to prepare, mail and monitor – often by random personnel – patient statements.
Then when accounts are to go to collections, the return-on-labor-dollar is even less, and you must still (1) identify delinquent accounts, (2) have those accounts approved for collection then, (3) prepare and submit the accounts to another vendor who will act as your collection agency. Sometimes your billing software facilitates the process, but more often than not, you must run multiple reports to manage both the submission of patient statements and the submission of accounts for collections. When cash is tight, you need the money! But is there an easier way??

YES! Use a single vendor with proper reporting to mail patient statements and provide a simple report specifically identifying collection accounts! You should not have to guess whether a patient received a statement, nor should you have to reconcile multiple reports to determine who goes to collection. Your vendor must be a clearinghouse for statements, while also being properly licensed as an agency… a combination which can be hard to find.

If you visit our web site, you will discover that EZ Statements provides simple verification of who received statements along with simple identification of accounts headed for collection. We allow you to make better use of your personnel while keeping you informed throughout the collection cycle. You would also discover that we are a cost-effective alternative to the monthly headaches surrounding patient statements.

For more information about outsourcing your billing statements and debt collections with one vendor contact Financial Control Solutions.