Saturday, July 13, 2013

How to Use the Collection Center in QuickBooks

Managing A/R can become an overwhelming experience. The difficulty is further compounded when a company’s A/R is tracked manually or through spreadsheets. The process of tracking printed invoices, updating aging reports, tracking down customer contact information, and the managing call logs and emailings, waste time and increases labor cost.

QuickBooks Enterprise offers a simple and effective solution to this problem. The solution is often overlooked Collection Center. To access this helpful resource, click on the customer center, then click on the Collection Center icon.Once the new window opens you’ll see the company’s outstanding A/R accounts appear in a table. The columns can be sorted (except for the contact column). All overdue invoices are grouped by customer.

The red numbers represent the total amount past due. The overdue shows the days the invoice is behind, contact would have the point-of-contacts name, and finally notes and warnings. How QuickBooks calculates how the past due days depends on your company’s preferences under the reminders list. QuickBooks will notify you of invoices that are 5 days past the due date, and 15 days before the due date. Invoices that are below 5 days will not show up in this list, but under the almost due (it will be positive number, negative numbers are bills not yet do).

At this screen the bulk of your collection activities will revolve around using notes/warnings. Warnings is a envelope with an exclamation mark. What this represents is that the current customer does not have any email address in the system. QuickBooks uses email to send statements, collection letters, and invoices to customers. Once you fill in an email, this mark will go away. You then get an option to select and send email. At this point you are able to draft up a unique email for the customer, along with the invoices that are past due.

The final aspect of the collection center is the notes. This is just a timestamped notepad that records every time you open the notes. This is a great way to track conversations, promises, insults, or any other useful information. Whenever you speak with a customer, you should always focus on writing everything down.

The collection center is a great way to track outstanding A/R balances. Proper use and solid company policies will keep cash flow up and overdue balances low. The collection center, however, will not remind you to contact people with overdue balances. You have to check this every few times a week to maintain on top of A/R.