It’s a sunny Tuesday in Manchester and just beyond the bustle of Deansgate, with all its trams and people, lies the beautiful MAP offices. I’ve travelled here to try and uncover a secret...
MAP partnered with Chaser back in November and since then, we’ve been working together on their Virtual Credit Control™ service. In a short space of time we’ve seen this service blossom into something that delivers value for their clients - in the form of cash in their account - and value for MAP, with relationships now strengthened to the point of being unbreakable.
So what’s the secret to MAP’s success?
As I step into their office, I’m greeted by Olivia Cartwright, one of MAP’s accounting technicians and someone who has been a massive advocate for credit control within their firm. We enter a bright and friendly open plan space with hardwood floors to the greetings of her colleagues, who despite having an event to go to that afternoon, are keen to spend time together discussing their work and the future.
On settling in to a meeting room, the first thing that strikes me is Olivia’s enthusiasm. She loves her work and we discuss how bookkeeping has helped her progress. “Bookkeeping is such a great starting point; it gives you the hands-on experience you need to really understand accounting principles properly,” she says. “It stops being so abstract.”. It’s at this point that I realise I’m in for a treat.
Listen to what Olivia had to say here:
It’s exactly this mindset, the understanding that no single task exists in isolation, that breeds top quality services. Being great at credit control is about being great at everything that comes before it. Byway of analogy, think of a highway. Payment is your destination and every aspect of the receivables process is an intersection; you need to pave the way by making those lights green. From speaking to Olivia it was clear that she had been bitten by the credit control bug. Her dedication is driving forward the firm’s Virtual Credit Control™ offering, but what processes have been put in place to ensure the continued success of the service?
So I started digging… When do MAP reconcile and how often? How do they communicate with their clients? What is their escalation process?... What emerges is a picture of a well oiled machine. Rather than allowing this new service to dominate large swathes of time, it instead fits seamlessly within their other tasks.
On a Monday, they touch base with clients to talk about any special cases, Chases go on a Wednesday (automatically, of course), all replies are then sent on a Thursday and any reporting that had been requested weekly (at a premium cost) is handled on a Friday.
It quickly becomes clear that MAP has the processes and people in place to deliver something great, however I couldn’t help but feel that all this enthusiasm and pristine organisation needed to be inspired by something. I wrap up my time with the firm by speaking to Will Jarvis, MAP’s lead accounting technician, to see if I can understand a little more about what core principles were fuelling these heroic efforts.
“At the end of the day we just want to make our clients' businesses the best they can be - it’s really as simple as that,” Will begins. “With the credit control, client demand just grew and grew so over the last 12 months we’ve been focusing on how to refine that process and do the best we can do!”
So, that’s the secret. ‘Putting the client first’ is a term that gets thrown around a lot in the accounting industry. So much so, in fact, that it can get a little worn out. However, in spending time with the MAP team I really begin to understand the difference between saying you’ll put the client first and actually acting on that value. Within this sunny room in Manchester are people that care deeply enough to alter their trajectory and dedicate actual time to changing things for the better. They have gone against the grain, got in the trenches and committed to delivering what the client actually needs.
It may still be reasonably early in this new journey for MAP, but as I leave I get the sense that whatever these people turn their minds to it will work out, not only because they ‘put the client first’ but because they are bold enough to listen to them in the first place.
If you'd like to learn more about virtual credit control or partnering with Chaser please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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