What is cloud credit control software?

A platform to intelligently manage the credit control function of a business.

Three core elements

Cloud credit control software is a class of software that exists to help businesses carry out effective credit control, boosting their cash flow and saving time doing so. Three core elements comprise cloud credit control software:

  • Automated email chasing of customers to pay their unpaid invoices. All without losing the human touch.
  • Insights to better decide which customers to grant credit to. As well as how best to chase them up to pay their invoices.
  • Automatic consolidation of invoice communications into a single-source-of-truth. The history of every invoice, all in one place.

How does the automation operate?

Cloud credit control software is not invoicing software. It integrates with your accounting system to utilise existing details of your customers and sales invoices.

  • Custom email templates enable you to deliver automated email chasers to your customers that look like they were hand-typed by you.
  • Custom schedules enable you to choose exactly when you want each templates to be sent to your customers.
  • Automated emails are never sent without cloud credit control software checking your accounting system to ensure the invoice is unpaid.

Human automation is key

Polite persistence pays when it comes to chasing customers to pay their invoices. But in order for polite persistent chasing to be effective, it has to feel human.

Effective credit control is rooted in the relationship between you and your customer. Chasing emails that are clearly automated are a false economy. They don't look or feel like personal emails from you or your team. They don't enhance the customer relationship and can easily be ignored. They are ineffective in getting invoices paid.

Cloud credit control software gives you the ability to automate the chasing process in the way that you would do so, were you doing it manually.

Key components of this automated humanity are:

  • Templates and schedules are not one size fits all. You have the ability to tailor them according to the relevant characteristics of that customer (e.g. closeness of the relationship, payment habits).
  • They reflect your regular email address and email signature, to appear as though they were thoughtfully, manually sent by your business.
  • Where a customer has more than one outstanding invoice, the automated emails can automatically group the chasing of those invoices together in one email. Much like it would be done manually.
  • The automated emails can be set to send only on the days and times that you would normally send them. This way you can avoid the clear hallmark of automation that comes from sending them outside of working hours. You also avoid emails being sent about invoices that have already been paid but that you haven't yet had a chance to reconcile accordingly.

Credit control insights

Your cloud credit control software acts as a communication hub for all of your credit control records. It collates all of the chasing emails sent in relation to different invoices. It also provides a log of all replies that flowed back and forth between you and your customer in response to those chasing emails. Cloud credit control software also includes the ability to add notes of any other credit control interactions with the customer (e.g. chasing phone calls).

Your finance team, and any other team members who need it, will be able to access the complete credit control conversation with the customer within your cloud credit control software. No more uncertainty as to what has taken place. And no more having to root through inboxes or sent items to piece the picture back together.

Alongside this historic insight, your cloud credit control software will provide you with information that makes your credit control smarter and more effective. It will present you with customer payment habits and trends so that you can know empirically who your good and bad paying customers are. Then you can tailor your chasing and grant of credit accordingly, giving your invoice the best chance of being paid on time.

Who uses cloud credit control software?

Cloud credit control software requires time to setup and administer. If you are a small, owner-managed business, then credit control will just be about doing enough to get your invoices paid. And making sure that there is sufficient cash in your bank at the end of the month to pay your bills. The increasing array of basic, clearly automated, reminder functionality available within cloud accounting systems will likely be sufficient for your needs.

Cloud credit control software is for businesses who recognise the value of good credit control. They want to maximise the time efficiency of their finance teams by automating the email chasing part of their credit control process. At the same time as preserving the human touch that makes that chasing effective. All to achieve the best debtor day and cash collection performance. They recognise that when it comes to credit control, they are competing with other suppliers to that customer to get their invoices to the front of the queue. They want the insights provided by cloud credit control software to help them do that. A good rule of thumb is if you as a company have at least one person on your team for whom credit control is part of their job description, you should be looking to invest in credit control software to help them do that job most effectively.

For accountants and bookkeepers, cloud credit control software offers great benefits. They can introduce the software to their clients for them to manage themselves, adding value as a trusted business advisor. Or they can utilise the software on behalf of their customer to manage their credit control as part of an outsourced finance function.