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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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7–18. Use a Collection Call Database

A poorly organized collections group is one that does not know which customers to call, what customers said during previous calls, and how frequently contacts should be made in the future. The result of this level of disorganization is overdue payments being ignored for long periods, other customers being contacted so frequently that they become annoyed, and continually duplicated efforts. To a large extent, these problems can be overcome by using a collection call database.

A typical collection call database is a simple one recorded on paper, or a complex one that is integrated into a company’s accounting software package. In either case, the basic concept is the same—keep a record of all contacts with the customer, as well as when to contact the customer next and what other actions to take. The first part of the database, the key contact listing, should contain the following information:

  • Customer name

  • Key contact name

  • Secondary contact name

  • Internal salesperson’s name with account responsibility

  • Phone numbers of all contacts

  • Fax numbers of all contacts

The contact log comprises the second part of the database and should contain:

  • Date of contact

  • Name of person contacted

  • Topics discussed

  • Action items

The information noted is easily kept in a notebook if there is a single collections person, but may require a more complex, centralized database if there ...

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