Increasingly, clients are looking for a more hands-on approach from their accountants. In turn, accountants are starting to recognise the opportunities that come from offering additional client services.
Apps have made it easier for accountants to provide added value without committing unmanageable amounts of extra time to client accounts. One such app is Satago, which connects with over 300 accounting platforms to provide risk insights, automated credit control and single invoice finance for accountants and business owners.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can use Satago to provide an automated credit control service to your clients.
What is automated credit control?
The average SME spends two days every month manually chasing invoices.
Many businesses are forced to hire freelancers to send payment reminder emails to customers at great expense. Others simply don’t follow effective credit control practices due to lack of resources and pay the price in late payments.
Automated credit control solves this problem. Sophisticated platforms like Satago integrate with your existing mailbox to send automated payment reminders, monthly statements and thank you emails from your own mail address (or a mail address of your choice).
Data—such as the customer name, invoice amount and due date—is pulled from your clients’ accounting software along with a link to the original invoice, so the automated emails are populated with all relevant information.
You will receive responses to your payment reminders in your own mailbox and these will be tracked within the app, so you can easily stay on top of invoice queries.
Which clients might benefit from an automated credit control service?
In order to identify which of your clients might appreciate the offer of an additional credit control service, you can look to data in your existing cloud accounting apps.
Clients with multiple debtors who experience frequent late payments are more likely to want to ease the burden of manual invoice chasing than those who only have one or two invoices outstanding.
However, it’s important not to make assumptions. Even clients with a small customer base may be concerned about how poor credit control is affecting their cashflow. If they don’t have effective practices in place, they will be grateful for your expertise and assistance.
Satago provides educational materials which explain how their automated credit control tool works, you can share these with clients to demonstrate how they can benefit.
How easy is it to set up?
Satago integrates with your cloud accounting software in a few clicks. You can then easily connect your clients and manage everything in one place.
Watch this short video for more information.
Satago’s team will be on hand to give you or your clients any training you might need in order to use the platform effectively.
What are the ongoing tasks in offering automated credit control service?
Carrying out a regular check on which invoices are going to be chased is handy in case there has been some discussion outside of Satago that is relevant to the chasing status of a particular invoice. Using the forewarning emails can support this.
When new customers come on board for the client it is important that the settings for that customer are configured appropriately
How to charge clients for an additional credit control service
Once your clients are connected, it’s up to you whether you encourage them to download the Satago platform themselves or not.
If you decide to give them access to the platform, you can charge them a monthly usage fee. How much you charge is up to you. Remember, once they have access to the platform, they will also benefit from Satago’s risk insight and invoice finance tools.
Alternatively, you can offer to manage your clients’ credit control processes yourself. When deciding how much to charge for this service, consider how big their customer base is and how much time and money they will be saving by passing their credit control procedures to you.
Also consider pricing for the ongoing tasks mentioned above. You will need a system to help keep track of the overall levels of activity around this, and apps such as Xavier Analytics or Zapier can help to automate that.
You might offer a fixed fee to begin with and then account for any differences in level of activity on a quarterly basis using the data.
The benefits of offering a credit control service to clients
As well as providing an additional revenue stream for your firm, offering an automated credit control service to clients is the best way to ensure they avoid late payments and maintain a healthy cashflow, which can only have a positive knock-on effect on your practice.
Satago’s tools allow you to easily switch between your client accounts and your own practice, so you can manage everything—including credit control, risk insights and invoice finance—in one place.
For more information on setting up automated credit control with Satago, book a demo with the team today.