No matter the size of your business or whether you’re a start up or celebrating your company’s 25th anniversary, you most likely face outstanding balances, delinquent accounts and so much more. The bottom line is that you have a business to run. Dealing with debt recovery can be overwhelming to you and your employees and draining on your time and resources.

Choosing an accounts receivable firm is often the answer. However, it’s important to choose the right ‘partner’ for the job. Just like any other valuable sector of your business, how you handle delinquent accounts and debt recovery is a direct reflection on you, your organization and your values—another crucial touch point of customer/patient service in today’s economy.

Below are a few questions to ask when selecting a reliable, trustworthy partner when it comes to debt recovery:

Is the firm legitimate and reliable?
Do your homework when it comes to choosing a trustworthy partner for your company’s debt recovery. How long have they been in business? What industries do they specialize in and serve? Are they licensed and bonded? Do they adhere to all the latest regulations and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act? Check their integrity and reputation with the Better Business Bureau as well.

What are their fees?
Make sure you look into the fees and rates associated with their costs. It is generally in your best interest to work with firms that offer no up-front costs along with competitive rates that are only due when collection is successful—in other words at no cost to you until money is collected from debtors.

Does the firm use ‘Skip Tracing’?
Skip Tracing is an invaluable tool that allows accounts receivable firms access to several databases in order to locate a debtor with no forwarding address. Feeling ignored by your delinquent accounts lately? Skip Tracing may be the answer.

What are the details of their process?
Do they take the time to identify your needs to provide a customized plan? Do they communicate clearly and concisely their plan of action, such as your billing and collection payment process, insurance follow-up, credit investigations, mailing statements, legal alternatives, collection phone calls and problem resolving procedures?

Do they provide up-to-date technology and proven results that allow your company to manage accounts online and reduce losses?
Do they offer a 24/7 full-service website offering a multitude of services, such as cash flow operations and business process outsourcing, a 24-hour online payment center, portals for account follow-ups, plus the latest updates and industry news?

Most importantly, is their service personalized, courteous and prompt to you, your employees and your customers or patients? Remember, they become the face of your company when it comes to debt recovery. For example, if a customer or patient becomes frustrated about your delinquent account collection process, they probably won’t be upset at the accounts receivable firm. They will most likely be displeased with your company or organization.

As a business owner, your goal is to make sure you have time to do what you do best—handle the day-to-day business operations and long-term objectives in order to impact your company’s growth over the long haul. Your goal should also be to make sure you have the right accounts receivable partner in place that serves as a true extension of your business, not only to your employees and your customers, but to your long-term vision and success.