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The Evolving Role of Management in Accounts Receivable and Credit Control

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The Evolving Role of Management in Accounts Receivable and Credit Control

The Evolving Role of Management in Accounts Receivable and Credit Control

In the dynamic realm of accounts receivable (AR) and credit control (CC), the role of management is not static but rather a force that shapes attitudes and productivity within the workgroup. Drawing from four decades of experience as a manager and consultant, it’s evident that management styles have undergone significant transitions over time.

Embracing Evolution: From “Shock and Awe” to Employee Growth

In the early days, the management approach was often characterised by what could be termed as “shock and awe.” Team meetings and individual assessments were conducted with an intensity that aimed to catalyse immediate results. While this approach might have had its place, it’s clear that in today’s world, a more nuanced strategy is required. The common theme, however, has always been to foster employee growth, drawing out latent abilities that both the manager and the employee knew existed.

The Contemporary Focus: Team-Centric Productivity

In more recent years, the focus has shifted towards the team and its approach to productivity. Building robust processes and instituting effective reporting mechanisms have become imperative for the smooth operation of the department. Positive recognition is a shared goal, but it’s inevitable that along with praise comes constructive criticism. What remains in the forefront of team members’ minds? Surprisingly, it’s often the negatives. However, this reflection on areas of improvement is a catalyst for positive change. Managers must navigate the delicate balance between commendation and constructive critique.

Honesty and Promptness: Pillars of Effective Management

In the ever-evolving landscape of AR & CC, managers must embody two crucial attributes: honesty and promptness. Acknowledging issues, taking ownership, and understanding that the buck stops with the manager are paramount. It’s essential to recognise that perfection is an unattainable ideal; everyone makes mistakes. Embracing imperfection while maintaining accountability is a mark of a truly effective manager.

Engaging the Team: Collaboration and Ownership

A team is not just a collection of individuals but a valuable resource that, when effectively engaged, can significantly contribute to the success of the department. Managers should foster an environment where team members feel they have “skin in the game” when it’s time to implement new ideas. This not only enhances motivation but also cultivates a sense of ownership. Remember to measure and report on the outcomes of these initiatives. If necessary, be open to modification. The success of the team is a collaborative effort, and incorporating the insights and experiences of team members is essential.

Navigating the Complex Terrain of Management in AR & CC

In the intricate landscape of AR & CC, effective management is a guiding force. It involves a delicate balance between historical approaches that aimed for immediate impact and contemporary strategies that emphasize team-centric productivity. The evolving role of management requires adaptability, honesty, and a willingness to engage the team as active contributors to the department’s success. As a manager in AR & CC, your ability to navigate this complex terrain will not only shape the trajectory of your team but also contribute to the overall success of your organisation.

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author avatar
Ian Hindle
I fell into credit management by accident as a 20 year old, and spent my career working for companies like TNT, Aus Post, Budget Car Rental, Seek, Brivis, Recall, and Iron Mountain. Whilst working in the industry as a credit manager and later as a consultant, I realised that there was a clear need for a high-quality, comprehensive product that could be used by businesses to streamline their credit management functions, but that none currently existed. And so, I made it my mission to create one. Whilst most businesses see results as being the end game, I believe that how you get there is also extremely important. With Kuhlekt, my goal is to take the hard work out of managing your business’s accounts receivable, cash management, credit control, and collection processes, making the journey to achieving real results as easy and seamless for you as possible.

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