18 Oct, 2016 | Business

You’ve probably already heard of a “collection agent”, but the term “Credit Manager” is new for most of us. However, these two profiles are increasingly searched after in the professional world, offering high salaries and growing possibilities into the business industry. But what is a Credit Manager and what is a collection agent? and what role will have in their hands for the future?

Considering the economic situation that most companies are facing at the moment, it is common to see how they have started paying more attention to their treasury, that being, the money is in their bank accounts. While it is known that a euro in our pocket is worth more than a euro in the pocket of our client, this idea is not widely shared by all. In terms of management, this does not mean that your business is not viable or profitable, it only means that will yourself in a complicated scenario when your customers stop paying.

Companies have understood this message, and they are looking to have a well-managed cash flow capable of guaranteeing their financial stability while simultaneously give peace of mind to partners, banks, suppliers, partners…

In fact, at the time of closing the deal, it is not uncommon that the customer pays late … That’s why today there are around 360 million euros of late payment in Europe! And due to this, 1 of every 4 businesses in France goes bankrupt. This is the reason why Credit Managers and Collection agents have become so popular.

Collection agent, a key role in companies.

Debt Recovery Advisor … what is that? Just as its name implies, it is responsible for doing what is necessary for a customer to pay their bill. For this, the collection agent will use different methods  to contact the customer and encourage them to settle their debt, always amicably … at first. He must have the strength and skills of a negotiator, plus the psychological resources to use for each client. For example, you can assist the customer in the payment of its debt, offering staggering refunds, depending on the case and the reasons given by the customer to justify nonpayment. Of course, if the collection agent is unable to find a solution, he will then have to take legal action against those customers to recover the amount due.

It is a sensitive profession, with a normally difficult job. Yet, the companies have more of them to what’s necessary! When you picture a collection agent it usually doesn’t match the reality: in 99% of cases, he will find amicable solutions to collect the debt and he will show himself empathetic with those customers with serious payment problems. Also, think that the purpose of the company is to get the money without losing customers. Court proceedings are only given in exceptional cases, usually in less than 1% of contracts.

It requires a high preparation, in France, there aren’t many alternatives to become a collection agent. We can mention the AFDCC, the French Association of Credit managers offering specific training for the debt collector profession. The AFDCC forms more than 750 people each year and it even offers a “Collection Management” diploma

The salary, a collection agent usually begins with a gross salary of €1,400 per month. At the end of his career, he can expect to receive a gross salary of about € 3,500 per month.

To be a collection agent, you should enjoy contact with people and you should have nerves of steel for dealing with those nasty defaulters. You need to have skills for dealing with good human relationships, have empathy and you should definitely know how to listen. Very searched, being a collection agent offers real opportunities for those who have prepared for it (Bac +2 to Bac + 3).

The Credit Manager, the conductor of customers’ risks.

In a not so popular role, but no less important for companies, we have the Credit Manager, who is responsible for maximizing the sales numbers and reducing possible bad debts. Similarly to the collection agent, a Credit Manager has to monitor the payment of amounts due and take appropriate measures with customers in case they don’t pay. But his work does not stop there! In fact: before concluding a major sale, the company will request the Credit Manager to analyze the client’s financial statements and its payment capacity. This way they can arrange safe dates of payments, reducing these risks considerably. His work goes far beyond that. It is a profession that has developed over the past 20 years due to the need for a better management and a greater diversity of clients, national and international. In fact, the Credit Manager can also have legal functions, such as participating in the development of the conditions of sale to ensure payments or perform risk verification analyses on customers. They can also contribute to making the sales cycle work properly.

To become a Credit Manager, you must go through many levels of study, Bac + 5! A diploma of higher education in commerce, accounting or an MBA in finances is the key to land in this type of job. You won’t find as many career paths for Credit Manager as you will find for collection agents, but the demand for this type of profile is still quite high compared to the number of available profiles. For now, there are about 850 Credit Managers in France, but more than 20,000 abroad!

Credit Manager may receive, at the beginning, a gross salary of €2,900. At the end of his career, this amount can reach a € 8.500 gross salary per month, which is a very comfortable salary…

Looking at the profile, the Credit Manager must have the same qualities as the collection agent, this meaning, it must be a fan of contact with customers, nerves of steel, negotiation capacity, know to listen, but also: know how to play with numbers. This job can be a rewarding challenge, as it requires you to combine business knowledge with legal knowledge. Another interesting challenge for the Credit Manager can be the opportunity to expand his career path internationally. Whether it is in London or in Luxembourg, a company will always need a Credit Manager!

Dunforce is the perfect companion for these strategic roles

Dunforce is ideal for these professions related to collection processes. This powerful and innovative software integrates the tools that modern companies need in order to gather information related to payments and their collections.

The collection agent or the Credit Manager can access all of this information on their activities in a single automated platform. They can focus more on the really difficult cases, and let this thankless and repetitive work get done by itself.


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