Customer account statements
Customer statements can be produced on UFS for all unpaid invoices raised to the individual customers, even if they are not overdue. An example is given in Appendix G. Sending a statement alone is not considered an adequate form of debt recovery. Statements should be scheduled and sent out monthly to customers, in addition to any other written and verbal contact made.
- Departments should select 'Print a Draft Statement for a Customer' in order to generate statements on UFS.
These are payment reminder letters. UFS has been set-up with two types of reminder letters, the first letter generated is a basic reminder, and the second is more formally worded. Examples are given in Appendices H and I. Once you request the system to print one of these dunning letters it will produce a record in the Correspondence screen of Customer Accounts in the Accounts Receivable module, for reference.
A department may devise its own bespoke dunning letters to assist in making the debt recovery process more personalised, staged and relevant. If such bespoke dunning letters are sent to customers, manual notes of the date and type of letter sent must be made on UFS and copies retained.
Calling the customer
Where possible, chasing payment by telephone is easily the most effective collection method and offers the opportunity to:
- Clarify the situation.
- Resolve any disputes promptly.
- Build a relationship with the debtor.
The Department should establish and make a written record of the following information:
- The contact's full name and telephone number, establish whether you are speaking to someone who can authorise payment.
- Time and date of the call.
- Reason for non-payment: would further information assist settlement? Requested information should be provided as quickly as possible and Departments should confirm receipt of such information with the customer.
- Promises made by us to the customer with regards to invoice changes and amendments.
- If there is a dispute, consider can you resolve the issue promptly or does it need to be referred to the Head of Department for negotiation or the Accounts Receivable Team in Finance.
- A commitment from the customer to settle by a particular date should there be no dispute. Confirm the intended payment method and note a date to check and follow up with the customer.
If the debtor claims to have already raised payment, the Department should gain as much information concerning the payment as possible:
- If 'the cheque is in the post' ask for the cheque number, the date it was issued and the address to which it was sent. If the cheque was sent some time ago, ask the customer to confirm if and when it has cleared their bank account.
- If a BACS payment has been made, ask for payment reference, the date of payment and confirm the bank account that the funds were paid to.