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Improving your accounts receivable

Posted on December 15, 2016 by admin

Freeing up working capital can help businesses fund growth, reduce debt levels and lower costs. One way to improve working capital is by managing your accounts receivable.

Many businesses fall into the trap of poor accounts receivable management – from extending credit to customers to ignoring payment terms to guarantee a new sale, these types of behaviour can quickly bring your cash flow to a halt.

Here are a few ways to improve your accounts receivable process:

Assign credit limits, payment terms, discounts and return policies to specific customers. Introduce a system to determine a new customer’s creditworthiness, such as background and credit history checks.

Determine situations where credit can be issued and circumstances where credit should be rejected. It is critical to review your credit approval process from time to time, as a customer’s financial situation may change warranting a reviewal of their credit terms.

Generating timely invoices is a major part of collecting account receivables on time. To ensure billing and invoicing is consistent and sent promptly, consider using an automated system. Sending electronic invoices can also fast track the process as they reduce delivery time.

Prioritise collections by establishing a concise collections process for all staff members to follow. Ensure staff have the skills to collect owing amounts (especially from uncooperative customers) and understand the collections system. To ensure accurate collection of receivables all team members should be informed of any discounts that need to be applied, when payment plans can be negotiated and the overall process i.e. mail or electronic invoices etc.

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Avoiding mortgage default

Posted on August 26, 2020 by admin

As individuals struggle with cash flow through the coronavirus, the Australian Bankers Association records that repayments on almost 500,000 mortgages have been deferred for six months. While repayments can be delayed, they cannot be avoided altogether.

Lenders can send you a default notice the day your repayment is overdue. However, they could also wait until your repayment is overdue by 90 or more days. When you receive a default notice, you are given 30 days to repay the amounts you have missed in addition to the regular repayment on your loan. Individuals who are struggling with their home loan repayments can avoid mortgage default by considering the following.

Contact your lender
Lenders are generally willing to work with you through financial hardship. Don’t be afraid to contact your lender to discuss your situation and find out what options are available for you. Lenders are often willing to negotiate short-term variations to repayment schedules that both parties can agree to. However, make sure that you do not agree to unrealistic repayment conditions that cannot be met.

Many Australian banks are offering a six-month deferral on mortgage repayments (including interest) for customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. If this is you, contact your bank to see if this is an option.

Apply for a hardship variation
Mortgage holders may be able to change the terms of their loan or temporarily pause or reduce their repayments under a hardship variation. A hardship variation can still be requested after you receive a mortgage default. To apply for one, contact your lender’s “hardship officer” and tell them that you wish to change your loan repayments due to financial hardship. This will usually require you to explain why you are struggling to make payments and to estimate how long your financial problems will continue to determine how much you can afford to repay.

After submitting a hardship variation request, your lender must contact you within 21 days with the outcome of your request. They may ask you for more details regarding your request; in this case, they must contact you again within 21 days from when you provide the additional information.

Consider selling your home
Selling your home is a tough decision, but in some cases this may be the better option if your circumstances are unlikely to improve. If you get to the point where your lender takes possession of your home and sells it, it’s likely that you won’t make as much as if you sold it yourself. When you sell your house on your own terms, chances are you will get a better price and avoid having to pay the legal fees passed on by your lender. Inform your lender if you decide to sell your home; they may ask for proof, such as a copy of the contract with your real estate agent or property advertisements.

Renting out your home until you can afford to make repayments again may also be an option if you are able to live somewhere else during this period.

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