Many businesses enable customers to obtain goods and services with the option of paying later, but the process of recovering amounts owed to an organization by its customers is not an easy one. There is a need to set policies before providing credit limits to customers to eliminate discrepancies and help them build a good credit history. For potential customers who don’t have liquid funds to build business relationships, buying products on credit is a great way to start. But on the other hand, for businesses dealing with a huge receivable balance is not conducive to business reputation or image in the market. Moreover, it might also signal a lack of liquid cash or poor cash flow.
Credit and Collections in Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations offers a robust credit and collections management functionality that enables you to manage the entire collection management gamut – right from generating customer account statements, to being informed of balances as and when due, getting notifications on when collection letters should be sent to customers, and knowing when bad debts need to be written off. What’s more, you can see customers’ calculated aged balances at any given point in time, automatically apply overdue payment charges to past due balances, enhance the process of collection activities, and free up resources used by site collections that are no longer needed.
How is it different from previous versions?
In Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, credit and collections have been restructured and enhanced from previous AX versions.
- In Dynamics AX 2012, the credit and collections feature was within the Accounts Receivable module, whereas in Dynamics 365, it has been added as a separate module.
- Dynamics 365 offers users the additional option of an integration with Power BI for better visualization of reports, unlike in Dynamics AX 2012 which offered no such integration.
- A new workspace area has been added in Dynamics 365 where all data related to credit and collections is graphically represented.
One of the most interesting enhancements in credit and collections in Dynamics 365 is the workspace concept - these personalized work centers with data, reports, and transactions are designed to make daily tasks more efficient. It covers -
- Activities related to payments due from customers
- Open cases
- Collection letters which have not yet been printed or posted
- Sales orders which have been kept on hold
- A list of customers who are over their allowable credit limit
- Payment (receipt) journals which have not yet been posted
- Interest notes which have not yet been printed
- Interest transactions which have not yet been posted
- A dashboard of aged balances, disputed balances, promise-to-pay balances, promise-to-pay broken deals.
You can choose from several out-of-the-box workspaces that contain specific content for different roles of your organization which can be updated or modified with additional information such as Power BI reports, data lists, and even transactions to make the experience completely personalized.
The credit and collections workspace provides a one-page overview of all credit and collections activities, and helps users understand the current status of collections, upcoming collections, and the performance of the process or user. With the workspace -
- Get a 360-degree view of all collection related information under one umbrella and make quick, data driven decisions: data from multiple sources like customer information from customer master, and payment and order related information from accounts receivable
- Leverage SSRS-based reporting for improved report content and presentation
- Enable predictive analytics and data visualization, and view aggregated information in graphical views with Power BI integration
- Enjoy real-time data updates with integration of accounts receivable and credit and collections
And if the out-of-the-box workspaces are not a fit for your organization type, you can create one of your own too.
Having a proper collection management protocol helps in getting your receivables collected right on timeThis would help your organization manage cash flows better and reduce the time, cost and efforts in manually having to manage collections.
Let’s look at a scenario and see what can be managed through this functionality. For instance, the credit and collections manager at a company has decided to create a new collection letter to remind customers of past due accounts. Here’s what he/she can manage:
- Send two collection letters to customers: one letter as a reminder, and the second as a final letter informing them that their case is being transferred to a collections agency.
- Charge customers $25 for the initial collection letter as soon as the invoice is past the due date, regardless of the customer's past due balance.
- Send the final letter if the payment is not received after receipt and acknowledgement of the first collection letter within 10 days of the first letter being printed.
- Charge $75 if the customers do not pay up the amount due by the time the second letter has been generated and lock their account from further transactions with the company, regardless of the customer balance.
Enable seamless credit management
Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations’ credit and collections feature facilitates seamless functioning of credit management, dispute management, collections, and related business processes. Instead of working on tedious, manual tasks, the Dynamics 365’s credit and collections feature allows you to improve processes and work smarter, facilitating the capabilities to collect from customers quickly and accelerate the collection process.
About the Author - Nanditha J Kini
Nanditha J Kini is passionate and solution-oriented IT professional with close to 10 years of IT advisory experience, which includes ERP product sales and implementation experience.