(Creditor) Watch

Colin Porter a small business owner who was frustrated with late payments and chasing up unpaid invoices founded Creditor Watch in January 2011. Creditor watch is designed with the purpose of being the best credit checking and debtor monitoring platform available in Australia. Giving everyday businesses the power to identify high-risk clients and to ensure they make the correct decisions, based on the best possible information.

What problem does Creditor Watch solve?

As its name suggests Creditor Watch does exactly that, it keeps a watch on all your customers’ financial movements. Especially the ones that abuse the credit that you offer, and your kindness, and pay only as they need something. You all know these type of clients that run 180-day accounts, and you hear all these rumours about how they are playing the field, and how directors are leaving, and how they might be going into administration, etc.

It is a daily struggle for every business owner and company accountant/bookkeeper; not just a frustration, it’s your money. You know when they go into administration you will be lucky to get 15c to the dollar.

Well, Creditor Watch puts a stop to this and really does put the power back into the hands of the business owner.

How does it work?

Creditor watch does a few things really well that gives you, the business owner, power.

When you first setup Creditor Watch with Xero it pulls through all the typical debtor information from Xero like customer name, invoices, payments, etc. But one thing it focuses on more than other debtor management add-ons, is pulling out ABN’s and it does this with good reason.

Utilising company ABN’s Creditor Watch accesses a variety of government databases that include ASIC and Magistrate’s Courts in the States and Territories of Australia.  Armed with this information Creditor Watch builds a risk profile. If some of your clients are missing ABN’s it automatically attempts to match these up and allows you to assign suggested ABN’s to any companies that haven’t provided you with this information.

This serves a twofold purpose, firstly it ensures it can begin the process of creating a risk profile for you to make the correct decisions and to a lesser degree it weeds out any illegal businesses that you may be dealing with.

You also have the option to purchase credit scores when you are taking on a new customer, and this again gives you information that is critical for everyday decision making.

You are also provided with a summary of your accounts receivable, this clearly identifies key debtor metrics that are important for making informed decisions. Highlighted in this section are bad payers that you can put on a watch list, you can put your entire customer base and in the dashboard, it breaks down your customer list by risk profile. Again fantastic information, alerts are also brought to your attention, i.e. changes to customer credit files, ASIC notices, etc.

On top of this, you have a slew of other debtor management tools like reminders, notes, etc., that are also very useful. The main focus is the watch list, with the debtor management tools there to compliment the system.

Pricing

Pricing is on a sliding scale starting from $34/Month for 5 customers, to 100 customers at $139 per month. Businesses with over 100 customers get a custom discounted pricing.

Final Thoughts

The sort of information Creditor Watch provides is vital to all businesses today. Not to eavesdrop on your customer base but rather to navigate through difficult times.

The monthly charges are minuscule in comparison to the important information you will garnish, not to mention how much money you could potentially save.

I remember years ago, I was the financial manager at a business, and one of our customers ended up going into liquidation, they owed us $80,000 at the time, and it was a big hit for us. We held back chasing the money thinking they would get back on their feet, but instead we ended up taking the hit. The sort of thing that could have potentially been avoided or losses mitigated. This scenario sadly plays out way too frequently.

Creditor Watch is a must-have add-on for any Australian based business, I will be creating a list of must-have add-ons in the near future and this solution will be on it.

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