Benefits of Using Services of a Debt Collection Agency

Every company, small, medium or big that is in the financial sector always has ‘receivable income’ in the form of dues owed by customers. If you look at an Annual Accounts Statement there is likely to be a column denoting ‘bad debts’ or pending dues. Some of these amounts may be recovered, some not at all, or through long-winding legal procedures that can stretch through many years. The international accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) estimated that in the mid 2000s, external collection agencies recovered debts to the tune of $30 billion annually. This is a whopping amount!

In such cases, companies may either deal with receivables through internal mechanisms or outsource the collection of such amounts owed, to external collection agencies. These are third-party commercial collection agencies contracted by the company to use the skills and resources that the agency has in recovering the amounts due. Such an agency is called a Debt Collection Agency. These agencies are governed by the regulations of the Fair Trade Debt Collection Practices Act and so they have the knowledge and the expertise of the do’s and don’ts associated with the collection of debts.

There are many benefits accruing from using a Debt Collection Agency, among these are:

• The internal accounts department of a company is usually responsible for collecting amounts due to the company; however, ‘ageing receivables’ as long-standing debts are referred to require a lot of time, skill and dedicated effort which may require intensive training. Since delays can cost the company extensively, a third-party service or commercial collection agency is fine-tuned to handle this job exclusively and therefore able to recover money that might otherwise end up not being recovered at all.

• Sales teams in companies that are owed amounts by clients are sometimes not paid their commissions or incentives if monies are outstanding from customers. This forces sales people to spend a great deal of time working to recover the money rather than doing actual sales calls or sales generation for future revenues. This greatly impacts the revenues of a business.

• Acquiring new customers is an expensive task but retaining existing customers is a key factor in the success and longevity of every business. Playing the role of ‘bad cop’ in debt recovery from existing customers is not a function that most companies look forward to as it can have adverse impacts with them. Using a third-party service to send notices for debt recovery usually spurs the person or company owing the money to get into action without seriously affecting relationship with the company.

• In business to business circles, the unwritten policy is to prolong bill payments for as long as possible to allow better cash flows. In some cases, unless a collection agency intervenes to demand payment, checks or outstanding amounts are not released against invoices.

• By paying a collection agency or agent a fixed salary for collecting debts no matter what the amount owed, companies save a lot of money which otherwise would have been spent on paying salaries and additional time and effort in training them to collect dues effectively. Most companies only pay collection agencies when the money is recovered.

Especially, for companies in the financial sector such as banks, extending lines of credit to existing and new customers depends a great deal on keeping ‘ageing receivables’ to the minimum. Only by fuelling growth, can banks succeed in achieving their target deposits and revenues. Therefore by using a commercial collection agency, the bank can expect to recover amounts early, retain customer relationships and credit worthiness as well as ensure that their financial books keep a healthy status.

Challenges Facing Tradespeople and Small Businesses

For some, being in the trades is just a job and a means to an end. For others, it’s a calling – a part of their very existence. Some tradespeople hold themselves to the highest of standards and hold true to the things they believe and care about. The challenge for any homeowner is to find a tradesperson who cares about and loves what they do – a tradesperson who is professional in appearance and in how he or she conducts business.

According to a recent survey, 58% of homeowners say they find it difficult to find a tradesperson they trust to help with either home repairs or improvements. Women are more likely to find it “very difficult” to find a tradesperson they trust to help with home repairs or improvements. In the United Kingdom alone, almost £2 billion a year is spent to repair botched jobs by tradespeople who were not qualified to do the work.

Although there are many trustworthy tradespeople throughout the world, why do so many homeowners experience difficulty finding an honest, reliable, professional tradesperson? The answer is not easy, but I will attempt to share my experience and opinion.

I have over 30 years experience as a tradesman, with experience in; building construction, plumbing, tiling, plastering and decorating. As a young man, I enjoyed going to school, but my focus was always on earning a living and raising a family. As a result, I decided to leave home during my late teenage years to attempt to make my mark on the world. Once out there, although I had good work-ethics, I found it difficult to land a good job because I did not possess the ‘qualifications’ required, nor did I have a University degree. Consequently, the only jobs available to me were labor jobs or working at a convenience store. Fortunately, I found a tradesman who hired me and jump-started my career by teaching me how to lay tile. From that point, I learned the building, plumbing, plastering and decorating trades.

Most Schools are under pressure to keep kids in the classroom until they graduate. Unfortunately, there are many youngsters who are either not academically inclined and have difficulty with studies, or for one reason or another have become a disruption to classmates. As a result, more Schools are forming a Department called, “Alternative Provision,” or “Alternative Learning.” This is where many non-academic and/or disruptive children are finding themselves.

Alternative Provisional children are exposed to alternative forms of learning such as, the Work-Study Program. Here is where youngsters can apply to a Trades School or College, and they can experience on-the-job training doing such things as; working in the trades, learning how to be a beautician, and other fields that may not require a University degree. Thus, we have an abundance of youngsters becoming tradespeople because they cannot find gainful, employment due to the lack of a University degree or another specialized training.

There are many people who are in the trades because ‘it’s the only thing they can do,’ or because it’s the only thing they are qualified to do. I believe most tradespeople want to do a good job and take pride in their work. The challenge is, many tradespeople do not possess the skills to set themselves apart from the rest. They are not good Business people. I have listed some ways tradespeople fall short of a professional, high quality standard that will deliver positive outcomes in their business:

• They write estimates on a napkin or piece of dirty paper

• They show up to appointments late and are not dressed in an appropriate manner

• They forget to send out invoices or forget to follow up on outstanding invoices

• They do not schedule their time efficiently and live a, ‘feast or famine’ existence

• They do not provide clean, professional customer estimates and invoices, nor do they have systems to track them

• They do not manage conversations with customers. A customer may say one thing today, and another thing tomorrow. If you do not have record of that conversation, the job will turn into confusion and become a ‘he said-she said’ challenge

• They do not carefully manage their time and miss or forget to respond to customer calls

• They do not have systems in place to maintain an accurate customer base

• They find themselves having to “chase customers” for payment

• They do not have a Professional Presence

The list can go on and on, but I think you get the picture…

Life is good when you’re working. However, there always comes the time when you are not as busy as you would like. This is the time when many tradespeople begin to ask friends for work or they look into joining some website that promises to ‘send them leads.’ I have found these sites to be misleading because they do not address the real issue – helping tradespeople to become more reliable and professional!

These sites charge high fees but do not produce the goods. Let’s be honest; how can anyone refer a “Trusted Trader?” The only referral anyone can give is; “He has done a fantastic job for me, or I would never use him again.”

Unfortunately, this tends to be much like Trip Advisor, where a Hotel may receive high rating by someone, but your experience might be totally opposite…

The one thing any qualified, tradesperson can do is; become more professional at what you do!

I will address ways to become a more professional tradesperson, in my next article.

Somehow Instant Costs a Lot, But Sending Money Is Now Almost Free

We grew up with the knowledge that everything that comes easy and convenient comes with a price-which is true in the past.

Going back in time, in order to send money to people who do not live near us means going through the postal office. Remember that this process involves operators who need to be trusted because you are already in doubt of sending money since money itself poses a lot of temptation. In addition, it takes several days (if not months) to be able to get the money through, if it ever does go through. Because of the impositions of such unsecured services and the length of time and inconvenience it imposes, the existence of remittance centers who handle sending money slowly grew in number.

However, at the start of their operations, the transaction fees were very high and almost unaffordable for most people which is why some still opt to transact with postal offices. The reason for this is that internet services were also costly and all the other equipment, and software needed to make the transactions possible requires a lot of investment. At this point, it has become possible but still costly and still takes a great deal of time.

With technology slowly improving and with the rise of businesses in competition, the notion of “what is instant costs a lot” has been changed or altered. Many are now able to send remittances anywhere at faster transaction times with little or limited cost. The changes couldn’t have been made possible if businesses were unwilling to participate with such changes. Although some still prefer to do old school transactions, the demand of the majority for more convenience and change has slowly turned the face of both banking and financing.

With the rise of technology, the local remittance centers were now forced to decrease the transaction charge they have for every transfer in order to remain competitive in the industry. Banks have provided its account holders with the convenience of doing online banking making transfers to account holders who have accounts in the same bank. Even remittance centers have provided online transactions so some customers who prefer online transfers can do so independently.

Although the migration seems fast, walking into offices who still assist people in sending their money proves that not all are adept with the changes. Many still prefer transacting with these institutions but the charges are visibly lower compared to how it was in the beginning. This is mainly because not everybody is already technology savvy and the services of most online applications for actual recipients are not accessible in terms of location.

We cannot foretell how long it will take for everything to go digital, but one thing has remained for sure. Each day, people are improving the standard of living to address the convenience each person needs. The financial world may have come in slow but it is slowly adapting and realizing the necessity to innovate and make the necessary changes to stay in the market. Things have changed and will continue to change at a much lesser cost all for the sake of competition.

Tips for Personal Finance

Monitoring income and expenses is a tedious process that requires patience and foresight. While it may be dull to balance your checkbook and ensure bills are being paid, the security provided from managing your money is priceless. By employing a few simple techniques you can make the process both easy and enjoyable.

When I first entered college, I found myself having to manage my first income along with a sizeable amount of bills-rent, groceries, cell phone and recreation money. I spent the first semester going out to eat, to the movies and buying unnecessary items. I soon found that I had blown my savings from my summer job. Instead of having a comfortable financial cushion, I was soon living off a meager income from a part-time campus job-lets just say ramen noodles became a fixture of my diet.

Unfortunately, I had not set up a balanced budget to ensure I was paying all my bills, saving money and allotting for “fun” money. I had overlooked one of the crucial steps for managing money: I did not set up a budget to know how much I was making or spending. It is important to sit down with your pay stubs, bills and receipts to determine how much money can be allotted for each item. In fact, this basic step is really half the battle to ensuring a sound money management strategy.

The repercussions of not having a balanced budget can often cause you actually to lose money. For instance, many banks charge overdraft fees when you buy an item and do not have sufficient funds. While in college, I often found myself not only with depleted bank account but also a hefty overdraft fee-usually around $35 dollars-after not closely monitoring my spending. It is hard to imagine now, but I was actually paying for my poor money management choices.

So, what are a few simple steps to balancing a budget? The first step you must do is actually total the money you receive monthly. Add the sum of all the income or support you receive-whether it is from a job, rental property or a relative. After figuring out your monthly income, next add up all your monthly bills-rent, mortgage, cell phone, water, gas, electricity etc. Once you have both of these numbers, subtract your total income from your expenses and what remains constitutes your surplus from each paycheck.

Now, many people decide to spend their surplus income on personal hobbies or entertainment. While it is certainly appropriate to spend a portion of your income on these items, it is not wise to spend all your extra money on dining, clothes or other luxury items. Instead, saving a portion or investing your money in a personal project allows you to invest in yourself and help you grow as a person. For example, I spent my summers while in college working for a landscape company, so I could invest in my education and myself. Although I had a lot of surplus money from the job-I lived with my parents during the summer and had almost no bills-I choose to invest and save for my education. This investment took years to pay-off, and I had to sacrifice going out and having fun; however, the “nest egg” I saved over the summer helped me pay for college expenses and develop a better future.

Finally, it is important to not see money management or a budget as a hindrance to your life. Instead, it is important to view it as a necessary tool to ensure a successful future. When I save money now, I do not feel as if I am “sacrificing” for tomorrow; rather, I recognize that I am ensuring I will have a safety net later in life. By positioning saving money as a “precaution,” it reframes it as a necessity and a much more essential part of my livelihood-rather than a burdensome sacrifice.

So, the next time you find yourself out of money at the end of the month or paying overdraft fees, reflect back on the techniques you are employing for managing money. Make sure you have developed a balanced budget, allotted “fun” money and are investing in your future. Whether you are a young professional or an individual nearing retirement, it is never too late to develop the skills necessary to managing money. Most importantly, do not think of budgeting money in detrimental manner. Rather than seeing it as a deterrent to your current life, view it as a necessary insurance policy to ensure a bright and secure future.

How Forex Trading Reviews Help An Individual Generate More Profits?

Everybody wants to make money. I don’t think if there is anyone on this planet who doesn’t want to make money. It doesn’t matter if you have bank accounts full of it, you’d still want to make some more. It is more of a passion than a necessity for the rich, whereas for the poor and average earner, it is the most important necessity. There are several ways of earning money. You can do overtime at the office, use your skills and do two jobs and so on. There are some unique ways of earning as well, which doesn’t require overtime, but all you need is some bank balance and a heart to take risks.

You must have heard about the Forex trading, if not, then let me tell you what it is. Forex trading is the trading of the currencies. You must be thinking that how currencies are traded and how a person can make money out of money. The magic of trading currencies lies in the timing, if your timing is good, then you can make a huge profit by selling the currency that you have bought earlier. The free flowing currencies in the world right now is the United States Dollar. Almost 80% of the global transactions take place using the US Dollars, thus making it the most powerful currency of all time. As you might be aware of the fact that the price of the Dollar fluctuates on a daily basis.

If you live in the UK, then sometimes a Dollar would be 1.50 to 1 Pound Sterling and sometimes it’ll be 1.25. So, what you can do is, you can buy a huge amount of Dollars when they are priced low and wait till the price got high. The difference in the price would be your profit margin, which you can take and enjoy with your family and friends. But, it is not as easy as I have explained it to you because there are some information that you need to keep in your mind before investing your money in Forex trading. It is important to check out the Forex trading reviews in order to have a better idea about what this is all about.

I’m not denying the fact that it is not possible to make money within the Forex market, but it is also a fact that you need a good performance along with an equally good risk management to achieve huge success.

So, if you don’t know what Forex trading reviews are, then let me explain it to you. A Forex trading review is actually the true experiences of the people who have been trading currencies for quite some time. They have achieved a level of expertise where they can share their point of views and all the good and bad things about this technique. You can get a significant amount of ideas about the risk management within your Forex trading operation, which will help you achieve more by taking minimum risks.

If you don’t believe in the power of a review, then let me tell you what it can actually do for you. A good review is constructed in an organized and methodical way, so as to give you all the relevant information you need to evaluate the different tools designed to ensure a better Forex trading operation. You will not find such an information within the product’s website, therefore it is highly useful. Every trader has his/her own set of tools and resources, which they use to lower down the risk levels. The Forex trading reviews are the best place to consult, whether a particular tool or resource is adequate or not. You can really maximize your profits and decimate any risks with the help of these trading reviews.

Forex News Now is an online site which tells people about the different trading companies and platforms. They have a top ten page where they list the best trading brokers, so that their users are not scammed and they can reduce the risk of losing money. The Forex News Now website is very useful because it also has links to all the latest news about the industry and there is actually a learning section for users to learn the ins and outs of trading.