Many purchases are still paid for by check. Checks create float, and float needs to be managed. Credit managers seek to speed up collections while also controlling the disbursements of their own firms. Credit managers need to understand electronic funds transfers and international cash management. While electronic funds transfers are still relatively few in number, but they are increasingly substantially in terms of value transferred. Finally, international cash management may play an increasingly important role for credit managers as more firms compete on an international basis.
The Credit Research Foundation, in preparation for the Centennial Credit Congress of the National Association of Credit Managers, investigated the role of business credit ten years into the future. Eight focus groups of senior credit, finance, and sales/marketing executives were used to collect qualitative data. The output from the focus groups was used to develop a survey which was administered to over 1000 credit and finance executives.1 An important finding of this survey is that business credit in the future must evolve into a complete customer service organization including handling the customer relationship from the initial billing through cash application and would include all services required to manage the order fulfillment process. In order to accomplish such an approach, the survey results indicated that task-oriented jobs organized in functional silos are obsolete and that future activities must be organized around business processes in which work is completed by “process teams.”2
Set a realistic budget for your business to help you ..
In today’s dynamic business environment, it is important for credit professionals to be prepared to apply their skills both within and outside the specific credit management function. Credit executives may be called upon to provide insights regarding issues such as strategic financial planning, measuring the success of a business strategy or determining the viability of an acquisition candidate. Even so, the normal duties involved in credit assessment and management call for the credit manager to be equipped to conduct financial analysis in a rapid and meaningful way.
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Activity-Based Budgeting (ABB): An approach to budgeting where a company uses an understanding of its activities and driver relationships to quantitatively estimate workload and resource requirements as part of an ongoing business plan. Budgets show the types, number of, and cost of resources that activities are expected to consume based on forecasted workloads. The budget is part of an organization's activity-based planning process and can be used in evaluating its success in setting and pursuing strategic goals.