When I grow up I want to be an accounts receivable specialist…said no child ever.
If you would cruise through career day at any number of schools, you would be hard pressed to find any child who even remotely knew what the accounts receivable concept was. So how does someone go from: I want to be an astronaut or a baseball player to I want to be a bill collector in essence?
Often times for the person who asks the customer for past due monies, it is not a simple A to B journey. There are usually some forays into sales, customer service and accounting. These experiences can illuminate a universal business need and stability (for accounts receivable personnel) within companies of all sizes. Dabbling in these different areas brings a person into contact with a wide spectrum of personalities, work environments and work flow perspectives.
Quite naturally over the years, a large percentage of the people I have known and worked with in the collections genre are quirky and have their own dynamic character. Overall we like working with numbers and walking that line between customer service presence but also having the firm ground to ask for what is rightfully owed. Don’t get me wrong, some days are tougher than others but there’s a weird sense of accomplishment when you can align the tumblers just right and the external customer is satisfied along with the internal customer. If you can resolve the problem invoice or account and get them to a ‘clean’ status, it’s a good feeling. Just like any other facet of work, it may not be someone else’s cup of tea but a job well done brings a certain measure of pride and self-confidence.
Collections or accounts receivable is just like any other department but maybe a little kookier sometimes. We may have pictures of our families posted in our cubicles like everyone else, but possibly they are sitting right next to a Nerf ball or stress idol in plain view for those times when the problem solving is a notch above the norm.
I hope your week is treating you kindly. Please feel free to email me with any questions or feedback on this piece or if you would like to submit a topic or sub-topic pertaining to Accounts Receivable.
Until next time, may your projections do well and all of your milestones hit as expected.
— Scott Latta —