Three easy steps to protect your business against bad debt

Three easy steps to protect your business against bad debt

All facts considdered.

– By Leon van der Merwe – Snr. Consultant at pbVerify

 

The Business Credit Report explained in 3 easy steps
Doing business in the SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) sector has become more complex and more “corporate” than ever before when it comes to protecting your piggy bank. A few years ago it was almost the norm to extend credit to clients on a mere handshake and the pressure to do sales sometimes lead to remarkably bad decisions to extend credit to the wrong people or businesses, but then the opposite has also proved its worth. Let’s take a moment to look at what can proactively be done to prevent bad debt, rather than chasing and tracing the ever illusive defaulters.

1 – Do some digging
Take the time to do some digging into potential customers’ personal and business credit reports. PBVerify provides a world of CREDIT BUREAU, CIPRO, SARS and DEEDS data that empowers you with information to make better decisions. Get the facts and figures required to make confident business decisions and protect your money, reduce liability and prevent fraud.

2 – Understand the information
There is no point in drawing a credit report if you do not understand the information you are looking at, or more importantly what you are looking for. Let’s focus today on the TransUnion Business Credit Profile obtainable to registered clients of pbVerify which will contain the following information:

Business identification information
Details of the registration of a particular business, including registration number, address, date of registration and any previous names that the business may have been registered under.

  • – Carefully examine this information and compare it to the client’s credit application information pertaining to the business name, registration number, address etc. Any differences in the comparison should be noted and further investigated.
  • – You can go one step further and do a CIPRO (Company and Intellectual Property Commission) Company and/or Director search to obtain real-time data direct from the registrar.

Bank history
Details of previous and current bankers and bank codes obtained on the business by TransUnion (ITC).

  • – Check for the appropriate bank codes related to previous amounts enquired for.

Bank Codes explained:
A = Undoubted for the amount of enquiry
B = Good for the amount of enquiry
C = Good for the amount quoted if strictly in the way of business
D = Fair trade risk for the amount of your enquiry
E = Figures considered too high
G = Paper occasionally dishonoured
H = Paper frequently dishonoured

Business default information
Negative information (non-payment of accounts information) recorded against a business by other subscribers held on the TransUnion database.

  • – It is important to realise that a credit report is much like a “criminal record”, meaning only negatives are recorded, a clear report in terms of Listings, Defaults and Judgements means the client has a clean credit record.

Principal details
Information on the principals of a business such as name, surname, ID number, as well as an indicator of adverse information (e.g. civil court record – ‘Y’or ‘N’).

  • – If a red (pbVerify report only) “Y” appears next to the principal’s (Directors and Members) detail, it means that there is a negative record recorded against this person in their personal capacity. It is highly recommended that you then draw a Consumer Credit Profile on this person to determine the extent and value of the adverse information.

Trade information
Business Payment information on the way a business pays its debts with other creditors.

Enquiry history
A history of enquiries that has been made on the business by other businesses over the past three years.

3 – Make an informed decision
Institute measures that specifically suits your organisation and resembles your organisation’s approach to acceptable risk. As impossible as it is to predict the future, the last thing you want to do is reject a potentially good client’s credit request because your measures are set without considering all facts. Even in today’s unemotional world of business, I believe personal relations should still count for something. Knowing your client is key, so by all means take the time to do some digging and gather facts, but also make time to get to know your clients, their business, goals and objectives; – and make an informed decision based on all facts considered. Accepting or rejecting a client’s request for credit is a simple denial or approval for doing business, taking into consideration the possible risks associated in doing so.

 No one can predict the future, but those with all-embracing information at hand – combined with some good business sense dramatically increases the odds of a successful future.

For more information on pbVerify, please contact 011 516 9400 or send an Email to support@pbverify.co.za

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