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Partnership offers new tools for SME cash flow

BUSINESS software company MYOB has partnered with credit management firm D&B to launch a range of account management tools for small and medium sized businesses.

The first of these tools allows customers to list outstanding debts for recovery with D&B.

MYOB chief executive Craig Winkler said the partnership with D&B was about providing the SME market with the same management tools that the big end of town currently enjoyed.

“Since the introduction of the GST, corporate Australia has renewed its focus on good debt management in order to maximise available cash flow,” he said.

“We have seen credit terms tighten considerably.

“While SMEs have come to the party and are now paying their invoices faster than at any time in the past four years, it would seem that many larger companies are still dragging their feet. 

“As a result, SMEs are bearing the brunt of the cash flow squeeze, as they struggle to meet quarterly tax deadlines and pay their creditors on time.”

D&B Australia & New Zealand chief executive Christine Christian said many SMEs failed to use debt collection services because of a fear of losing customers and a lack of resources.

“What they need to understand, though, is that these are the rules that big business plays by and it’s part of their everyday operations,” she said.

 “Good debt management gives SMEs the confidence to say: ‘Yes, I do have defined terms of payment and yes, I will take appropriate action if these terms aren’t met’.”

Ms Christian said current users of the online accounts recovery service, which allows customers to track overdue accounts and manage how they are collected, mainly used it to follow-up long-term bad debt, which is the most difficult to recover.

“The real value lies in catching debt early, before it falls into the too hard basket,” she said. 

“By taking this early intervention approach, your invoices are more likely to rise to the top of the ‘must pay’ pile, ahead of other outstanding accounts.

“Our data has shown time and time again that businesses that consistently apply good receivables management practices in their infancy are far more likely to survive and prosper in the long-term.”

Further management tools to be made available to MYOB customers online over the next six months will include credit checking, business verification and ‘behavioural monitoring’ services.

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