The process of accounts receivable starts when products or services are provided to a customer on credit. The company that details the transaction including the total amount and duration of credit creates an invoice. The invoice is then recorded.
If payment is on time the accounts receivable process ends there. However, often this is not the case. That’s when the collection department takes over. First, the customer is afforded the opportunity to explain the delay. If there’s a complaint regarding products or services, the matter is forwarded to the respective departments. Once the issue is resolved and payment is received the process is ended. Sometimes the process will end if the product is shown to be faulty or not up to the customer’s expectations, at which point the debt may be expunged or reduced. This may or not be the case with your company or the company your represent.
Some companies prefer to hire an accounts receivable outsourcing firm. These firms take over the process of collecting overdue payments in a professional manner. A certain amount of fee or commission is charged for successfully completing the process of collection. In some extreme instances, a customer goes bankrupt and simply can’t pay in which case the debt is transferred to the bad debts account from accounts receivable.
The bad debts account will stay on record, but the comany may or may not ever be able to collect on the debt. Some debts are lost causes, and those losses must be cut so that the system does not get bogged down.