Murray Nankivell is the largest accounting firm in regional South Australia, operating with 52 staff across three offices. The company lacked a systemised process to follow up outstanding debtors, which was impacting on cashflow, staff productivity, and their client relationships.
The firm’s General Manager, Glenn O’Bryan, explained: “We had a poor record of collecting debt, and our approach was very ad-hoc. We relied on one team member who spent most of their time manually going through a list of clients and making phone calls asking them to pay. We weren’t skilled at having those hard conversations.
“It was also costing us money,” he said. “For the really overdue accounts we’d send a court notice but never followed through. We ruffled the feathers of a few clients, but at the same time we wanted to get paid for the work we did.
“In a small business, cashflow is king, and for us it was no different,” said Glenn.
In addition, some accounts would take up to 10 days to reach clients in regional Victoria through the post, according to Glenn. With 21-day payment terms,
These clients weren’t receiving their invoices until day 11. “To compound the issue, Australia Post also increased their prices,” Glenn said. “We needed another way of following up overdue accounts that was quick and cost-effective.”
The firm’s Directors decided to act. After hearing a presentation about IODM at an industry event, then conducting a cost-benefit analysis, IODM stood out as the best solution for their requirements, according to Glenn.
“We were looking for an affordable system that was easy to implement and easy to use, and IODM ticked all those boxes,” he said.
Within four months of integrating IODM into the firm’s Reckon APS accounting software, the company’s debtor position improved dramatically.
“We’ve improved our end of financial position by 15 per cent compared with the average position over the last three years,” said Glenn. “This is solely due to implementing IODM, and I expect to see more improvement given we started using the system quite conservatively.”
IODM has also led to enhanced team productivity and operational efficiencies, according to Glenn.
“We’ve improved our end of financial position by 15 percent compared with the average position over the last three years”
“IODM gives us a systematic and consistent process to manage debtors,” he said. “The automatic referral of aged debtors to a mercantile company also removes those tricky client conversations, which are now handled more professionally.
According to Glenn, IODM’s SMS feature has also helped to improve the client experience.
“We’ve had so many clients tell us that SMS is their preferred means of communication, and it prompts them to pay quicker. Nowadays everyone is on their phone, so for us, SMS is a real winner!”
“There are simple things that can be done to make a big difference to the bottom line of your business – this is one of them,” Glenn said.
“Nowadays everyone is on their phone, so for us, SMS is a real winner!”