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How To Setup Debtors

Many aspects of accounts management in Collect! are directly dependent upon the Debtor form.

This document deals with setting up all of the areas related to the Debtor form. Several of these topics are covered in-depth in other Help documents. We will list all of them here, however, and point you in the right direction to get the details.

Properly setting up the areas related to the Debtor form greatly speeds up data entry for your operators. The information in many fields can be entered automatically when the operator opens the Debtor form.


You and your collectors will spend a great deal of your time on the Debtor form, or performing tasks that are directly related to the information stored in this form.

New users of Collect! are anxious to get right to work and often, want to start at the Debtor form. You may be surprised to realize that this is not the most efficient place to start. What settings does Collect! need, first, and where are they entered?

To use the advice offered here, you must have full access rights to Collect! so that you can set up all the areas mentioned.

AND you must be willing to take the time to set up Collect! correctly, right from the start. You will be pleased to see what Collect! can do for you when it has all the information it needs in each of the areas related to the Debtor form.

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What Needs To Be Set Up?

Many areas are related to the Debtor record. If your needs are simple, you may be able to use the default settings provided for many of the areas. For instance, user levels, status codes, contact plans, transaction types and letters are shipped with Collect!. These may all be modified as needed, or you may be able to start right away using them as is, modifying later as the need arises.

tip.gif You will want to have all these settings in place before you begin to enter your accounts in Collect!. That way, you will be able to make the correct choices, run the correct plans, assign operators to accounts and post financials.

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Company Details

The Company Details form stores important company information that may be printed in reports and letters. Tax number, and other company level details are stored in this form.

Select System from the top menu bar and then select Company Details to access this form. Press F1 for details about the fields on this form.

- How to Setup Company Details

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Client Settings

Clients are set up through the Client and Client Settings forms. You can print this information in reports, and also use it for calculating fees and charges. Also, switches are set in the Client Settings for reporting Client accounts to credit bureaus.

Whenever you enter a new Debtor for a Client, that Client's settings are automatically loaded into the Debtor form. Settings like Commission Rate and Tax Rate can then be applied automatically to each transaction that is entered for the account. This is why it is so useful to enter your Clients BEFORE you enter your Debtors.

Select Browse from the top menu bar and then select Clients from the drop-down choices to view the list of Clients or enter a new one.

- How To Enter A New Client

Select the ADVANCED button on the Client form to open the Client Settings. Press F1 for details about the fields on this form.

- How To Setup Client Settings

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In Collect!, Debtors are assigned to a collector, or Operator who "owns" the account. This means that this is the person who usually works the account. Operators must be set up so that you can assign Debtor accounts to your collectors. Then you can assign a work load by creating contacts that the Operator must work in their To Do List.

Select System from the top menu bar and then select Rights, Operators from the drop-down choices to view the list of Operators or enter a new one.

- How To Setup Operators

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Status Codes

The Debtor Status list contains various Debtor Status Codes. These codes assist you to sort, process and categorize your debtors. The Debtor Status is your way of knowing the current state of the account, such as NEW, ACT, NSF, SKP, or PIF.

Use Status Codes to filter data for reports and batch processes.

Select System from the top menu bar and then select Contact Management Settings, Status Codes from the drop-down choices to view the list of Status Codes or enter a new one.

- How To Setup Debtor Status Codes

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Contacts Scheduled

The Contact is the interaction that you have with your Debtor account. In order to be an active part of your daily business processes, Debtors must have contacts scheduled for them. When a Debtor is first entered into your database, you must also enter an initial contact. These include letters, phone calls, and file reviews, for instance. Each contact has a date when it is to be performed.

Contacts are always assigned to an Operator. This is the way that Collect! manages your day to day business and the scheduling of collector work loads. Each contact is assigned to an Operator and appears in that Operator's Work In Progress To Do List ( WIP list) when the Operator signs on to Collect!.

Select the Contact tab on the Debtor form and then select NEW to create a new Contact.

- How To Schedule Contacts

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Contact Plans

Contact Plans are powerful and excellent for automating numerous aspects of your operations, such as scheduling letter series, file reviews, phone calls, status changes, writing notes and many other actions.

You can set a contact plan to run automatically on each new account entered in your system. You can also run a plan as needed on one or several accounts depending on criteria that you set.

Collect! ships with many samples and you can create your own plans.

Select System from the top menu bar and then select Contact Management Settings, Contact Plans, View.

- How To Use Contact Plans

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Transaction Types

Transaction types are used to categorize the Debtor transactions that you post, such as payments to the agency, precollect charges, and NSF fees. Several types are already set up for you. Each one has different settings appropriate to the type of transaction it describes. You can use the default types or create your own custom settings for the types of transaction that you need.

Select System from the top menu bar and then select Financial Settings, Transaction Types to view the list of available types in the system.

- How To Setup Transaction Types

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Financial Transactions

There are many kinds of financial transactions. These are categorized by transaction types. Before you post transactions, you will want to have a plan in mind for the transaction types that you will use. Keep it simple, to start. Transaction types have many options that can be set up to automatically load into the transaction that you are posting. For instance, some transactions must be included in the Client statement. Others are to be omitted.

Select the Transaction tab on the Debtor form to view Transactions already posted on the account. Press NEW to post a new one.

- How To Post A Transaction

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This is a very important field. The setting you choose here affects contact management and financial calculations. Click the field or select the arrow to choose one of the following modes.

Active - activates the account.

Closed - closes the account and deletes all pending Contacts, UNLESS a Contact has the switch "Do not autodelete" set. However, Promises and Transactions will be marked completed when an account is closed, regardless of the "Do not autodelete" setting.

Precollect - treats the debtor as 'Closed' but does not delete Contacts.

Suspend - treats the debtor as 'Closed' but does not delete Contacts.

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Mode And WIP List

Only ACTIVE accounts appear in WIP lists.

CLOSED or SUSPENDED accounts do not show even if they have contacts scheduled for the day.

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Mode And Recalc

RECALC is not done on CLOSED accounts, but accounts with other modes are recalculated. The only exception is when a payment is posted - if the account is closed then the total is still recalculated.

Basically, if you close an account, its financial figures are frozen where they are at the time you closed the account, unless a payment is posted, at which time, and only then, a Recalc actually alters the Owing.

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Closed Mode And Interest

When you close an account with interest, Collect! posts a Total Accrued Interest transaction, Type 499, for all interest that has accrued over the time that you have been calculating interest on the account. If you should re-open the account at a future date, this record can be used to start up interest calculations again.

tip.gif Collect! needs Transaction Type 499, with the correct settings, to perform the calculations. If you do not have Transaction Type 499, you can copy it from your Demonstration database or request it from Collect! Technical Services.

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Debtor Details

The Debtor Detail form allows you to store additional information about this Debtor. It is a good idea to plan in advance how you will use this form. That way you can be consistent in your record keeping. One common use is for bank account information, especially when using Check Taken By Phone.

Select the Detail tab in the Debtor form to view Debtor Details.

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Fees And Commissions

Many aspects of fees, charges and commissions can be set up before you begin to post payments and other financial transactions. There are several places where this type of information can be entered and used as default values when new accounts are entered.

- Company Details

- Client Settings

- Financial Detail

Please refer to each of those topics for details.

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Commission Rate Plans

Commission Rate Plans allow you to define a variable sliding commission rate for accounts, based on account age, owing, paid or payment amount. Several Commission Rate Plans have been set up for you already. You can also create your own. Commission Rate Plans in the Demonstration database can be copied to the Masterdb database.

- How To Create A New Commission Rate Plan

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Tax Rate

Tax rate is calculated using the percentage in the Financial Detail form available when you click in the Rate field on the Debtor form. This field must have a value in it if you wish to calculate tax on your transactions for the debtor. New debtors will have this field filled automatically from the value set in the Client Settings form.

Select the Principal field in the Debtor form to open the Financial Detail form. Select the Tax tab.

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If you want interest to be calculated for a given Debtor, you must enter an interest rate for the account.

Select the Principal field in the Debtor form to open the Financial Detail form. Select the Interest tab.

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Account Matching

There are several reasons to group accounts:

* You might attempt to list a new debtor for a particular client. This debtor may also have accounts that are in arrears with several of your other clients. By setting defaults for account matching, Collect! can automatically detect your attempt to enter, as a new account, information that is already in the system.

* You may realize that several of your accounts are related and you may wish to view them together. For instance, you may discover several debtors who have the same cosigner. You can manually group these accounts together.

* You may have one outstanding debt, such as a funeral home bill, with several debtors who could be responsible to settle the account. You can manually group these accounts together.

* You may want to run a batch processing routine to look for matching accounts after importing a group of accounts.

These examples indicate three ways of grouping accounts:

1. Automatically through settings and applied whenever new accounts are entered

2. Manually on an individual basis

3. Through settings in batch processing routines

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Debtor Cosigner

The Debtor Cosigner form shows the Cosigner's name SSN number, home phone, work phone, address, and two flags indicating if the Cosigner has the same address as the Debtor and is the Cosigner's address valid. This form can be used for many other purposes. Examine the Class and Type fields, and be aware that you can define your own types and classes of Cosigners.

Select the Cosigners tab on the Debtor form to view Cosigners or enter a new one.

- Debtor Cosigner

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The Attachment form may be used to record other information about a debt or Debtor. This feature lets you attach any kind of information or even different files to your accounts in Collect!. Several of the fields are indexed for fast retrieval when reporting or calculating.

- How To Use The Attachment Form

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Credit Report Settings

When you select the CBR tab on the Debtor form, the Credit Report Details form is displayed. You can switch on ' Report to Credit Bureaus' for this Debtor. However, it is necessary to setup your Credit Bureau reporting before you use this switch.

- Credit Bureau Setup

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Reports And Letters

When you schedule letters with a letter contact, you are offered a list to choose from. These are all the letters that exist in your database.

In the Demonstration database, there is a variety of letters and reports that you may be able to use without modification in the initial stages of your contact management. There are also additional letters available in the Member Center.

- How To Copy Reports To Master Database
- How to Print A Sample Report Or Letter

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Pick Lists

If you would like to ensure that your operators enter information correctly in particular fields on the Debtor form, consider attaching a pick list to these fields. You can easily define valid values and formats. Your operators need only pick from the list.

- How To Use Pick Lists

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Advanced Topics

Other settings that can be defined before you start entering information include the following.

- Payment Posting Options
- Payment Plans
- Batch Processing Routines
- Control Files
- Field Aliases

Please refer to Help topics for more information about these features of Collect!.

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This topic introduced you to many areas where you can customize Collect! to use your particular settings when you enter new accounts in your database. We recommend that you start simply, using the defaults provided to get started and modifying as the need arises.

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See Also

- How To Start Using Collect!

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