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Working A Debtor

This topic introduces you to working your accounts. Collect! can help you manage your credit or collection accounts the way you want to work them. The exciting part is that anything you can do manually on an account can by automated with contact plans.

Every user would like Collect! to work accounts as automatically as possible. But this can only be done when you are sure of the steps you want Collect! to take.

Start by working your debtor accounts individually, one step at a time. Then begin to automate the process so that you can work many accounts at once. There are some basic requirements for automating any process in Collect!. It is necessary to know each manual step exactly before you can get Collect! to automate the step.

Someone in your organization will be instrumental in automating Collect!.

This person:

  • has to know how to use Collect! to work a debtor account.
  • must take responsibility for your data.
  • has to know how the database is going to be affected if you select multiple records to work with one procedure.

Collect! can handle multiple situations in a contact plan. However, you must be able to step through what is needed so that you can design your plan effectively. Concentrate on working only one debtor, or one debtor for each type of account you have. Decide what you want to do, exactly how you want to do it, and see if you can do it manually. Focus on learning how to work your debtor accounts and then move on to automation.

tip.gif Collect! installs with many samples to show you how to start using advanced features and speed up your learning curve. Many sample reports and contact plans can be used just as they are. Others may require minor modification to adjust their actions to your requirements.

Finding A Debtor

Trying to get a particular Debtor record in front of you is one of the most common requests when using Collect!. This is very necessary when working accounts in your WIP List. A call is received from one of your debtors and you need to find the record right now.

Collect! offers a variety of ways to accomplish this task. Provided you have access to the various menus and forms, you may access an account several different ways.

1. Using the menu bar at the top of Collect!, select Browse to display the drop-down menu. Select Find By from this menu to search for the account by many selected preset search functions. Find by Name, by SSN or by Phone Numbers are just a few examples.

2. Another easy method to find an account is to use the menu bar at the top of Collect! to select Browse to display the drop-down menu. Select All Debtors, Active Debtors, or even Closed Debtors if you know which debtor category applies. When you bring up the list of all debtors, you may select any column in the list. Simply start to type the corresponding search request and Collect! will take you to the closest match right in the list.

3. One other method that can be used is the Search function. While in any list, you can press the Find toolbar icon, or press F6 while on the list. This brings up the Edit Search Criteria form. You can narrow down the search by selecting any field criteria you wish. This is not recommended for operator usage. Generally, this method should be reserved only for management staff as it does have some side effects that may affect the other users, particularly if you tag records as the results are displayed.

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Getting Debtor Related Information

An operator can have access, if necessary, to any of the information in your database that relates to a Debtor or Client account. This includes attachments, transactions, contacts, other accounts in the Debtor's group, and other valuable information.

Provided the operator has appropriate access rights, this information is usually only a keystroke away. If you are not satisfied with the times when it takes a few keystrokes to access related information, there are other ways to enable the user to view the information all on one screen.

tip.gif There are many possibilities for getting information to your operators fast. Collect! is very flexible and powerful in this area. Properly planning where to store information will optimize gathering data later on.

Tabs on Debtor Form
To begin, try using the tabs on the Debtor form to access related information.

Print a Report to Screen
If you want the operator to view more information quickly, a report designed to print to screen or browser will very quickly give the user access to all that is important for them to see.

For example, while on the Debtor form, a collector cannot see information about the debtor's client other than the Client Name and Client Number. Perhaps the operator needs to read the client's phone number or street address to the debtor. The collector would have to use the Browse menu, find the client's record and open it to find the information. Perhaps, you do not want your operator to see the financial information on the Client record. You could set the access rights on these fields so that they are invisible to the operator. Or you can create an report that the operator can run from the Debtor form. The report could simply print to browser the Client Name, Client Contact Name, Client Address and Phone/Fax Number. You could also output any values needed to help the operator explain finances, if necessary, without actually seeing anything about how much agency commission has been earned.

Run a Contact Plan
Another method that can be used is a contact plan that prints a summary report. This way, the operator doesn't have to access reports and letters. Simply running a contact plan, for instance, a debtor summary contact plan, could execute the report and display all the information in the browser.

Attachments
You can use attachment records to attach a scanned image, word document, spreadsheet file, an HTML page, or any ASCII text file. The operator can open the attachment and access the document he needs, through Collect!, with only a few keystrokes. The Browse menu, Attached Documents option is another feature enabling the user to view all contents of any debtor or client attachment folder. Or, using a contact plan, a report can be designed to loop through the account's attachment records and place selectable links to open the documents all on one page.

Control Files
Another method to gather data is control files. Control files are actually report snippets. Anything that a report can do can be used in a control file. For example, have the control file look through all the debtor's transactions and count the number of NSF checks the account has given you. Then, for quick reference, the control file could actually write that number to a field on the Debtor form.

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Summary

As you begin to work your Debtors, you will find the steps that work best for the way you do business. These steps may be automated once you are sure of them. Spend time planning, learning Collect!'s features, and prioritizing your goals. Whether you have only one debtor or 200,000 debtor accounts, you must feel confident with how Collect! works accounts.

There are several ways to find a particular debtor and to access related debtor information. A few keystrokes will take you to all the related areas. Don't forget to press F1 for help on each form that you open.

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See Also

- Working With Collect!
- How To Use the WIP List
- Debtor Notes
- How To Manage Contacts
- How To Print Debtor Letters

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