Collect! Credit and Collection Software™

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How To Setup Collect!

Setting up your Collect! software is the most important aspect of preparing to use Collect!. It is very important that you understand the basics so that the transition from using your existing system to using Collect! is easy and efficient.

These setup tips are guaranteed to save you from needless frustration. Please take the time to print this page. You will want to review the sections you need in your day to day operations.

Introduction

By default, Collect! is set to run an average Collection Agency. Your way of conducting business may be different. Perhaps you plan to use Collect! to track your delinquent Accounts Receivable, in a Credit Union, for Contact Management, or a variety of other businesses. Collect! is readily modified to suit your needs. The average Collect! user utilizes only a portion of Collect!'s power.

Most system users have collection strategies which work for them. Collect! is extremely flexible and can be modified to use your

strategies. You don't have to change the way you do business; instead Collect! will change to suit your needs.

This checklist shows how you can control Collect! for your own use. It is divided into sections representing the main operations you perform.

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Contact Management

Contact Management tasks include all the day to day operations you perform to work your accounts. Work queues, letter printing, entering new accounts, and batch processing are examples. To use these functions efficiently in Collect!, set up the following areas right from the start.

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Company Details

Enter information about your company in the Company Details form. When you enter your company information, please be aware that, by default, this information is printed on a variety of reports and letters. You may change the information as needed. Access your Company Information by selecting System from the top menu bar. Then select Company Details from the list of choices that is displayed. Alternatively, through the Main Menu, select System Administration, Setup and Configuration.

Click here for more details.

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Client Setup

Clients are entered into Collect! before debtors. Once the client information and the appropriate settings are in place, it is easy to enter the new debtors through the Client dialog. Entering information in this order minimizes data entry, because each time you create a new debtor through the Client dialog, basic information is automatically placed in the appropriate fields. It is very important that you understand the client setup to facilitate any special requirements each client may have for debtor records and reports.

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Debtor Setup

The Debtor form is used to store all account information. All account related information is stored in areas accessible from the Debtor screen.

Entering new debtors and setting them up requires a good understanding of each information field in the Debtor form. This is particularly important when planning your letters and reports because the bulk of reported information is pulled directly from this form.

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Debtor Status Codes

What are Status Codes? Is the debtor bankrupt (BNK), have they skipped (SKP), or are they active (ACT)?

Use a basic three character code to tell you the current state of each account. It is important to put some thought into this aspect so that you can define status codes which have meaning for you. With status codes, you can select clearly defined groups of debtors and perform specific actions on their accounts. This information may be accessed to produce debtor information reports based on assigned status.

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Reports And Letters

You may build your own reports and letters or modify the existing reports in the system. This template driven system can print virtually any information you see in the program.

Create reports and letters to suit your business needs. Edit the existing Reports and Letters by selecting Print from the top menu bar. Then select Customize Printing, Edit Report Templates and select the report you wish to modify.

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Contact Plans

The Contact Plan is Collect!'s expression for "collection strategy." A contact plan is a series of events which may take place immediately or at predetermined times in the future, and are to be processed by designated operators. Contact plans eliminate a great deal of manual work and optimize your time.You can set up automatic and semi-automatic sequences for processing debtors, printing letters, posting transactions, closing accounts and more. Edit the contact plans already in Collect! or create new plans.

Before you use complex scenarios, you need a good understanding of what a Contact Event is. So we recommend that you work the debtors in a fairly manual way until you can define the actual flow for your contact plan to take upon activation. If you seem to be repeating steps to an account, automate the sequence by creating a contact plan.

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Financial Management

Financial Management includes all tasks pertaining to accounting. Taking payments, posting fees, printing statements, writing checks and printing financial reports are examples. There are many features in Collect! that make handling finances efficient and professional.

Set up the basic areas right from the start so that all the necessary information is at your fingertips. Many financial settings

will be in place after you set up your Company Details, Clients and Debtors, and your Reports and Letters.

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Transaction Types

Transaction Types are used to organize account reporting information. They control what displays on your client statements and are the very heart of the financial aspect of Collect!. Preparing your transaction types is one of the most important aspects of setting up Collect!. Spend some time thinking about the actual transaction types you need and how each one must perform. You may add, change and delete transaction types to suit your own business needs.

There are many flags associated with the Transaction Type form. They control who sees the transactions, that is any fees, principal, interest or other types of transactions which must be recorded, reported and fully accounted for.

*** Special note *** Transaction types can control processing of revenue from commissions and fees. They determine how informatio n appears on your client statements.

Click here for more details.

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Multi User Networking

Collect! seamlessly integrates many users into the system at all levels of operation. Predefined levels allow you to set functions each operator may perform. Screens and menus may be edited to display pertinent labels in one or several languages. Set up the necessary areas right from the start so that your workers can use the system the way you want.

Please refer to the Help Topic How to Network Collect! for more information.

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Operator Setup

Each operator accessing Collect! needs their own ID and User Password. This allows you, the administrator, to control work queues for each user and to determine which aspects of Collect! each user has the right to edit or delete. It also defines their

ability to access certain parts of the system.

Each operator will have a unique ID and password with their special access rights and their name, title and phone number. This information can be printed on letters. Special User IDs may be set for clients with limited access rights. All operators may be defined as to their position in the company, i.e. collector, administrator, and so on. They may sign in as a collector with no need to see the administrative aspects, or they may be involved in administrative tasks necessitating far more freedom.

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User Level And Access Rights

This option lists all Forms, Fields and Menus in the system, and shows which user groups are allowed to access them. The fields, forms and tasks your operators may view or perform are controlled by the settings within these forms.

tip.gif You must sign out of Collect! completely, returning to the Desktop, whenever you change to a different User Level, or some of the rights from the previous level that you were signed in as may still be in effect.

*** WARNING *** This area can be very complex. It is advised not to delve into this area unless you are COMPLETELY familiar with Collect! and its forms. Instead, try altering the user level on an operator's form. It may be possible for you to find a combination of activities which is the closest to your requirements, rather than making changes to access rights.

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Pick Lists

Most fields in Collect! can display a list of items to choose from to speed data entry. You can assign a Pick List to just about any field on any form. This is a convenient way of letting your operators select from lists of items with the click of a button. This aspect speeds up data entry and reduces typographical errors when entering repetitive information. This enforces data entry integrity as well. If you want the State of Idaho to be displayed or printed consistently as ID rather than IO or any other variation, create a pick list which contains the abbreviations you wish to use. Pick lists are attached to a field or form using the Access Rights form.

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Screen Labels

You can show, change, or hide the Field Labels/Names in all the forms in the program. If you want to use a field to show date of insurance label as (DOI), rather than a birth date (DOB) you can change the way the screen looks so that it actually reads DOI. This feature can be very powerful. You can set up Collect! to display for different operators, dialogs that have been modified for a specific purpose. For example, if one of your operators works only on Medical Accounts, when this operator signs into Collect!, they can see the field label PATIENT while another operator in the same database may see the field label DEBTOR.

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Reports And Letters

Particular emphasis on your initial collection letters that need to be ready to be inserted on new accounts. The SAMPLE letters which ship with Collect! are NOT intended to be used as is; they are exemplars of how to set letters up.

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Commission Rate Plans

Are your clients needing any complex tiered commission plans or are they all flat rates. If tiered rate plans are going to be needed, set them up in advance so that as you data enter your clients, the codes for these are available for streamlined use as you input clients.

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Startup Automation

Collect! offers a number of options when starting up the program. For example, you may always want to sign on with a specific user ID from a particular workstation, or you might want to stop the user from exiting Collect!. There are quite a number of functions you can perform, including running a macro on startup, automating routine maintenance, changing the logo on the splash screen, inhibiting display of the Welcome To Collect! screen and more.

tip.gif Right click your Collect! desktop icon, choose Properties, Shortcut tab. Add the extension /? to the executable's path to display a complete list of command line startup options. You'll have to remove the extension to sign into Collect!.

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Optional Module Setup

The below modules should be setup if you plan to use them. Some modules are included and some are add-on modules that need to be

paid for. Please contact Sales or Administration for more information.

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Import/Export Module

If you receive data files from your clients that need to be imported, you will need to build and import map that maps the columns

in the file to the fields in Collect!. The import modules support a variety of ASCII text format. Please refer to the Help topic

How to Create an Import Map - Delimited Separation for more information.

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Credit Bureau Reporting

Collect! generates credit bureau reports in a Metro 2 (426 character) format which is accepted by all the major credit bureaus. You can report to one or multiple credit bureaus at one time.

There are several areas in Collect! where setup information MUST be entered prior to reporting to the credit bureaus through Collect!. Setup your company ID, client classification and enter debtor credit reporting details as required.

Click here for more details.

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Letter Service Outsourcing

You may want to use an external company to print your bulk letters for you. These large houses can print, fold, stuff and stamp your correspondence generally at a lower cost than that of the stamp itself. This is worth investigating if you are mailing large volumes of letters.

We can supply you with contact names of Letter Service Companies which currently serve the needs of Collect! users.

Click here for more details.

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Auto Dialer Setup

Easily dial phone numbers using Collect!'s Auto Dial feature.

When you are on an account and double-click into any phone number field, the Auto Dialer module will begin dialing the debtor's number. Use the normal dialing time to review the Notes on the account.

tip.gif When working accounts through your WIP List, selecting a Phone type contact will display the Auto Dialer if you have "Automatically display dialer" switched on in the WIP Options.

Click here for more details.

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Predictive Dialer

You can use a predictive dialer with Collect! to enhance collector productivity. After this is set up, the operator that is assigned a Predictive Dialer Operator status can sign into Collect! using their usual password and ID and sit and wait for the phones to start ringing. When a connection to a debtor has been established, the related debtor information will appear on the operator's Collect! screen.

In order to interface properly with Collect!, after you have chosen your equipment, you must send details of the file format that the equipment requires. We will inform you of any modifications necessary to the Collect! system to accommodate the equipment.

We strongly recommend that you send us pertinent information before investing in predictive dialer hardware.

Click here for more details.

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TCN Broadcasting Module

Collect! and TCN work together to enable you to deliver messages to any phone, any time. You complete your setup with TCN, select the accounts for your campaign and let TCN and Collect! take care of the rest. The TCN Module saves valuable time, increases productivity and maximizes your returns.

Collect!'s Batch Processing feature enables you to schedule TCN call campaigns and to process returns. Campaign scheduling and reporting are easily accomplished without leaving the Collect! interface. Behind the scenes, Collect! logs into the TCN web site for you, uploading data, retrieving results and updating your database records.

tip.gif TCN supports international dialing. Please get in touch with Client Services at TCN for international

pricing and information. TCN Contact Information

Click here for more details.

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Billing Tree Module

The Billing Tree Module enables you to process credit card and ACH payments electronically through Collect!'s Billing Tree connection. This is a full-featured solution for managing single and recurring payments made by credit card or by bank draft. External payments posted at the Billing Tree web site are also reconciled and posted within Collect!. Recurring scheduled payments are fully managed within Collect!'s promised payment system.

Click here for more details on ACH.
Click here for more details on Credit Cards.

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Making Changes To Your Settings Later

Collect! is flexible. You can modify settings at a later date as situations change or your preferences need to be modified.

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Cutting Over To Collect! From Another Software

This document describes important items to be aware of and to attend to both before, during and after you cut-over to Collect!.

This document is in addition to the setup routines described in the Setup Checklist and How to Setup and Configure Collect!. Please set up your system using the aforementioned pages before pursuing the activities described here.

If you are coming to Collect! from another application, and our Conversion and Implementation team has been contracted to convert your data, our first milestone is to obtain your data to create a 'test' conversion for your review. All data as mapped

during consults between yourself and our team for intended relocation will be presented to you in a test installation. You will be asked to carefully compare all aspects of the data in the system to verify the accuracy and completeness of the test conversion.

This will most often include a 'test' month-end performed for the last complete billing month PREVIOUS to the 'test' installation

you will be reviewing. In addition to general data transported across, you will want to verify statements/checks generated by your previous application to those which were generated in Collect! for system-to-system parity. Once we have your statements generated and verified as accurate for that month, we can show you how to enter your client balance forwards from that remittance cycle OR, if we were contracted to do so, we will input that accounting detail for you, where applicable. This will build your A/R in Collect! on a go forward basis. It is rarely possible to retroactively rebuild receivables history;

debtor accounts with their transaction history archived/purged/deleted is but one way that negates company life-to-date accounting as being possible to rebuild from day 1 of operation.

Similarly, historical client financials, performance reports, collector reports, archived inventory not being converted etc. from your previous application will be your responsibility to extract and retain.

Your final cut-over will typically be scheduled for a future end of month that occurs chronologically after the date you

confirm that the converted data is correct as to form and content as compared to live data in your current system. This will be subject to scheduling with Technical Services and time-line agreements established between yourselves and Comtech in your Purchase or Hosting agreement.

You will be responsible for providing Comtech with data extracted from your existing system at the point in time where ALL information from the last live month on your previous application is concluded. This includes client statements/checks, credit reporting, client reporting, debtor letters (hard-copy or letter service data file), mandatory closeouts and/or other key reporting that you may need to perform for your clients that needs to be completed up to the cut-over date.

If you are manually data entering all your own data, we would recommend that for the first month, that you run both systems in parallel with respect to your financials to ensure you have brought everything across that you needed to. Balancing your client statements/checks between your old and new systems will show you, at least in the financials, if you missed or misapplied anything.

Please refer to the Help topic How to Have a Successful Data Conversion for more information.

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Debtor And Client Information

When you are converting to a new system, it is a good time to clean house.

Are there accounts and clients of such an age and dormant/closed that you'll never need to access them? You may wish to backup such data for storage but not convert it to your new system. We recommend retention of data that is compliant with legislation in your region should you be called upon to produce records by a client or a state/province/federal governing body.

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Summary

Collect! is a very sophisticated software product which can perform a variety of complex tasks for you automatically. This requires a solid understanding of how the software works. Please take the time to understand the basics of Collect!. You will find endless surprises at the work Collect! can do for you, if it is properly set up right from the start. As you learn

more about Collect!, given your good understanding, you can easily make additional modifications as needed.

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Please click this link to send us your comments: helpinfo@collect.org

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