This article is designed to guide you through your setup of DebtCol. Once you complete all the steps, you're ready to make a start.
SETUP BANK ACCOUNTS
Bank accounts are linked to your clients. When clients pay their invoices, these payments are posted to the bank account. The same applies to any trust accounts needed, but it is debtor payments that are posted to a trust account.
Setup all your users that will be accessing the DEBTCOL application.
One of the options when setting up a user is linking a work queue(s) to the user. A work queue is a query that you create to select the debts the operator needs to work on.
To create a work queue simply right-mouse click on the work queue field and choose “maintain” from the context menu. This will take you to the screen where you can create your work queue(s).
Tip: There will be at least one sample work queue for you to carbon copy, to fast-track creating new queues. Simply choose an existing work queue, then give it a new code and description and alter the query according to your needs then save. Typically a work queue selects open debts assigned to a user with a balance to chase that is due to be actioned today or earlier. So if you carbon copy an existing queue for a specific operator then it is usually only the operator code that needs to be changed in the work query.
Tip: Once a work queue is linked to a user, when that user is logged into DEBTCOL they can go to the Case Manager, choose the My Lists page, click on the My Queues tab then choose the queue from the select box and click the Build Queue button. This will select the debts that meet the criteria in the work queue query and post the results to the table on the screen. The user can then click on the case number in the first row to access the case. When the user is finished with the first case they can click the “Next” button to move to the next case in the work queue and continue until the queue is complete.
Create your clients. Before you can enter any new debts, your clients need to be entered into DEBTCOL.
Tip: The first three pages (buttons down the left hand side of the screen when in the Clients process) have mandatory fields (shown with red labels), so you must visit each of these pages and complete all the information. Defaults are the most common settings used by agencies.
Tip: Use a client template to pre-populate many of the mandatory fields required to setup a client. You must determine a client code first, then select the most appropriate client template from the select box above it.
Tip: As you are creating your client you may find that you need to create related items along the way such as sales reps, commission rates, industry, default cause, branch, group, sub-group, charge codes, user roles and more. When you come across such a situation, like not having the commission rate you need for that client, right-mouse click on the item (commission rate) and choose “maintain” from the context menu. This will zoom you to the process to setup the new commission rate. When you have created the new item, save then exit will return you to the original screen and your newly added item will automatically appear in the list.
Create Other Contacts
If you enlist the help of any agents or solicitors, set these up at the beginning so you can assign them to debts as needed.
When these related entities are assigned to a debt, it makes communication easier from the case manager via the “Email” option. For example if you have outsourced a debt to an external agent for a location service to be done, when you choose EMAIL from the case manager, choose the agent from the list of parties and the system will automatically retrieve any email address stored against the agent.
Once an entity is linked to a case, it remains such until removed.
Status codes allow you to specify the current status of a case. This makes it easier to report to the client. The client will see the current status on the client portal too, so it is pretty important to have a comprehensive list of status codes. Please note that DebtCol does come with a comprehensive set of status codes, but you will need to add any that are specific to your needs.
Tip: Status codes should be linked to action wizards. Action wizards allow you to produce letters, charges, file notes, send emails, send SMS messages and forward date the debt for future follow-up; amongst many other things. A status can also be changed when adding a note, or sending an email from the case manager.
Setup your standard letters to debtors, agents, client, Court and more as mail merge documents. This allows you to use them for everyone without having to make any changes.
Create Action Wizards
Each step of the recovery process should have an action wizard. For a very basic example, say your collection process is as follows:-
- Send letter of demand – wait 7 days
- Send final notice – wait 7 days
- Send solicitors demand – wait 7 days
- Close Case OR Litigate
Each step will be an action wizard. Step 1 would have an action wizard that produces a document, notates the case that a document was produced, could charge the client and/or debtor if needed, update the status on the case to state the letter of demand was issued, send an email to the client informing them that the letter of demand was done and diarise the case for 7 days.
Commission charges to the client occur when you apply payments to any debts for that client and there is a commission rate recorded on the client record. Any other charges will need to be generated via an action wizard. So where it refers to charge codes in the action wizard, right-mouse click and choose “maintain” from the context menu. This will take you to the screen where you can define your charge code.
Documents are generated via an Action Wizard, so when the action wizard is run on a case , the document is mail merged and either queued or dispatched (depending on your system settings and stationery type settings linked to the document definition).
If you want to utilise DebtCol to handle litigation, refer to the legal guide here
Create Note, Email & SMS Templates
These templates allow the user to shortcut common notes, emails and sms messages. For example a very common note to record on a debt would be “Called debtor and left message to return my call.” Rather than the collector having to type that same note over and over again, create it as a template and then user simply chooses it from a list of templates when they are adding a note via the case manager. The same applies to emails and sms messages.
When you invoice clients, DEBTCOL can post messages into the invoice. There is scope for a general message which could be something simple like “We appreciate your business”, or “Our trading terms are strictly….”, or “We have moved to …”, or “Our office is closed for the Christmas break….”, or “Our bank accounts details have changed….” Etc etc. There is also scope to have different messages for different age of the debt.
Setup for Integration with MYOB or Xero
If you use MYOB or Xero for your general ledger, you can create your income codes (In MYOB these codes start with a 4-) and Expense codes (In MYOB these codes start with a 5-) in DebtCol.
Once the MYOB/Xero codes have been created they must then be linked to our transaction types.
Setup Commission Rates
If you charge commission on recovery of debts, you must ensure your rates are setup. These rates are linked to your clients, so when you collect debts on their behalf, the system automatically knows what rate to charge. Please note DebtCol already has a set of common commission rates defined which you can use.