Setup for Field Services
This article is designed to guide you through your setup of DebtCol for Field Services.
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.
Agents will be given legal documents to be served. These need to be setup under Legal Steps/Service Documents. Tread with care here because these are also legal stages of the collection process. In many cases you can use what is there already and create the ones that are missing.
For process serving be sure to create all the accompanying documents such as Notice of Defence and link them to the appropriate step.
For example, in the Victorian Magistrates’ Court you will have a step for the Complaint. That must be served with 2 x Notice of Defence. So in this example you will have a legal step/document for the Complaint and an Accompanying Document for the 2 x notice of defence and then link the accompanying document to the complaint step.
Manner of Service
For each legal type (i.e. company, individual) you can set the relevant manner of service for the particular document being served.
For example, using the Vic Mag Court Complaint as an example, if the debtor is an individual the manner of service would be personal service or fellow resident over 16 years residing thereat etc
So a manner of service for all types of entities and define each one on the Complaint legal step. Then when the agent is on the road, the system will default to the most relevant and if the result is different the agent can pick from a dropdown list of other service manners.
Set one up for each type of attendance from attempted service, affixed service, personal, personal other, by post, sub-service etc.
Tick the fields the agent must fill in so only the fields relevant to the type of service appear on the screen.
Build the template text which creates a detailed note of the attendance into the case manager. For example with personal service it might be:-
Further to your instructions our agent @AgentName attended at the given address of @Address on @DateServed at @TimeServed and served the documents upon @Defendant, personally.
Each service type can be assigned to a job type like process service or repossession. This assists the agent when on the portal as the attendance wizard will differ depending on the job type.
When doing an attendance there are certain conversations the process server is supposed to have. You can set them up in the system as templates to save the agent time when they input the attendance. For example, for personal service the conversation might be:-
Are you @SubjectFullName the person named as the @DefendantType in this @DocName? the @MaleOrFemale replied: "Yes."
When an attempt to service has been made but was unsuccessful, the agent must provide reasons why. For example, “No Answer”. Create all the reasons and when the agent inputs the attendance as an attempt, it will prompt then to select a reason.
Affixed Places & Reasons
When documents are served by affixing them, the agent should have a number of places where the documents were affixed and the reasons why to choose from.
When an attempt to service a document has failed, pre-stored reasons can be used to quickly prepare Affidavit's
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 link solicitors, set these up at the beginning so you can assign them to cases as needed.
When these related entities are assigned to a case, it makes communication easier from the case manager via the “Email” option. For example if you have assigned a case to a specific 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. Also, the agents see those cases in their job list on the portal.
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 and organise your work flow. 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 its own 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 job sheets, Affidavit's and other common documents required for jobs as mail merge documents. This allows you to use them for everyone without having to make any changes.
Create Action Wizards
Each step of each job should have an action wizard. Here is a very basic example of a typical process for service of a document. The action wizards are in bold:-
- Load new Job > issue a job sheet instructing the agent what to do via email
- Send a request for an update to the agent
- Receive update of attendance from the agent
- Prepare Affidavit
- Record expenses
- Charge Client in preparation for invoicing
- Invoice the client
- Final Report to Client
- Close Case
Step 1 would have an action wizard that produces a document in the form of a job sheet, emails it, notates the case that a document was produced, update the status on the case to state the job was issued to the agent, send an email to the client informing them that the job is in progress and diarise the case for 5 days.
Step 2 would have an action wizard that sends an email asking the agent for an update on the case, update the status and notate the job.
Step 3 would have an action wizard that prompts to input an expenses related to the case such as an invoice from an external agent.
Step 4 would have an action wizard that prompts what to charge your client for the job.
Step 5 would have an action wizard that updates the status to show the reason for closure, notates the file and closes it; removing it from the agents jobs list and work queues.
Repossession jobs can be more complex where a tow occurs, the goods are stored and later sold at auction but proceeds from the sale don't cover the value of the debt. In such cases a towing operator and auction house is assigned to the job but action wizards will also need to prompt for input of various other data fields.
While it can seem like a lot of effort creating these action wizards, you only create them once. When they are done and in use they will improve your accuracy and efficiency enormously.
CREATE CHARGE CODES
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.
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 case would be “Called agent and requested an urgent update as no response to earlier email requests." Rather than the operator 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.