The debt collection industry has been through many litigation changes, technology changes, and economic changes in the past few years, and Accounts Receivable software has been changing along with it. So what can we expect from Accounts Receivable software vendors in 2011? With the vast changes in collection technology such as predictive dialers, skip tracing, and mail service automation, Accounts Receivable software vendors will be integrating all these new technologies to provide seamless solutions. To make this happen, vendors are partnering with third party service providers to incorporate their solutions into collection software.
Another big change for Accounts Receivable software comes in response to several recent state and federal requirements for handling sensitive financial data. These include the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA), the FTC’s Red Flags Rule for identity theft, ISO 27002, HIPAA, and the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA). These changes in data security, reporting, and auditing add extra work to the industry players, but can be managed within Accounts Receivable software.
New debt collection and Accounts Receivable software also incorporates automated payment processes to accept credit cards, electronic checks, file transfers, and PayPal. In addition, software vendors are now offering predictive and messaging solutions that automatically calls numbers based on agent availability and also route calls to the agent managing the account, and track the effectiveness of the calls. The software also provides mail service options that allow for outsourced letter solutions.
The majority of Accounts Receivable debt collection software is client / server based with user interfaces that work in a simple point and click fashion. Collectors can learn the new software in a short period of time, which allows for new employees to be trained quickly and effectively.
When debt collectors were asked what they would like to see in new Accounts Receivable systems, they most often answered that they wanted flexible systems with easily customizable screens and reports. Managers and owners wanted a summary area where they could see statistics and reports on a real time basis. They also needed the ability to store documents associated with individual accounts, masters or clients.
The new Accounts Receivable software available next year truly automates collections so that debt collectors can do what they do best: collect money. The new focus on integration and automation with mailing services, skip tracing, messaging, dialing campaigns, and ongoing tracking of payment plans, in many cases can be done without collector involvement.