What is the role of a Credit Controller?
The main role of a Credit Controller is debt collection, which means recovering any unpaid money owed to the business. Credit Controllers will raise sales invoices and send them to the customer, detailing the agreed payment terms on the invoice. They are then responsible for logging customer queries and ensuring these are managed. When the payment terms have been exceeded, Credit Controllers will chase customers via phone, email or letter to obtain any payments that are overdue. If payment is not received credit controllers will then seek to commence legal action in order to ensure that the payment is received by the business.
Within finance, Credit Controllers sit within the transactional finance department, in the order to cash / accounts receivable team. Credit Controllers may report into a Credit Manager / Supervisor in a larger finance function or a Finance Manager / Finance Director in a smaller finance function. Credit Controllers are tasked with looking at the company’s overall available credit while also concentrating on specific debts and their recovery process in order to efficiently manage cashflow.
How do I become a Credit Controller?
Within a Credit Control role you will work closely with key stakeholders and a significant aspect to the role is building relationships. Therefore having good interpersonal and communication skills is essential to becoming a successful Credit Controller.
Furthermore, Credit Controllers work with numbers on a daily basis, so having a passion for working with numbers is a desirable quality.
There are a variety of different paths you can take to becoming a credit controller. You can get into this role by:
University - studying an accountancy or finance-related degree;
College - studying a level 2 or level 3 diploma in Credit Management/T-Level in finance;
Apprenticeship - pursuing an apprenticeship as a Credit Controller/Assistant Accountant/Finance Assistant; and
Applying directly - applying for a Credit Control vacancy and receiving training on the job.
Many Credit Controllers study CICM in order to develop their careers, however this is not essential and likewise many credit controllers will progress without studying any qualifications.
There are several progression opportunities for Credit Controllers through Senior Credit Controller, Credit Supervisor / Team Leader, Credit Manager and Head of Credit.
Typical Job Specification for a Credit Controller
Managing debt collection via phone, email, customer portals, letters or face to face meetings;
Obtaining overdue payments;
Review and log all customer queries within a dispute management system;
Reviewing sales ledger/aged debtors report for overdue accounts;
Record all promise to pays;
Investigate all unidentified cash postings;
Ensure the necessary internal processes are completed to raise the necessary credit requests, write offs and customer refunds;
Prepare for and attend all allocated customer visits;
Prepare for and attend all monthly ledger reviews;
Initiate proceedings to ensure outstanding debts are brought to a satisfactory; and
Evaluating new credit requests and reviewing customers’ credit.