what tasks are expected in credit control jobs?

02/01/2019

A credit controller is responsible for recovering any unpaid money that is owed to an organisation from either businesses (commercial collection) or individuals (consumer collection).

Credit control jobs can be outsourced or they may be carried out as part of a company’s finance or credit team. This means that you could be working for just one company, or for a number of companies as part of a specialist agency such as a debt purchasing company. 

Wherever you work, however, the tasks and skills required are similar.

What sort of person makes a good credit controller?

As this is a finance role you will need to be numerate, but much of your daily role will involve communicating directly with other businesses or individuals. For this you need to be a good communicator with a calm but assertive manner. 

You will be asking people to pay their debts so it is important that you can exercise tact and discretion when required.

What qualifications or training does credit control require?

Whilst there are no formal qualifications, experience or training required for the role, many employers will look favourably upon the following:

  • Some good grades at GCSE level, particularly in Maths
  • Qualifications or training in bookkeeping or accounts 
  • Computer skills, particularly with spreadsheets and using computerised accounts software
  • Previous experience in office work, customer service or accounts

If the role involves actually collecting money, rather than just writing or telephoning to ask for payment, then a clean driving licence may be required.

Most of your training will take place on the job, covering areas such as telephone techniques, credit law, court orders and insolvency procedures.

You may wish to gain professional qualifications, such as those that are provided by the Institute of Credit Management (ICM) or the Credit Services Association (CSA). These could help you to progress your career to become a credit manager.

Available qualifications include:

  • Certificate/Diploma in Debt Collection (Level 2-3)
  • Certificate/Diploma in Credit Management (Level 2-3)
  • Award in Debt Recovery Practice in the Civil Courts (Level 3)
  • Diploma in Credit Management (Level 5)

What does a credit controller do?

The tasks you will carry out and the skills you need for your daily work include the following:

  • Making contact with people whose payment is overdue and explaining their terms of credit – this requires good spoken and written skills 
  • Renegotiating repayment plans with people – you’ll need to have an assertive but tactful manner with good negotiation skills
  • Using databases to check credit records and set up new entries – administrative and computer skills
  • Processing payments – an organised, methodical approach and good numeracy
  • Visiting debtors to collect payments and tracing missing debtors – the ability to stay calm under pressure
  • Starting legal proceedings if debts are not paid and arranging for the repossession of goods to recover unpaid debts – the ability to work to strict deadlines

Looking for a credit control job?

If you are comfortable using a computer, can relate politely but firmly to people, are good with figures and able to work under pressure then there may well be a credit control job out there waiting for you.

You can think of a credit control role as a mix of customer service and finance. You’ll certainly need a head for figures and an ability to keep your head when dealing with potentially difficult situations.