Dunning (process)

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Dunning is the process of methodically communicating with customers to ensure the collection of accounts receivable. Communications progress from gentle reminders to threatening letters and phone calls and more or less intimidating location visits as accounts become more past due. Laws in each country regulate the form that dunning can take. It is generally unlawful to harass or threaten consumers. It is acceptable to issue firm reminders and to take all allowable collection options.

The word stems from the 17th century verb dun, meaning to demand payment of a debt.[1]

Dunning is also the process of methodically communicating with individuals to ensure certain requested action is taken. It follows a similar process of progressive moving from gentle reminders to firmer communications as due dates approach or pass. Businesses frequently use an automated dunning process to remind their employees about certain activities or actions they are expected to take by a certain date. Examples include automated reminders for Performance Appraisal submission, mandatory training, etc. The process may begin with an early letter indicating an approaching due date. Letters typically become stronger in tone as deadlines approach or are passed.

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  • The dictionary definition of dun at Wiktionary