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Credit management is the process of granting credit, setting the terms it's granted on, recovering this credit when it's due, and ensuring compliance with company credit policy, among other credit related functions. The goal within a bank or company in controlling credit is to improve revenues and profit by facilitating sales and reducing financial risks.
A credit manager is a person employed by an organization to manage the credit department and make decisions concerning credit limits, acceptable levels of risk, terms of payment and enforcement actions with their customers. This function is often combined with Accounts Receivable and Collections into one department of a company. The role of credit manager is variable in its scope and Credit managers are responsible for:
- Controlling bad debt exposure and expenses, through the direct management of credit terms on the company's ledgers.
- Maintaining strong cash flows through efficient collections. The efficiency of cash flow is measured using various methods, most common of which is Days Sales Outstanding (DSO).
- Ensuring an adequate Allowance for Doubtful Accounts is kept by the company.
- Monitoring the Accounts Receivable portfolio for trends and warning signs.
- Hiring and firing of credit analysts, accounts receivable and collections personnel.
- Enforcing the "stop list" of supply of goods and services to customers.
- Removing bad debts from the ledger (Bad Debt Write-Offs).
- Setting credit limits.
- Setting credit terms beyond those within credit analysts' authority.
- Setting credit-rating criteria.
- Setting and ensuring compliance with a corporate credit policy.
- Pursuing legal remedies for non-payers.
- Obtaining security interests where necessary. Common examples of this could be PPSA's, letters of credit or personal guarantees.
- Initiating legal or other recovery actions against customers who are delinquent.
Credit managers tend to fall into one of three groups due to the differing specialty legal and jurisdictional knowledge required:
- Commercial Credit Manager
- Consumer Credit Managers
- Construction Credit Managers
Credit managers in Australia obtain memberships from the Australian Institute of Credit Management (AICM). Qualifications and continuing education can also be obtained from here.
Credit professionals in Canada can obtain the official designation, Certified Credit Professional - CCP (formerly known as the Fellow Credit Institute — FCI), from the Credit Institute of Canada. This designation is slowly becoming a requirement of most corporations when choosing which individual to hire to manage their credit department.
Credit managers operating within the United Kingdom can obtain accreditation from the Institute of Credit Management, called the Chartered Institute of Credit Management from 1 January 2015 after it was granted a Royal Charter.
Credit managers in the United States can obtain memberships, continuing education and certification through the National Association of Credit Management. Certification levels include Credit Business Associate, Certified Credit and Risk Analyst, Credit Business Fellow, Certified Credit Executive, Certified International Credit Professional and International Certified Credit Executive.
Construction Credit Management
Construction Credit Management is considered an area of specialty as it encompasses some specific skill sets:
1) Strong knowledge of security and lien law within your province, state or territory,
2) The ability to understand how money moves through the construction pyramid,
3) People skills that go beyond traditional credit management in that the credit manager may be required to deal with Managerial and non-managerial staff of both the white and blue collar variety,
4) A basic knowledge of construction and the willingness to make site visits if needed.
- "Careers in Credit - NACM North Central". www.nacmnc.org. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
- NACM. "The National Association of Credit Management: Certification Programs". nacm.org. Retrieved 2016-07-05.