Effective management of accounts receivable
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Like this? Share it with your network

Share
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
849
On Slideshare
849
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
15
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Effective Management of Accounts Receivable Virginia Layton, MBA Bursar Miami University
  • 2. About Miami University
    • Selective, public institution located in Oxford, Ohio, a small community 35 miles north of Cincinnati
    • 14,385 undergraduates and 1,341 graduate students on the Oxford campus.
    • Regional campuses are located in Hamilton and Middletown, Ohio, and enroll an additional 4,400 students.
  • 3. About Miami (continued)
    • Residential university with a focus on teaching undergraduates
    • One of the eight original “Public Ivys”
    • Consistently ranked as a best value among publications such as Kiplinger’s , The Princeton Review , and The Fiske Guide to Colleges .
    • Recently, the 2007 U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” ranked Miami University 21st among the top public universities in the nation.
  • 4. About Miami (continued)
    • Net operating revenues in 2006 were $333,666,944
    • State subsidies declined by 15 percent between 2000 and 2005, and in 2006 they represented only 15 percent of Miami’s total revenue budget
    • We find it increasingly challenging to provide quality education at a reasonable price to students and their families.
  • 5. Background
    • Implemented all modules of Sunguard SCT Banner within a one-year period in 1999, due to a critical Y2K issue
    • Aggressive timeline stretched resources, and several processes, including billing, were still being refined at the time of implementation
    • Didn’t bill regularly in 1999-2000
    • Changed audit firms in 2002, and our new audit firm thoroughly scrutinized our allowance for doubtful accounts calculation and write-off practice
  • 6. The Problem
    • In our 2002 annual audit, it was recommended that we develop, and implement, a more aggressive write-off policy.
    • In 2003, we wrote off $1.6M in student accounts receivable.
    • Continued collection efforts on the accounts which were written off
    • Impact upon the bottom line of our financial statements that year did not go unnoticed by our Board of Trustees
  • 7. Proposed Solution
    • Continue on the path of continuous process improvement that we had begun after the successful implementation of the accounts receivable module of Banner
      • Continue with customer service improvement initiatives
      • New goal of significantly reducing outstanding accounts receivable, without compromising service to students
    • Measure our results
  • 8. Design
    • Mission Statement
    • Benchmarks, or key dashboard indictors
      • Must be relevant
      • Must be manageable/easy to produce and maintain
    • Proceed and enhance continuous process improvement initiatives, without compromising service
    • Collaborate when needed
      • Senior administration
      • Enrollment Services Team
  • 9. Implementation
    • Mission Statement
    • The Office of the Bursar maintains the financial assets of the University with integrity, while providing quality customer service delivered with respect and fairness to all internal and external stakeholders.
  • 10. Mission statement
    • Two-pronged mission – no initiative should compromise either customer service or our fiduciary responsibility
    • Kept us focused
    • Increased staff morale and satisfaction
  • 11. Benchmarking
    • Began in 2001-2002 as we tracked statistics relative to billing, payments received, late fees assessed, scholarships and financial aid awarded, etc. ( Exhibit 1 )
    • In 2003, we added benchmarks related to collection effectiveness ( Exhibit 2 )
      • Wrote off $1.6M in A/R, however we billed nearly $290M that same year
      • Ratio: 1-(A/R outstanding)/amount billed yielded an overall collection effectiveness ratio of 99.3%!
    • By adding 2004 data, we developed a list of our Top Ten Dashboard Indicators
  • 12. Top Ten Dashboard Indicators
    • Total Annual Tuition and Fees Billed
    • Total Annual Amount Billed (includes room and board, other fees, incidentals)
    • Collection Effectiveness of Tuition and Fees (1- tuition and fees outstanding/total tuition and fees)
    • Collection Effectiveness Overall (1-total amount outstanding/total amount billed)
    • Total Annual Write-offs
    • Year over year monthly aging comparison ( Exhibit 3 )
    • Receipts/payments amount and composition
    • Year over year phone calls completed ( Exhibit 4 )
    • Late fee and finance charge revenue
    • Customer complaints (to the president)
    • Year end Receivables ( Exhibit 5 )
  • 13. Continuous process improvement - Banner
    • Resumed regular billing
    • Reinstated the practice of cancelling classes for non-payment (with support of Enrollment Services Team)
    • Began assessing $100 late fee (it had been $50) and empowered all Bursar staff with the ability to waive it.
  • 14. Continuous process improvement – Banner (continued)
    • Implemented new practice of placing holds blocking future registration for balances of $500 or more
      • Collaborated with Enrollment Services Team
      • Gained support of senior administration
      • Effective tool to encourage completion of all payment plan agreements and financial aid requirements within the first sixty days of the term
  • 15. Continuous process improvement – Banner (continued)
    • Used Banner functionality to identify and manage past due accounts
      • Assessed finance charges of prime+3% to all past due accounts not currently enrolled
      • Flagged delinquent accounts
        • Collection letter-writing
        • Placement with collection agency
  • 16. Continuous process improvement – Banner (continued)
    • Delayed disbursement and refunding of financial aid overages on regional campuses
      • 10% of past due A/R was due to the return (restoration) of financial aid due to withdrawals and/or overawards
      • Worked closely with Enrollment Services Team to study the supporting data
      • Collaborative decision was made to delay disbursement on regional campuses only
  • 17. Continuous process improvement - Outsourcing
    • Unfortunately, Banner did not always provide the solutions we sought
      • In several cases, outsourcing offered competitive, cost-effective alternatives that allowed us to achieve our objectives.
      • Some actually saved the institution money, while others increased service to students at a nominal rate.
  • 18. Continuous process improvement - Outsourcing (continued)
    • Payment Plan Processing
      • Convenience to families – interest free
      • Requires promissory agreement signed by tuition payer (frequently NOT the student) – processor assumes this responsibility
      • No charge to institution – we share in enrollment fees and late fees they collect
      • Carefully negotiated payment plan due dates
        • Minimized potential negative impact upon cash flow
        • Since final payment for semester is due before registration period for the next semester, registration HOLDS help enforce completion of payment plan agreement
  • 19. Continuous process improvement - Outsourcing (continued)
    • Electronic bill presentment and payment
      • Online electronic check payments (free) and credit card payment with a convenience fee (2.3%-2.9%, depending upon size of transaction)
      • Email notification that electronic bill is ready for viewing/payment
      • Selected a single service provider which allowed
        • better rates
        • better integration
        • a more seamless interface to our customers
      • Note: Electronic billing saves the university at least $50,000 per year, which more than offsets the additional cost of less than $10,000 required to provide electronic payment processing
  • 20. Continuous process improvement - Outsourcing (continued)
    • NSF Check Collection
      • Bad checks are especially problematic in higher education, where tuition checks are likely to be for thousands of dollars
      • 2 nd presentment frequently no more effective than the first
    • Service Provider
      • Converts check to ACH
      • Verifies account balance before 2 nd presentment
      • Cost: the $30 NSF fee (statutory limit in Ohio)
  • 21. Continuous process improvement - Outsourcing (continued)
    • Collection letter-writing and telephone calling
      • Time consuming
      • Requires detailed record-keeping
    • Prior to placement with the Attorney General (as required by Ohio law)
      • Service writes letters, places two outbound calls, and records contact information in an internet-based system that they share with us
      • Cost about the same as postage and stationary
      • Eliminates the need for a full-time staff person
  • 22. Results: All ten indicators demonstrated our improvement
      • Collection effectiveness increased from 99.6% to 99.96% for tuition and fees; from 99.3% to 99.8% overall
      • Write offs decreased from $1.6M in 2003 to only $225,000 in 2006, representing an annual average contribution to our bottom line of nearly a half million annually
      • Steady decline in year-end receivables, in spite of an overall 38% increase in tuition and fees
      • Generated late fee and finance charge revenue of $1,419,552, net of late fees waived by staff!
  • 23. Results (continued)
    • Expedited cash flow by placing holds blocking registration, and increasing the efficiency of payment plan processing
    • Increased efficiency and eliminated the expense of collection letter-writing, also reducing the expense and inconvenience of placement with collection agency
    • Increased online payment activity, and recently eliminated lockbox service
  • 24. Results (The Surprises)
    • 85% decrease in customer complaints
    • Improved employee morale
      • Focus on mission gave a new sense of “purpose” to all that we do
      • Sharing progress toward goals (top ten “Dashboard Indicators”)
      • Delegating authority to make decisions at the lowest possible level (i.e., whether to waive a late fee)
  • 25. Lessons learned (in retrospect)
    • Promote, market, communicate, publish, educate – and tell them why you are making the change
    • Celebrate, recognize, reward, praise
      • Acknowledge individual contributions
      • Share results–with your staff, among colleagues, and other organizations
    • Pass it on
      • Benchmarking – get started now !