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What Does a Credit Controller Do?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2014
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Credit controllers are professionals who are involved with some role in managing the financial portion of a business. In some cases, the controller will be focused on preparing and sending invoices on credit accounts to customers and working with customers to see those invoices are settled. Other types of credit controller roles will call for managing the processes that are used to qualify customers to receive and maintain lines of credit, including the amount of those credit lines. A company may utilize a single credit controller for all these types of functions, or build a team of controllers who are managed by a credit control supervisor or manager.

One example of the work that a credit controller may do involves mainly entry-level tasks having to do with the billing process. This type of controller will focus on making sure the details found on customer invoices are entered properly, the correct charges assessed, and verifying the total amount due on the invoice. The credit controller will make sure any outstanding credits are properly applied to the invoice and in general make sure all the detail is up to date. The controller may also be actively involved in forwarding the verified invoice to the customer, using means such as email or regular post.

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Other credit controller positions may focus on other aspects of the financial dealings of the company. Some will focus mainly on collection efforts, following up with clients who have outstanding invoices past a certain amount of time, such as 30, 60, or 90 days. The efforts will often include supplying replacement copies or working with clients to make arrangements to pay off outstanding balances in a series of installments. Depending on the degree of authority provided to the credit controller, he or she may have the ability to close the customer account to future purchases until the balance is paid in full.

A credit controller may also be involved in the process of evaluating applications for credit from prospective customers, and making a determination of whether or not to approve those applications. In this role, the controller will take steps to confirm the information contained in the application, run credit checks on the applicant, and use whatever other strategies are necessary to ensure that approving the application does not present an unacceptable level of risk to the company. How well the controller performs these duties will have a direct impact on the ability of the company to remain in business, and also an indirect impact on customers who depend on the credit privileges extended by that company.

While the exact duties of a credit controller may vary from one business setting to the next, the role is often concerned with protecting the financial well-being of the employer. By making sure invoices are correct before they are sent to customers, working to manage the collection of balances due on those invoices, and even being part of the qualification process for extending credit privileges to clients, the credit controller contributes a valuable service to any company. Even small companies can benefit from the presence of a controller who watches over the financial transactions of the company and takes action when some set of circumstances threaten to cause some sort of financial damage to the company.

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