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Welcome to
Credit Today Online

Credit Today is the premier online portal for trade credit professionals.

This web site and all the resources within are for Members of Credit Today Online.

Electronic Invoicing--Overcoming Reluctance to Change
Electronic Invoicing--Overcoming Reluctance to Change The customer was literally a "mom-and-pop", operated by a husband and wife out of their home. Credit Manager Barbara J. Condit of SPS Companies Inc, had driven down to see them after work. They were delinquent on some SPS invoices, but that was not the main reason for her visit. SPS was installing an electronic invoicing process, and Condit believed the process could be a permanent solution to those delinquencies. . . . keep reading

Securing Lien/Bond Rights starting with a Project Information Sheet
Securing Lien/Bond Rights starting with a Project Information Sheet Getting paid when your customer gets paid is, to some extent, the lot of all commercial creditors. It is starkest when your customer is a sub-contractor on a construction project. Through no fault of their own, the customer, well-rated and previously always prompt paying, can be the victim of a failed project, making you a victim as well. That does not happen to this corporation. . . . keep reading

Did Collecting on Bond Claims When a Contractor Goes Bankrupt Just Get More Complicated?
By Paul Schrader
Did Collecting on Bond Claims When a Contractor Goes Bankrupt Just Get More Complicated? Payment bonds provide a high level of security for contractors and suppliers. Generally you know (with some occasional exceptions) that if you do a good job and comply with the requirements of the bond, you are going to get paid no matter what else happens on the project. While that remains generally true, a recent decision from an Illinois bankruptcy court potentially curtails the remedies the surety may have to collect from the owner. This bankruptcy court decision may still be overturned on appeal or ultimately be an outlier that is rejected by other courts, but it raises some important practical issues to consider when signing on for bonded projects and measuring the risk that you are taking. . . . keep reading

Back to Basics: You want a Letter of Credit, Really? Part 1
By David Gustin
Back to Basics: You want a Letter of Credit, Really? Part 1 I saw a story on the Internet about how the Babylonians used clay tablets to facilitate trade in Mesopotamia. I thought, "WOW! Letters of Credit! They'll be around forever." . . . keep reading

New Credit Application Boosts New Business
New Credit Application Boosts New Business The new customer had just gone into business and had virtually no credit history. Five years ago this firm would have approved their orders only on prepay or COD arrangements. Now their first order may be delivered on open terms. What's changed is a new account application. See how this major food service distributor changed the document from a credit to an account application to imply that all new accounts were required to complete the form, even if they customer was not requesting credit terms. . . . keep reading

Want to Know How Your Sales Staff Views the Credit Department? Just Ask.
Want to Know How Your Sales Staff Views the Credit Department? Just Ask. What does your sales department say about you when you're out of the room? This director of credit with a major food service distributor shares a survey tool she used to more than double what she defines as her department's "satisfaction ratio." . . . keep reading

Links to All State's Resale Certificates
Links to All State's Resale Certificates Most credit departments are responsible for gathering and keeping track of resale certificates. It typically is part of the initial credit application process and is often embedded into credit department procedures.

This is one of our most used pages, and is a list with links to all states that have Resale Certificates.

There are many ways to use this list: use it to gather your own resale certificates to send to your customers or you can use it to help you create a web-based interface for your customers. . . .
keep reading

A Primer on Purchase Money Security Interests (PMSIs) Under the Uniform Commercial Code
By James H. Hopkins, Esq.
A purchase money security interest (PMSI) under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a security interest taken by 1) a supplier of collateral for the purchase price, or 2) a third-party lender who gives value so the debtor can purchase the collateral. A PMSI can only be taken in goods and software . . . keep reading

Critical, Useful, and Curious: 3 Items From Our Desk
We're always reading and tucking ideas away for future reference. Here are three that crossed our desk recently that seemed worth sharing. Critical Asset For Our Economy If you're like just about everyone else, you sometimes forget the importance of what you do each and every day. Fo . . . keep reading

Discount Calculator: Great for Examining Changes in Pricing and Discount Terms
Here's a handy "discount calculator" in spreadsheet format we received from Bill Swarens, former VP of Credit at Carthage, MO-based Leggett & Platt Inc. It's a tool Bill used to help analyze different scenarios when considering price reductions, changes in the cash discount offered, and changes in the time offered for a cash discount. You can change any of the above variables to see what is best for your company. It's structured so you can plug in any scenario you want. . . . keep reading

Strategies to Beat the Drag of Multiple Payment Formats
Strategies to Beat the Drag of Multiple Payment Formats Our recent article about Tech Data's shift away from credit insurance in their European operations highlighted the complexity of using and interpreting data in a global economy. The company was having to navigate not only different currencies, but also different languages.  . . . keep reading

Tech Data's New Credit Risk Analysis System Comes to the U.S.
Tech Data's New Credit Risk Analysis System Comes to the U.S. When credit insurers dropped their European accounts, Tech Data Corporation quickly and skillfully created their own superior credit risk analysis system (see An Emergency Transition from Insured Credit to Owned Credit Risk). Now the system has been moved across the ocean where it has been customized to improve credit operations in the U.S. and Latin American. . . . keep reading

Time-Specific Personal Guarantees Overcome Customers' Reluctance to Sign
Time-Specific Personal Guarantees Overcome Customers' Reluctance to Sign This firm had always required its contactor customers to sign a personal guarantees, no exceptions. Then, a year ago, in a campaign to increase sales, the decision was made to forgo a PG, "if there was enough information on a credit report to make a good decision," explains their credit manager. Read on to learn the simple mechanices of this practice, which has helped to both reduce risks and facilitate sales. . . . keep reading

China: Thinking the Unthinkable
This week, we're highlighting something that we've been thinking about for a little while now. As we've noted in past columns, we read far and wide to try to get a handle on trends that . . . keep reading

Can anyone recommend any credit insurers to secure business in Ecuador using methods other than normal payment in advance options?
July 15, 2016
I am trying to see if we can secure some business in Ecuador other than the normal LC, payment in advance options. Can anyone recommend any credit insurer's that I may be able to get a quote to see if they may potentially insure the business? . . . keep reading

Credit Today Benchmarking Survey: 2016 Credit Enhancement Usage, Part 3 - Making Credit Enhancements Pay Off
By David Schmidt
Credit Today Benchmarking Survey: 2016 Credit Enhancement Usage, Part 3 - Making Credit Enhancements Pay Off In part 3 of our survey on credit enhancements, our readers share experience and expert advice "from the trenches," including
  • The four primary benefits of credit enhancements
  • Specific examples of how personal guarantees, letters of credit, UCC filings and other strategies reduce risk
  • The truth about collecting on personal guarantees
. . .
keep reading

Do Your Department's Job Descriptions Reflect the Work You Perform?
Business and staffing needs are always changing. How can you as a credit manager get in front of the challenge and best manage the work and workload? One tool is the job description. Check these four best practices. . . . keep reading

An Emergency Transition from Insured Credit Risk to Owned Risk
A major difference between credit risk management in Europe and the United States is Europe's far heavier dependence on credit insurance. When the European operation of this major U.S. corporation suddenly lost a significant part of its credit insurance, they instituted a structured owned-risk protection program so successful that it is being used to improve their U.S. risk management. . . . keep reading

How Do We React to Brexit?
How Do We React to Brexit? It will be late in 2018 before the Brexit decision takes the United Kingdom out of the European Union, leaving U.S. credit managers wondering what, if anything, they should be doing in preparation. Is this a time for businesses to watch and wait? Or seize an opportunity? Here's a summary of reports and news released by Atradius, Coface and D&B. Share your plans in our comment section. . . . keep reading

Credit Today Benchmarking Survey: Responding to Applicants Who Won't Sign a Personal Guaranty
By David Schmidt
Credit Today Benchmarking Survey: Responding to Applicants Who Won't Sign a Personal Guaranty Requiring a personal guaranty of new customers applying for credit is a highly recommended best practice, especially if transaction dollars are significant. After all, any small business owner applying for a commercial card signs a personal guaranty as part of the application process. It's standard practice. In the trade credit community, however, personal guaranties are not so cut and dried. In our Credit Enhancements survey, we asked: What you do when the account refuses to sign a personal guaranty? . . . keep reading

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