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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.

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

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

Where do charge backs regarding noncompliance reside in your credit department?
June 28, 2016
Question to the list board regarding noncompliance charge backs In what department does charge backs regarding noncompliance reside in? Is it a single position or a position with multiple functions? Anyone have a job description related to noncompliance? . . . keep reading

Have you ever sold your receivables that were unpaid as a result of a bankruptcy to an outside agency?
June 24, 2016
Hello- Have you ever sold your receivables that were unpaid as a result of a bankruptcy to an outside agency? If so, what was your experience? I have one that is willing to pay me 80% on the receivables I am carrying on a customer that filed bankruptcy. I have never done it before…looking for feedback and those that have experience in doing this. What's the catch (besides the possibility of being paid 100% through the bankruptcy courts which in my experience is never). . . . keep reading

Overworked at Work? A Credit Professional's Dilemma
By David Schmidt
When office culture is defined by budget cuts, doing more with less, and lean organizations, it's no surprise many people find themselves overwhelmed. Take stock of your and your department's activities. Have invoice volumes grown a significant percentage over the past year? Has the number of customers in your AR portfolio increased? If you feel it's more than you can handle, you have two options: Get more efficient, or talk to your boss. . . . keep reading

New Book Labels GAAP Financials 'Backward Looking,' But That's Probably What We Need
"If I could somehow be smart enough to know the very last sale I could make to a customer and collect for it, no one could afford to hire me." That was Tubular Steel Credit Manager Dave Zaehller's reply when we asked his opinion about "The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers" by Baruch Lev and Feng Gu. . . . keep reading

Need C-level Support for Credit Initiatives? Try These Four 'Pro Tips'
Last week Credit Today's David Schmidt wrote about managing workloads. He noted that sometimes you need to meet with your supervisor and make a case for change. "This requires good communication skills and a willingness to face potential confrontation." More than three in five credit profess . . . keep reading

Considerations When Automating the Credit Application Process
By Kathleen Dasal
Considerations When Automating the Credit Application Process Today's competitive market demands that businesses operate quickly and on reduced budgets. This forces them to seek out and implement innovative ways to do more with less. For credit and collections departments it means implementing a more effective operating model that is not dependent on increasing manpower but results in better policies, fewer human processes and errors, and ultimately lower costs. To accomplish these objectives, credit departments are moving toward process automation in many areas with the credit application process being of top consideration. . . . keep reading

Credit Today Benchmarking Survey: 2016 Credit Enhancement Use
by David Schmidt
Credit Today Benchmarking Survey: 2016 Credit Enhancement Use In this benchmarking survey we cover...
  • What percentage of credit organizations make use of credit enhancements to mitigate risk
  • The three most popular forms of credit enhancements
  • The average percent of debt that is recovered with a personal guarantee
  • The top reason organizations do not use credit enhancements more
  • What percentage of receivables overall are covered by some form of enhancements
. . .
keep reading

Almost Didn't Happen
Writing this from NACM's Credit Congress, this week's "tip" almost didn't happen.  As often happens with these things - and you, our readers, never see this - we often write something and then throw it out. ("nah, not the right tone;" "No - too basic." "No - too clunky." "no, needs a little more re . . . keep reading

Checking Out Your Credit Checkers
Tiger Woods pointed out that in golf everything moves but the ball. In credit, everything moves--everything. Are the reporting companies that you're relying on--or that you could be relying on--keeping up? Like this credit management veteran you should be checking up regularly. Learn...
  • This credit exec's 4-part scoring system for evaluating his credit reporting suppliers
  • How important price alone is as a factor in the evaluation process
  • Negotiation secrets of this pro that have enabled him to dramatically reduce the price on credit reporting contracts, while at the same time increasing both the quantity and quality of his data
. . .
keep reading

Credit Reports Can Be Misleading
Credit Reports Can Be Misleading Credit reports on the customer--a coal mining subsidiary of an enormous utility -- showed nothing much to worry about as they were part of a multi-billion dollar company. But reviewing a $700,000 order, this credit exec was uneasy. Digging further, he found that Warren Buffett, a major investor in the parent company, had commented that natural gas prices would have to double within 12 months for coal to be competitive. Natural gas prices were falling. Didn't that mean serious trouble for this company? . . . keep reading

Who's Your Freight Forwarder--and Why?
Who's Your Freight Forwarder--and Why? "Studies have found that freight forwarders, on average, do not do any better at preparing documents than exporters," notes Buddy Baker of Global Trade Risk Management Strategies, LLC.

"Some forwarders are better than others, but most are not letter of credit experts--their expertise is in booking freight." . . .
keep reading

Letters of Credit--Are You Paying Too Much?
Letters of Credit--Are You Paying Too Much? Letters of Credit (LCs) from in-country banks tend to be the preferred method of securing foreign credit sales. The security justifies the cost--but maybe not all of the costs. You may be paying dearly for LC processing services right here in the U.S that you don't need. . . . keep reading

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