Veterinarians have an immense love for animals and every day they put wonderful smiles on the face of pet owners whose furry family members are cured by the vets. Despite the risk of being bitten, kicked and scratched, a veterinarian also has to keep himself safe from contacting diseases. Veterinarians do not work only for money, but emotional and intellectual rewards in this field are equally rich and diverse.
Unfortunately most veterinary practices experience a slow cash flow. Even a small amount of past due A/R can create significant strain on most practices. Lot of pet owners rush to a veterinarian without proper financial planning with emotions often running high. Some pet owners simply don’t have the funds to take care of their pets. Not all clients who show up have ample resources or carry a CareCredit credit card or equivalent.
Veterinarians face many other challenges which include mobile clinics, mega pet stores and online diagnoses. Additional challenges include hassle to find and retain best employees, insurance, hiring a CPA, often a lawyer for legal advice and increased competition from other practices. Hiring a collection agency will let the collection agencies do what they are good at, while you can focus on growing your practice.
Veterinary Debt Collections: Hiring a Collections Agency
There is one thumb rule to minimize your accounts receivable. If a pet owner has not cleared your bill after repeated reminders and it has been 90 days past due, simply forward this account to a professional “debt collections agency”. Neither you nor your staff are experts in collecting debt the way collection agencies are. For about $15 per case, they will send 5 diplomatic collection letters to your clients under their name which includes many scrubs to accurately contact the pet owners. Once the per owner understands that a collection agency is involved, chances to get payment goes significantly high.
To get best results from a collection agency, help them help you:
# 1. Transfer your accounts promptly after it becomes 90 days past due, older the account gets, harder it gets to collect money from it.
# 2. Do not accept postdated checks, but you may agree to deposit it after a few days ( like on the pet owner’s pay day). Every client who pays by check, have their driver’s license number written down, this information is often very useful to collection agencies. Deposit the check right away on the agreed upon date. Do not mark the account “Paid In Full” till the check clears. Once a client approaches you to clear his dues, offer multiple ways to accept the payment ( including Paypal) if required.
# 3. The total of many small AR’s can quickly add up to a big dollar amount. Keep transferring accounts to a collection agency once it reaches the 90 day mark, do not procrastinate.
# 4. Refuse to service the client until their outstanding balance is settled else your accounts receivable will keep growing and your debt will keep getting older and obviously harder to collect.
# 5. If your accounts receivable has not been cleared even after the full cycle of collection letters has been sent out, give instructions to your collection agency to transfer those accounts for more intensive collections ( Collection calls and eventually for legal suit)
Check this: Cost of hiring a collection agency
If you need a collections agency to take care of your account receivables: Contact us