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“Mini Case Study – Haley Roberts “

Haley Roberts is quite proud that she has grown her business in website design from a small startup to a mid-sized organization. However, she is now running into some “growing pains.” Now there are sales people and account managers that deal with the clients. Her Controller, Dan, oversees daily operations, human resources, and accounting. One day, Dan comes into Haley’s office to discuss the morning meeting. Sales have almost doubled from the prior year, but collections are down. SOMETHING has to be done! Dan and Haley refer to their notes of the ideas and concerns voiced at the meeting:

  • Alex (sales) – “I’m no accountant, I just know sales. I have grown my sales by reaching out to clients who need our help but may not have the best credit. Just by giving them an extra month or so to pay makes a big difference! And who cares, as long as they pay? We still get the money!”
  • Jessie (account manager) – “I just want to keep my clients happy. I do that by addressing their concerns, and I can tell you that their biggest concern is usually that they can get similar services cheaper somewhere else. If I start pressuring them to pay sooner, we may lose them!”
  • Sam (accounting) – “All I know is that if we are going to get our vendors paid on time, we need to pull in our cash faster! I am tired of putting off payments and then sometimes paying interest or late fees just because I didn’t have enough cash to go around!”
  • Dan (Controller) – “Maybe there are ways to get our cash faster without bugging our clients directly. There are companies that will buy our receivables from us, so we would not be dealing with the clients directly regarding collectibles. Of course, that would also cost us…”

Haley feels overwhelmed by all of her options. There is no easy answer. After reviewing the various perspectives above, what should Haley do? What would you do, or what advice would you give to Haley?

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