Credit controllers are employed by firms to handle all the liaison and administrative duties arising from hire-purchase transactions. In this way the hire-purchase system can be managed on an organized basis and the interests of both buyer and seller can be protected.
Over the years, buying on credit has become a customary way of doing business. Customers use credit extensively to buy houses, cars, large domestic appliances and many other goods and services. The vast majority of business purchases, such as raw materials used in manufacturing and merchandise to be sold in retail stores, are also bought on credit so that businesses do not have to tie up their cash in inventories.
Credit controllers are responsible for opening accounts for prospective customers in accordance with the company's credit-policy by investigating the credit-worthiness of prospective buyers, drawing up the hire-purchase contracts, and collecting the deposits and payments.
They sometimes have the financial authority to accept or reject credit applications. In extending credit to a business the credit controller reviews financial reports submitted by the applicant, interviews representatives of the business, and reviews credit reports to determine the records of the firm in repaying debts.
When extending credit to individuals, the credit controller relies on personal interviews, credit bureaus and banks. Although it is not necessarily the duty of the credit controller to formulate the hire-purchase contract (it is usually the task of executive level credit managers in co-operation with other top managers to formulate company credit policy), he/she must be able to interpret the legal terms and requirements to clients. In some large organizations, the credit controller may be responsible for establishing a credit policy. He/she must also ensure that both parties sign the contract correctly.
Credit controllers have to check all accounts on a
monthly basis. They must frequently contact customers who are unable or refuse to pay their debts. They do this through writing, telephoning or personal contact. If these attempts fail, credit controllers may refer the account to a collection agency or assign an attorney to take legal action.
- making a contribution to a company's financial solvency and keeping overdraft interest rates to a minimum
- working with people
- the challenge involved in making good decisions about whether to extend credit
- the mental strain of dealing with figures
- correctly ascertaining liabilities
- taking calculated risks at times
- the stress of dealing with difficult clients
A credit controller should:
- have the ability to maintain good relationships with customers;
- have perceptiveness in assessing human nature;
- have good speaking and writing skills;
- have the ability to assimilate detailed information and draw conclusions.
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.
Compulsory school subjects: Accounting
Recommended school subjects: Mathematics
In-service training under the guidance of more senior and experienced personnel in the department, to gain a thorough understanding of the company's credit procedure and policies. If computer and other mechanical devices are being used, they are trained in the necessary skills.
Degree: BCom Accounting / BAccounting - most universities. Courses in Credit Management are offered by UJ and UNISA.
A BTech in Credit Management is also offered by UNISA.
Diploma: N.Dip: Credit Management - UNISA
- various businesses
- banks and building societies