White Papers

Persuasive, authoritative, in-depth reports that present a problem and provide insight or a solution for its resolution

ACS's library contains white papers that help readers to understand the issues and processes of debt recovery, solve a problem, or make a decision.

Problem-Solution white papers look at industry wide issues. Backgrounder white papers review the technical and business benefits of specific services. Topics covered range from how to recover a debt to what to look for when hiring an agency.
Categories include:

The recovery process / Consumer debt / Utility debt / Tracing a debt / Credit control

Cannot find what you want? If there is an issue which you are seeking to find out more about but which is not covered in one of our published papers telephone or email and we will be happy to discuss the topic with you.



Artificial Intelligence in Debt Collection

Advances in AI mean that it is possible to build a virtual agent which is able to interact with a human and autonomously negotiate debt repayment. These virtual agents are customer facing and take a front line role in collecting and negotiating debt repayments. They are a game changer for the sector. They benefit the company, the process of debt recovery, and the customer. This article, first published by ACS in the industry journal "Credit Control and Asset & Risk Review" provides an overview of AI, looks at chatbots and their relevance to AI in debt collection, and reviews the benefits of a virtual agent to the debt collection process and the business.

The process of getting paid: Letters, debt collectors, lawyers, courts & bailiffs

Getting paid for work done is something that every business needs to do. This is usually a formality - payment is sent on receipt of the invoice. Sometimes a reminder phone call is needed. However, on a few occasions payment is not sent. When this happens businesses needed to look at other options to recover the debt. In some cases the business is entering new territory and needs to quickly master a range of unfamiliar options and debt recovery processes. This article looks at the pros and cons and best timing of the various collection strategies.

Options for debt recovery: instruct a legal firm vs. engage a DCA

If you have the time to chase your debtor and they are expected to pay quickly then collecting a debt yourself is the preferred option. However, a Debt Collection Agency (DCA) is often the preferred first step to recovering a debt as it offers a no-cost no-risk solution to debt recovery and can prepare the ground for recovering the debt through the courts. Instructing a legal firm should be done as a last resort after attempts to collect the debt amicably have failed.

Recovering debt through the courts

From 1 October 2017 creditors will be expected to have followed the Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) for debt claims before proceeding with litigation. Robert Sorrentino of ACS looks at the scope of the protocol and what it means for a creditor wanting to recover a debt through the legal process. Robert provides advice for remaining compliant with the protocol and achieving a successful recovery of the debt.



How do you maximise ROI from an aging portfolio of consumer regulated debt?

The DCA sector is often criticised for processing only those debts which offer least resistance to collect leaving the lender to recover the more difficult debt by second placement at high fee percentages. Partnering with a DCA which adapts its work flow to the nature of the debt means a lender can maximise collection rates and thus ROI from a debt portfolio.



Collecting Domestic Utility Debt and Regulator Compliance

This article was published first in industry journal "Credit Control and Asset & Risk Review" looks at how providers in the domestic energy market can adopt similar processes used to optimise debt collection in the B-to-B utility sector to comply with Ofgem's requirement to quickly and efficiently manage a customer’s debt and simultaneously improve their financial performance. It reviews the downsides of the conventional debt collection and meter disconnection/change approaches, the advantages of changing to a process optimised for utility debt collection, and points to the changes in team structure, responsibilities and communications, and the support infrastructure needed to do this.

Optimising the Collection of B-to-B Utility Debt

This article, first published in the industry journal "Credit Control and Asset & Risk Review", looks at how a utility provider's approach to debt collection and account disconnection in the business-to-business (B-to-B) market impacts its financial performance. It examines ways to optimize the process of recovering utility debt so as to maximize the debt recovered, reduce the utility provider's debtor days and bad debt charge in particular, and improve its financial performance in general. It reviews the downsides of the conventional debt collection and disconnection approaches, the advantages of changing to a process optimized for utility debt collection, and looks at the changes in team structure, responsibilities and communications, and the support infrastructure needed.

ACS Utility Services

An ACS guide to debt collection and field services in the gas, water and electricity utility industry including meter disconnections, outsourced credit control, final billed debt recovery, live account services, and warrants.

Maximising collection rates in utilities

Maximising collection rates whilst minimising disconnections and complaints are significant goals in the utility sector. The means to achieving these is a solution that facilitates communications between the field and the office teams and integrates and diarises the steps needed for debt recovery, meter management, and disconnection. Colman is a strategic resource which enables ACS to offer a service which integrates live and final billed recovery with meter management.

What makes a good utility sector collections partner?

Collection agencies need the skill, resources, and understanding to deliver a service which is complaint not only with the utility provider's work processes but also the Ofgem and Ofwat regulatory environment. Issues such as legal services, the need for a regulated and accredited partner and the power of a customer centric approach are examined when recovering customer debt in the gas, water, and electricity utility sector.



Finding lost customers

We all occasionally want to find old friends and past acquaintances. Usually for no
other reason than we want to meet up again. However, in business the need to
reconnect with past customers is often a commercial necessity. The importance of a business friendly approach to customer tracing is discussed in relation to collecting overdue payments or securing the return of unpaid goods.

12 things you need to know about tracing people

An ACS tips and advice guide to how tracing experts approach the difficult task of locating people who you have lost touch with and ideas and suggestions that you can use yourself.



Collection and credit services

An ACS guide to cash flow and credit management services. Debt recovery, outsourced credit control, tracing, and outbound telephone and letter campaigns are discussed.

Who hasn't paid you this month

An ACS tips and advice guide to setting up an effective credit control system, reducing your unpaid invoices and increasing your bank balance. Cash flow, risk, and the importance of monitoring debtor days or days sales outstanding are examined.

The effect of time on debt recovery rates and business performance

Good credit control and effective cash collection rely on risk management coupled with prompt and punctual action. The earlier you act, and the more consistent you apply consequences, and move your outstanding accounts to the next stage of the process, the more likely you are to recover the debt. ACS provides advice on time management in the debt recovery process. The reason debts become overdue, the impact this has on business performance and how a robust credit control process can help is examined.

Top tips for credit control

Good credit control and effective cash collection rely on risk management coupled with prompt and punctual action. Issues such as invoicing, a firms terms and conditions and how to deal with late payers are discussed.