Posted on August 01, 2021
Tips & Tricks to Effectively Manage Debtors & Fees (Part 3)
Part 3 – Navigating our way through a post-Covid world
Part 1 of our series looked at enrolment applications and terms. Part 2 addressed split families and payment arrangements. Part 3 was to consider enforcement steps and processes, but I thought it was timely to write about the challenges and the ‘new normal’ we look to navigate our way through for the foreseeable future.
1. Be consistent and refer to your terms
Many families have been impacted financially and may have reached out for assistance, including requests for a moratorium on payments, or in some cases, a bursary for hardship.
These requests should all be considered according to their individual circumstances, with decisions recorded and set out for the family in writing. Importantly, if a moratorium is agreed, make sure it is clear when the fees will fall due or payments must recommence.
Make sure that you don’t compromise your enrolment terms, including any split billing arrangements that may be in place. You can avoid this by keeping clear written records about what has been temporarily agreed. Importantly, there should be strict follow up immediately or soon after any agreed due date for payment.
2. Know when to refer an unpaid account
The difficulties faced will continue for some time.
While educational institutions may be in a position to provide short term support, there will come a point when you will not be able to continue to carry large levels of debt.
It is important that you closely monitor and manage any payment arrangements. If families are not meeting their obligations and do not remain in regular contact about their circumstances, rather than ignore the situation or hope that it will improve, consider referring the file to Platinum Collection Agency. While you may be hesitant to do so because of how that action may be perceived, it is likely to be beneficial for two reasons:
- Having a neutral third party making contact can often have a better result than someone who is known to the family and who you have had regular contact;
- This next stage shall focus on, in the first instance, reopening communication and understanding the family’s position in order to recommence payments.
2020 has been challenging to say the least and we are all slowly coming to terms with our new normal. Educational institutions are not immune to these challenges.
Please contact us on 1300 600 181 with any queries about fees, arrangements, terms and enforcement.