Software Review: Experts Rate Credit Collections Software; Software Applications Win the Credit Race

Article excerpt

Business Credit asked credit professionals to review and rate credit collection software based on certain criteria, including ease of use, documentation, comprehensiveness, compatibility with other programs, practical applications, and technical support. Reviewers rated the software packages on a scale of one to five, with five (*****) being the highest. We hope this will serve as a guide when purchasing or updating your credit software.

Package: Accounts Receivable & Credit Control (ARCC) Company: NMC Technologies, Inc. 1314 Bedford square, Suite 103 Baltimore, MD 21208

Reviewed by: Larry A. Schiern, credit and accounts receivable manager, Bugle Boy Industries, Simi Valley, CA.

Since its inception, Bugle Boy receivables have been managed in a factoring environment, negating the overall need for a comprehensive accounts receivable software package. However, a recent business decision to handle four new divisions as in-house receivables necessitated either development or the purchase of a software package.

After an intensive evaluation period and after observing a live demonstration, our credit, accounting, and MIS people all felt that the NMC package afforded us the opportunity to best meet Bugle Boy's business requirements in a timely manner.

One of the primary concerns about any software package is whether it affords credit management the ability to monitor the receivables, to allow timely follow-up of priority issues, and to reflect the status of the account base in a variety of formats and sorts. NMC's report management menu ensures visibility of all phases of management control.

The software package is menu-driven and user-friendly in all areas, allowing a smooth testing stage prior to the actual start-up of the system. The system documentation is easy reading and slowly takes the user through each menu and sub-menu option. The user tests three different batches in an instrumental cash application mode for easy personnel training. NMC also provides an in-house training seminar with the package.

The strengths of the system are its ease of use and its reporting capabilities. Alternative packages are strong in standard accounts receivable cash application programs but are weak in credit and collection management. NMC obviously spent time researching the needs of a fully operational credit and accounts receivable system, and was therefore able to provide the tools to do the job.

The credit and collection side has an extensive note and tickler file to monitor the account base in numerous ways. The retention of history and the tools to manipulate the presentation of history for trend analysis is another strong point of the package. The sorting of open items by invoices, chargebacks, disputes, and return checks allows management to evaluate the quality and collectability of the receivables for cash forecasting and trend development.

Although I am not a MIS person, I have been told by our specialist that the bridging and programming aspects of the package are easy to work with and conceptually sound.

Typically, NMC installs the ARCC package and develops the customers link to existing systems. Bugle Boy elected to install the ARCC package, with NMC consistently available for consultation.

I have worked with other accounts receivable systems operating in a mainframe environment and believe NMC's AS400 package can compete with the best of them. During our initial self-training sessions, I was asked by one of the users if I had written the training documentation. This is a great compliment to the NMC people as it illustrates how user-friendly the system is and the obvious attention to details to ensure ease of operation.

Package: American Software Accounts Receivable Company: American Software, Inc. 470 East Paces Ferry Road Atlanta, GA 30305

Reviewed By: Ron Cavanagh, director of finance and administration, CyCare Systems, Inc. …