NACM-National-At Your Service. (National Commentary)

Article excerpt

As NACM-National Chairman, I visit NACM headquarters fairly often. However, I realize that many members do not have the same opportunity, and thought it would be appropriate to fill you in on what the department staff at National do and what services they provide to you, the member.

Education is really what NACM is about. The NACM-National Education Department has advanced the credit profession by setting standards used in the field of business credit and finance through its professional designation program. In addition, they work hand-in-hand with the Meetings Department to support members through a continually expanding, improved selection of educational conferences and seminars; programs that are excellent sources of targeted, credit-specific professional education which enhance on-the-job performance. For members seeking to improve their skills in financial analysis or to gain deeper insights about cash flow analysis and credit risk, specialized educational opportunities are provided through the Intermediate Financial Analysis Program and the Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management (GSCFM). Of course, the premier educational event, which many of you attend, is the annual Credit Congress--held this year in Orlando, Florida, June 1-4. If you haven't already set aside time an d funds to cover your attendance and/or your staffs at this event, make sure you do so soon! It provides a jam-packed educational experience, exposure to new products and services to enhance job and/or department performance, and the opportunity to network with--and learn from--peers in the credit field. There is no other event like it!

Your company, like so many others, may have been stung by fraudulent activity at some time in the past. Are you aware that the Loss Prevention Group houses one of the most powerful databases in existence on business credit fraud, postal crime, federal trade commission violations and the Government Services Administration debarred list, to name a few? This Group is comprised of a national network of members and law enforcement representatives who funnel potential or known frauds into the database daily, identifying fraudulent activities before the damage is done. Serious, costly scams such as bust-ours, bleed-ours, diversion schemes and bad check rings are identified, enabling the business credit professional to prevent losses and expensive litigation. The Group partners with some of the most prestigious law enforcement organizations in the U.S. and Canada, and will soon incorporate Europe. A membership in the Loss Prevention Group pays for itself many times over.

If your company contracts work with the Federal Government, you are likely aware of NACM's Government Receivables Group The Group houses information regarding the ever-changing and complex processes of how billings and invoices must be prepared for submission. In addition, it provides a help line to members searching for answers to tough questions. Members also receive e-mail grams that bring up-to-the-minute news about payment processes and new technologies. Seminars held throughout the country focus on online invoice inquiry systems, regulatory changes that impact payment processing and all sorts of wide area workflow updates that are critical to the credit manager selling to government agencies. Rules for billing and invoicing vary so much among government agencies, that there is no way for the credit professional to keep up-to-speed with all the processes. If your company does business with the U.S. government, a membership in GRG is essential.

I would be remiss if I did not also mention the Membership department, for this group is chartered with making sure that members contact information is always up-to date (no small task). …