Finance Jobs :Credit Controller Job Career Profile

Credit Controller Job Career Profile
What is the work like ?

As a credit controller or debt collection agent, you would be responsible for recovering unpaid money from businesses or individuals. You could work for a third party collection agency or debt purchasing company employed to collect debts from businesses (known as commercial collection) or individuals (consumer collection). Alternatively, you could be a credit controller in a company’s finance or credit department, chasing late payments from suppliers and customers.

What qualifications and experience will employers look for?

Employers will expect you to have a good standard of general education and confidence with maths. You will find it useful to have computer skills and experience of office and customer service work.Some employers may prefer you to have some GCSEs (A-C) including maths, and you may have an advantage with qualifications in book-keeping or accounts (see related profiles for details).You should check with individual employers about the qualifications and experience you need for each job.

What further training and development can I do?

You will do most of your training on the job. Your training may cover telephone techniques, credit law, court orders and insolvency procedures.Your training may include taking qualifications from the Credit Services Association (CSA) or the Institute of Credit Management (ICM). If you want to progress to credit manager, holding CSA or ICM qualifications may improve your promotion prospects.

Qualifications include:

CSA/City & Guilds Diploma for the Debt Collecting Industry
ICM Level 3 Diploma in Credit Management – an introductory course
ICM Level 5 Diploma in Credit Management – a more advanced course that includes legal proceedings and insolvency
ICM Foundation Degree in Credit Management.
You can study for CSA or ICM courses part-time or by distance learning. See websites for more details.

You should keep your skills and knowledge of credit law up to date throughout your career. The ICM and CSA both offer a range of short courses and workshops to help your professional development.
Credit Controllers, control and protect the debts owed by customers to their businesses. They are employed by companies that sell goods or services, or by organisations such as banks, building societies, hire purchase companies, and credit card companies. There are two types of credit controller

Commercial credit controllers- involved with corporate customers

Consumer credit controllers- involved with customers who are private individuals.

In large organisations, the credit control team leader  may manage a team of credit controllers who carry out much of the daily administrative work, leaving the decision making and tasks that require specialised knowledge to the credit controllers.In smaller organisations, the credit manager is likely to undertake most of the work personally.

There are three main areas of work:

Risk assessment – involves gathering financial information on the customers creditworthiness, analysing the information, and deciding whether to offer credit to the customer.
Debt collection – may include visiting the customer and offering advice, setting up systems for repayment of the debt, or instigating legal action if recovery proves difficult.
Insolvency work – credit managers may be involved in insolvency proceedings, including meeting with other creditors, recovering goods, or arranging for a liquidator to wind up a company and sell off its assets.

There are no set minimum entry requirements, but most employers will expect at least four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3).The normal route to becoming a credit manager is to start as a credit controller and progress into a management role. It may be possible to become a credit manager with experience in a related field such as banking.  A growing number of employers require applicants to have the professional qualifications of the Institute of Credit Management(ICM) as well as extensive experience.

There are two qualifications offered by ICM:

Certificate in Credit Management – there are no formal entry qualifications to register as a student with ICM

 and study for this qualification. The course covers credit management, accounting, business law and business environment. Associate Membership of ICM is conferred on completion.

Diploma in Credit Management – the entry requirement for this qualification is the Certificate in Credit Management. It covers advanced credit management, practical credit management, credit management law, legal proceedings and insolvency. On successful completion of this course, Membership of ICM is awarded, and the designation MICM (Grad) may be used. These qualifications can be studied at college part-time or by distance learning, and usually take two to three years each. ICM may grant exemptions from parts of these courses to those holding examination passes of equivalent or higher level qualifications in relevant subjects.

Alternatively,ICM membership is possible via a vocational route for those with at least five years’ credit management experience. This involves providing references and having experience assessed by ICM.

Graduate or vocational members with at least seven years’ senior management experience can apply for Fellowship of the ICM.

Credit Managers must keep up to date with current financial legislation and procedures, and they may be required to attend courses to update professional skills. Export credit managers must keep abreast of international regulations and legislation.

Figures are intended as a guideline only, look at our credit control salary surveyclick here

New Credit Controllers may expect to earn upwards of £16,000.
Credit Controllers with experience may earn between £16,000 and £25,000.  A Credit Control Team Leader can earn about  £27,000
Senior Credit Controllers may eventually  become Credit Managers and earn up to £60,000 a year.

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