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The Responsibilities of a Credit Professional
By Michael C. Dennis, MBA, CBF

As the person primarily responsible for managing credit risk in your company, you must be able to demonstrate to senior management the value of your contributions to the company. Those contributions include the ability to avoid bad debt losses; to control account delinquencies; and to identify areas for profitable sales growth.

The typical credit manager's duties include:

  • To establish and monitor policies and procedures that will help the company meet its sales and risk management goals.

  • Monitoring and evaluating active accounts to reduce or prevent bad debt losses.

  • Keep policies and procedures current, and communicate them to your subordinates and to other affected parties.

  • To listen to input from sales and sales management and then look for ways to help the sales department achieve its goals without damaging your department's ability to manage risk and control payment delinquency to acceptable levels.

  • Control the costs to operate the credit and collection functions

  • Convincing senior management when opportunities present themselves to invest in technology that can help the credit department cut costs, accelerate the decision making process, and/or improve the quality and consistency of credit decisions being made

You also have a duty to yourself and to your subordinates to find ways to demonstrate to senior management how the credit department adds value --- in effect that the credit department pays for itself several times over every year.

Other duties of a department manager include:

  • Establishing and communicating department goals and performance results to subordinates

  • To staff the department, train its employees and delegate work to meet senior management's expectations and the market's requirements

  • To actively support employee growth through training, performance reviews, mentoring and coaching

  • To meet corporate standards relating to managing subordinates, avoiding conflicts of interest, communicating with customers, and interacting with peers and superiors.

  • To praise subordinates in public, and reprimand them in private.

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