Questions and Answers Page

1. In a nutshell, what is AccountAssyst?

2. I am a new business. Will I benefit from AccountAssyst?

3. Can AccountAssyst be integrated with my current IT infrastructure and my Accounting Systems?

4.  I don’t open up many new credit accounts with new customers. How will AccountAssyst benefit my business?

5. How does AccountAssyst differ from other credit checking services such as Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian?

6. What are company monitoring services?

7. How will AccountAssyst help me to establish the credit worthiness of non-Limited businesses such as Sole traders and Partnerships?

8. Is there a licensing fee for using AccountAssyst?

9. How often would I need to use the system to really benefit?

10. What are the benefits of ROSI Monitor?


1. In a nutshell, what is AccountAssyst?


AccountAssyst is an online credit management solution designed to protect companies that supply goods or services on credit against the risk presented by bad debt. This automated system increases the accounting efficiency of a business by ensuring that payments are received in a timely manner, with bad debts and write-offs consequently reduced.

The services offered by AccountAssyst include:

  • Automated online credit account opening for your new customers
  • Existing customer account reviews
  • Unique ROSI Monitor early warning system
  • Online automated overdue monies chase process (credit control)
  • Credit reports (either on their own or as part of account opening and reviews) with Companies House and CCJ monitoring.

2. I am a new business. Will I benefit from AccountAssyst?


Yes.  Your business may be new or have been established for many years. You may be yet to make a sale or have a turnover of many millions. Whichever situation your company is in, if you supply products or services to other businesses on credit, you will benefit from AccountAssyst's range of powerful and easy-to-use solutions. Each one has been designed to greatly increase your protection from bad debt.

3. Can AccountAssyst be integrated with my current IT infrastructure and my Accounting Systems?


Yes. All the data that you collect in AccountAssyst is fully exportable, be it as a whole or on an individual customer basis. The export is in the form of a csv file which can then be imported into any recognised accounting package or basic computer system. The export function from AccountAssyst is free. Don't hesitate to ask if you need any help.

4.  I don’t open up many new credit accounts with new customers. How will AccountAssyst benefit my business?


The services within AccountAssyst will provide protection for your business regardless of the size of your customer base or how often new customers are brought on board. Here's how:

  • ROSI Monitor and the Account Review will ensure that your existing client base is constantly monitored for the earliest signs of financial concern. The early warning ROSI Monitor enables you to review the credit that you provide to each customer, and if necessary make the changes required to protect your business
  • The existing customer review enables you to formalise your trading relationships under new and improved terms and conditions that may not have existed at the start of the relationship. We supply you with generic terms and conditions that you can then tailor to your business.
    The fewer customers that you have, the more reliant you are upon them, and the greater the impact should they default on payment.
    We would always recommend registering your existing customers with AccountAssyst to ensure you are fully protected. If you have a small number of customers then the cost is modest.

5. How does AccountAssyst differ from other credit checking services such as Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian?


The AccountAssyst credit report is just one element of the system whereas the three main credit reporting companies referred to are limited to providing credit reports only. The standard credit reports provided by these three companies are generally based upon accounts filed at Companies House. These can be up to 2 years out of date. Additionally, because the company itself provides the data to Companies House, it does not always give an accurate impression of its ability to meet its creditors at that time let alone two years down the line. It's difficult, therefore, to determine the financial strength of a company based upon the last accounts filed should you be planning to offer them credit terms today.

AccountAssyst provides online credit account opening, customer reviews, reforming of contracts on up-to-date terms and conditions and systems to help a business to establish the current state of any business that they are dealing with. Most importantly, it provides access to the ROSI late payment database, a database populated by solicitors and debt collection agencies upon the expiry of a payment demand letter.

When opening an account, performing a credit review, or simply registering a customer on the ROSI Monitor, you will be provided with all the historic data on the ROSI database that exists for the customer. The ROSI Monitor service will then ensure that any future entries for that customer are alerted to your business immediately by e-mail.
AccountAssyst has been designed to collect data that is both current and relevant, and in a quantity sufficient to enable a far more accurate credit reading than from an outdated credit report. This also increases the probability of recovery should the business default on payment.

6. What are company monitoring services?


Company monitoring services are linked solely to data changes at Companies House and any court judgements registered against a company. The company monitoring services currently in existence are reactive to information that is provided only when a company has run into difficulty, for example not submitting accounts or a CCJ being recorded.

ROSI Monitor identifies these issues long before the information has been made available to Companies House and crucially at a time when there is an opportunity for you to do something about it, such as restricting or reducing credit or insisting upon payment before releasing goods or services. A company is only flagged on the ROSI Monitor if it has specifically failed to respond to a seven-day payment demand issued by either a solicitor or debt collection agency.

7. How will AccountAssyst help me to establish the credit worthiness of non-Limited businesses such as Sole traders and Partnerships?


Sole Traders and Partnerships are not required to file accounts at Companies House unless they are registered as LLP (Limited Liability Partnership), in which case they are treated in the same way as a Limited Company. Accordingly the credit data available on non-limited companies is extremely limited.

Credit reporting companies are generally only able to provide a credit report for a non-Limited business if it has opted to be included in a business directory, such as Thomsons, and has specifically agreed that their data may be used for this purpose.

Additionally, should a judgment be recorded by the court against a sole trader or partnership, it is recorded in the County Court Judgement Register, and this becomes a matter of public record. However, the Data Protection Act prevents the full detail of the judgement being reported for the use of the credit reporting companies.

To illustrate this point here is a fictional example:

 
A judgment obtained against a Mr Tom Smith, trading as ABC Electronics of 1 Any Street, Sometown, Debtshire AB1 1XX, would actually appear on a credit report as a judgment obtained against ABC Electronics of 1 Any Street, Sometown, Debtshire AB1 1XX. The name of the person or persons in ownership of the company is protected by the Data Protection Act and so despite the fact that an individual may have a judgment against them, you may only obtain this information if the individual gives their written authority for this to happen. Furthermore, a new business that decides to be included in a business directory is afforded an arbitrary credit limit, usually £500, without any basis as to the financial strength of the company.

The other key difference for non-Limited businesses is the availability of credit reports. A non-Limited business could have been trading for many years and not have appeared on the radar of any credit reporting companies. This could be due to the fact that no County Court Judgements have been recorded against them or because they have not subscribed to any of the business directories that credit reporting companies use to source information. In these circumstances there will simply be no credit report, credit limit or even any record of the existence for these businesses.

The AccountAssyst solution to these problems works in the following way:


Should you wish to determine the credit worthiness of a non-Limited company AccountAssyst will provide you with a substantial questionnaire for completion by the non-Limited company. The information provided on completion of this questionnaire is then fed through the AccountAssyst scoring algorithm from which an accurate credit report and limit can be produced. The questions included in the questionnaire are tailored to match the requirements of the scoring algorithm, and have a direct correlation with the risk associated with the credit applicant.

One of the questions asked is whether the non-Limited company owns a business and / or residential property. From the information provided in the answer, a judgement can be made as to whether property equity would be available to pursue in the event of the applicant defaulting upon a payment.  
Information such as this enables AccountAssyst to produce a credit report that is much more accurate and relevant than anything that can be provided by other credit management companies. 

8. Is there a licensing fee for using AccountAssyst?


No. The cost of using AccountAssyst is very modest. The services within AccountAssyst are sold on a simple unit basis. Pay as you go units are available for £2.50 each but this can be reduced by investing in an annual subscription. For example, a 1,000 unit subscription costs £1,250 (£1.25 per unit)

Here’s how units are allocated

Function Activity Units Required
Electronic Account Opening (includes Credit Report and ROSI Monitor) 8
Fax Account Opening (includes Credit Report and ROSI Monitor) 12
Electronic Account Review (includes Credit Report and ROSI Monitor) 8
Fax Account Review (includes Credit Report and ROSI Monitor) 12
Adding An Existing Customer To ROSI Monitor Only 3
Obtain Credit Report Only 6
Email Credit Control 1 per demand
Fax Credit Control 2 per demand
Postal Credit Control 3 per demand

For a limited period, if you invest in an annual subscription you will benefit from a 100% unit bonus. So, if you buy 1000 units you will receive an additional 1000 units free. This should enable you to add your existing client base to AccountAssyst at no cost whatsoever.
You can also spread the payment of your annual subscription over monthly instalments if you buy 1000 or more units.

9. How often would I need to use the system to really benefit?


We would recommend that you add all your clients to AccountAssyst, but as a minimum include those clients that would have a critical impact upon your business should they default on a payment or become insolvent.
One of the major benefits of AccountAssyst is that it enables you to know exactly the credit worthiness of the businesses with whom you are dealing and that the contract between you and your customers is formed properly. An investment of just £10 (8 units on a 1000 unit subscription) to open an account through AccountAssyst could help you avoid an expensive debt write off.

10. What are the benefits of ROSI Monitor?


Unique to AccountAssyst, ROSI Monitor will instantly alert you by email whenever one of your customers fails to pay one of their other suppliers after receiving a demand letter from a debt collection agency or solicitor. To be in this situation your customer will have had its non-payment of a bill escalated to a third party debt collection agency or solicitor, after which they will have been granted a further 7 days to pay. If they do not pay within that additional period they will be registered on the ROSI database. Indications would suggest that the business is having difficulty meeting its payment obligations and that their cash flow is further deteriorating their ability to pay.

It is only at the next stage, when a company is unable to pay a court summons that standard credit reporting companies pick up on the situation.

The ROSI Monitor alerts will enable you to take action at the earliest opportunity. This will increase the likelihood of an outstanding payment being secured and also reduce the likelihood of you providing goods on a credit basis that is unknowingly very risky.

Currently the earliest notification of a company defaulting on payments would be received after a County Court Judgement has been issued against it. By this time, however, it may be too late.

When opening an account for a new customer, or adding an existing customer, you will be supplied with all the existing ROSI Monitor information on that customer. This will provide you with a detailed and current picture of the customer’s credit worthiness, far more useful than the information included in a credit report.

An example is that of a printing company approaching a courier to open an account. The courier checks on ROSI and discovers that the printer has accumulated many recent debts to other couriers and determines that they are requesting credit because they have failed to pay their previous suppliers. This could be an early sign that the printing company is experiencing financial problems.

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