09.01.2022 | Posted by Erik
4-Day Work Week Considerations for A/R
Are you considering a four-day workweek for your office, but you’re curious how that might affect your A/R? Well, you’ve come to the right place. As an accounts receivable management services provider, we were curious about the same thing, so we dug into our data to get a better feel for things.
Based on what we discovered, we’re covering the pros and cons of the four-day workweek from an A/R perspective.
The Data: What’s Happening On Fridays?
To determine the impacts a four-day workweek might have on accounts receivables, we looked at our results on calls each day of the week. Presumably, most people hoping to work a four-day workweek are looking at a Monday through Thursday schedule, so we paid particular attention to Fridays. And here’s what we found:
- Mondays – We get the most promises for payment.
- Fridays – We get the least promises for payment. We also leave the most voicemails on Fridays compared to every other day of the week.
- Thursdays – We leave the least voicemails.
So, what does this all mean for a four-day workweek? From an accounts receivable management services perspective, it could mean a few things. First, it could mean that taking Friday off may not hurt your A/R that much since the results are so much lower on those days.
In fact, based on our internal data, taking Fridays off might not be a bad idea. On average, about 15% of our promised payments come in on Fridays, whereas that number is higher than 20% every other day of the week. Additionally, since we leave the least voicemails on Thursday, it’s a good indication that Thursdays are the best day to actually reach people.
This data could be an indication that it wouldn’t do much harm to take Fridays off. Still, there are some things to consider before making the change.
Perception and Opportunity Matter
The reality is that even a few promised payments or closed invoices could be worth keeping your phone lines open and employees engaged. In our experience as an accounts receivable management services firm, a central component of collections is persistence – and a bit of luck – to catch the right person at the right time. If the time a key account’s A/R contact is available happens to be on a Friday, you could be hindering your collection efforts by failing to reach out that day.
Anecdotally, we’ve definitely seen that calling people during more off-hours, like a Friday afternoon, is an excellent way to reach individuals who might otherwise be tied up in meetings or hard to reach on busier workdays.
Additionally, if you’re in a service-based business, it’s important to think about brand perception. While younger generations tend to be more open to a four-day workweek, older generations seem to be more skeptical. No business wants to worry about ruining its brand perception for clients, partners, and investors.
What should you do about A/R, then? If you know the results aren’t the best on Friday, but you have to contend with perception, what should your A/R team do?
What to Do With Your Fridays Instead
Instead of hounding the phones and shooting out emails, Fridays are the perfect day for other tasks related to A/R. For instance, rather than making calls and trying to close invoices, it might be a better day for focusing on the A/R fundamentals.
Have your A/R team spend time on things like:
- Making sure customer credit apps are up to date
- Ensuring customer accounts and contact information are correct
- Reviewing your billing process to make sure there are no recurring issues that are slowing payments
- Researching and correcting disputes
- Reviewing your accounts that are over 90 days past due and writing off uncollectible invoices
Of course, you’ll also be available just in case anyone calls wanting to correct their past due account. By utilizing your Fridays as more of an internal administrative day, you can maximize your external collection efforts Monday through Thursday. In doing so, your A/R team still has a more relaxed Friday without hindering availability or perception.
But what if your team isn’t satisfied with this solution? Well, there’s another option to consider – outsource receivables management.
An Alternative Solution? Outsource Receivables for the Best of Both Worlds
If you want to get the best of both worlds, consider hiring an accounts receivable management services company, like Axim, to handle your A/R instead.
When you outsource receivables, your team can work a four-day workweek without worrying about how it might impact the overall collection efforts. Plus, you benefit from having a seasoned team that knows how to get results (without sabotaging customer care).