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Creative yet practical strategies to stimulate collections and lower overdue debt

inspired credit management.

Having the right blend of skills is tantamount to credit management success. While discovery of underlying issues requires a balanced analytical approach, solutions are likely to call on many other attributes within your Accounts Receivable [AR] team. I relish challenges. I have a passion for helping to improve AR results and those within the AR team. Could your AR concerns be my next opportunity?

key attributes of credit management leadership.

Tactfulness Persuasiveness Persistence Empowering Knowledgeable Team Focus Process Excellence Dedication Energetic Convincing Skillful Articulate Tenacious Clear Concise Courageous Resilient Decisive Innovative Committed Courteous

ICM © Copyright 2014

Website design by Philboss Design

i can help you better manage your business.

With over fourty years experience in credit management, I have a wealth of knowledge and skills to help improve your control of accounts receivable.

Raise your AR teams productivity & efficiency

Train your team - intro to advanced levels

Minimise the level of overdue receivables

Review of AR structure and design

Lower bad debt/credit insurance/staff costs

Overcome customer payment processing issues

Minimise unmatched/unallocated customer payments

Innovative AR reports that drive employee engagement

Inventive and stimulating staff incentive programs

Assess and propose changes to limit credit risk

Avoid court action knowing the likely outcomes

Review and refinement of Credit Policy

Better management of customer payment terms

Develop customer segmented collection treatment plans

my core services.


    How to best set reasonable AR expectations. What barriers need to be addressed or removed that otherwise stifle accomplishment? It is rarely a simple task.

    System design, work distribution, policy, business complexity, trading conditions and staff skills all have an impact.

    Just raising activity is not the solution. Rather it is the application of a broad blend of solutions. Drawing on decades of experience I can certainly help you identify, and or expand on productivity solutions.


    Does your approach to debt collection mirror world’s best practice?

    I designed and implemented a Global approach to lift AR efficiency with the world’s 6th largest private employer.

    What scope might there be within your business for AR optimization?

    Of course it does not mean every collection letter recovers a payment, or that every telephone call secures the overdue debt.

    The efficiency key that turns the lock to cost reduction lies in design.

    That is design of effective collection treatment plans, alignment with systems technology, having well trained enthusiastic employees and through them, optimizing debt collection strategies.


    Let my extensive experience in developing and delivering training in multiple countries come to your aid.

    My training objective is not just to lift understanding, but to lift self esteem. I have found this directly leads to higher levels of staff commitment and improved results.

    Why am I so sure I can help you? Here is a summary (but not a complete list) of my heavy commitment to AR education and to those people who strive to achieve task excellence:

    • Credit industry expert for TAFE (Australia) constructing the still current TAFE Diploma in Credit Management
    • Contributing editor of the Australian Government's business and commerce series of booklets aimed at Small Business addressing Debt Control
    • Part time teacher with TAFE for 10 years covering many general management, finance and credit management subjects
    • Developed and hosted 13x1 hour programs on "Controlling Debt Collection" for Australian cable TV delivery
    • Developed "Best in Collections" a 4 day course delivered in 3 Middle East countries and 6 African countries
    • Prepared the content of a sophisticated 'on line' introductory Certified International Specialist (CIS) global credit course
    • Directly contributed to the development and delivery of a 2 day CIS ‘classroom’ course in multiple countries
    • Developed the content of an 'on line' CIS course for AR Managers launched through DHL in 2013

    Does the design of your credit department truly support your credit control objectives?

    Is there scope for task specialization that has not yet been explored?

    Limited for investment funds, that’s no problem as like most credit career professionals I’ve repeatedly faced and overcome that challenge.

    I explore staff strengths and interests aiming to match them to the tasks that best suit their abilities. When this is done sensitively and considerately it can be a win-win for all.


    Who doesn't want to achieve this? Rarely is it too difficult to perform.

    The objective though is not to yield short term gains only to face a medium to long term rise in overdue debt and bad debt.

    Costs need to be viewed as a result of what others in your business and your customers do to contribute to the credit departments workload.

    Systems issues or telephony equipment may also inhibit rapid execution of tasks.

    Beyond that policies and practices often have a direct influence on costs.

    For over 20 years I have advocated the establishment of Service Level Agreements with Sales departments (and if needed with Operations/Manufacturing departments) to set the framework of AR task and cost expectations.


    A huge problem if this gets out of control. Reconciling and repairing the damage often commands a large time/cost investment.

    Customers can get very upset if they have paid but you have no record of the payment prompting overdue account collection action.

    The contributing causes are many and varied. With many customers now paying by EFT, matching payments to the right account and right invoices can be a challenge. Software that automatically matches payments to accounts can be a contributing cause as can changes in staff and loss of experience.

    I can show you innovative ways to overcome most problems by quite simply coaching better customer cooperation. It is how to get that cooperation that distinguishes this approach from so many other traditional methods that (at best) only partly solve the problem.


    Using standard MS products there are smart ways to gain a dramatic lift in staff interest and engagement in their performance.

    It is based on how work is assigned, how targets are set, and how progress is measured and compared to past results.

    Invariably this approach has worked wonders in making the daily publishing of updated results an exciting time of the day... and it does not load managers down with time consuming reporting effort. When monitored improvement is then linked to small non bonus/incentive related rewards, the approach soon reveals itself for what it is, that is a World’s Best Practice for driving accomplishment.

    Driving performance is a serious challenge, but there is a very light hearted and fun way to reach those AR goals via a stimulated and engaged work group. Once established this monitoring is routinely completed. It becomes a wonderful aid to assess the merit of staff and team performance.


    Of course not all who work in AR have an ambition to become invaluable to their employer, but some do. Fail to recognize it and capitalize on it and these people soon move off to another employer in the hope of gaining recognition and advancement.

    Poor staff retention rates drive employment related costs and training costs higher. Team morale is driven so much higher when you are able to lift weaker workers and narrow the gap between your top and lower performers.

    I would love to share with those who are interested how they can stay in demand as a credit specialist and for those who just want a higher level of security in employment, how to stay one step ahead of the competition.


    Bad debts are an inevitable consequence of modern day business.

    In Venetian times we would have broken the customers trading bench (the advent of bankruptcy meaning broken bench). Nowadays we’d most likely get more satisfaction from hitting the ailing debtor over the head with it.

    Most businesses have their processes in place to minimize the risk of non payment. Unfortunately systems and work practices may not work so well to compliment those processes. Even a firm credit policy may fail to provide sufficient protection from overdue debt, legal costs and bad debt. Sometimes emotions driven by the objective to maximize sales impede the application of even the best controls.

    Cost effective credit insurance is just one way to limit loss. There are many ways to vary and minimize insurance premiums. Mercantile reporting agencies also provide a guide into customer distress risk, but with private companies dominating the Australian business landscape, gaining a true and current insight into customer credit risk remains a challenge.

    I would be happy to share with you ideas on any of the above topics. There are also smart fundamental ways to minimize the cost of setting up new accounts, and then ensuring the customer relationship (and payment practice) is set in concrete from inception.


    Whether you engage a debt collection agency or a solicitor, the prospects of debt enforcement and recovery can range from miserable to good.

    Of course the customer would need to have the ability to pay if they lose their case, so sometimes your costs are minimized by not proceeding to court despite your desire to get something back.

    There are many considerations and options – where the objective is to get paid and avoid getting caught again by the same debtor. I have repeatedly been able to reduce legal and associated recovery costs by up to 90% in multiple businesses.

    Of course the cost of bad debt has much to do with the supplier’s appetite for risk, and of what controls are set in place to avoid bad debt.

    From experience, the best way of dealing with the court system for debt recovery is to not have to be there in the first place. I can recount for you many poor outcomes as I have tried to maximize recovery of old debts for many varied businesses.


    While the Credit Policy will always the foundation of the corporations approach to business credit risk, the Policy should logically be able to be fully enacted.

    If the business processes and systems cannot fully support the Policy, then issues and conflict is bound to arise. Where alteration to Policy is needed due to systems and or process limitations, the need for change needs to be clearly and unambiguously presented to those who set policy.

    I would be happy to provide guidance and review on this key area having prepared credit management policy documents for smaller businesses right up to major international enterprises.


    Payment terms are an essential part of the supplier/customer contract. Of course there are times when customers will plead for extra time to pay but more often than not they'll take the extra time whether agreed to or otherwise.

    Customer purchase levels may support some flexibility for the largest customers. Even so solid plans and processes need to minimize customers exceeding payment terms. Where customers can be grouped into risk categories or simply by size of debt collection plans need to foster a good payment habit.

    Consistency, persistence and courtesy are key attributes of the successful credit team, but all the persistence in the world will not overcome customers rejections of incorrect invoices. Billing promptly and accurately are fundamental to a good sales relationship just as are making sure the sales team knows the importance of payment terms as a risk limiting mechanism.

    Where customers have fallen into late payment practices due to past leniency, it is a challenge to bring them back to contractual terms without damaging the relationship. I can share with you methods that when supported at a Board level have succeeded in bringing even the largest customers back to agreed payment terms.

ICM © Copyright 2014

Website design by Philboss Design

Michael Lance Peet


From a humble beginning as a Junior Clerk in NSW’s Government Transport Department, Michael retired from his full time career in 2014 as VP Head of Global Collections for one of the worlds largest freight companies.

Learn more about Michael's experiences and acomplishments on his LinkedIn profile page.

Michael lived in Australia until 2004. He was employed by a series of large firms wanting a credit specialist to help them gain better control over their debtors accounts. From 2004 he led credit teams in Toronto, Houston and Dubai while guiding many countries in the Middle East and Africa on lowering receivables investment. In recent years Michael developed ‘on line’ and classroom training in debt collection while rewriting Global credit policy and establishing customer segmented collection treatment plans and a Toolbox to share best international collection practices.

While attributing his career success to effectively leading credit teams, Michael created an innovative approach to put fun back into the workplace and improve results to achieve levels previously considered inconceivable. Now he shares many of his experiences into how to truly engage employees while stimulating cash flow and limiting bad debt loss.

Michael’s story holds many simple but highly effective insights into how to overcome the complexities associated with debt management. It is a real life example on how to create unforgettable moments that linger on in the memories of those he has led to distinguished credit management performance.

ICM © Copyright 2014

Website design by Philboss Design

i would be delighted to hear from you.

Let me have the opportunity to help you strengthen credit control by firstly understanding your AR position, and then providing experienced guidance on strategies that have raised the success of so many other credit teams. Call me now on 0467 042 672 or alternatively complete and submit the enquiry form below.

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phone: 0467 042 672
74 Ocean Vista Drive
Maroochy River QLD 4561

mobile: 0438 123 838 | office: (07) 5446 6652

ABN: 75 144 270 563 | ACN 1-12764704847