Case Study – Online Learning School Employs Collection Software to Reduce AR Outstanding

The challenge – The University employs sophisticated campus management software (CampusVue) that provides student registration and billing. The school has 150,000 students that matriculate both online and at local campuses. Student accounts are paid by a combination of direct pay, grants, scholarships and loans. The complexity of the accounts required a customized solution for the collectors to view account status specifically for the collections process.

The problem – The student bills are very complex with charges and payments covering several semesters and classes with multiple sources of payments. Tracking the past due accounts requires a mechanism to contact the student when payments are not received and set up a payment program that will keep student accounts current. When the collector makes contact with the student, all of the accounts that are past due must be presented in both a summary and detail view.

The discovery – The billing system was well equipped to send out timely bills at the beginning of each semester and at significant milestones during the semester. With many different programs of study and separate campuses each with their own staff for the bursar, it became apparent that a central office for collecting on past due accounts was most appropriate. It also was evident that the billing software was not designed to track the events involved in collecting on accounts that became significantly past due.

The solution – Collection software was employed to collect on past due accounts. The software is designed to automate most of the typical processes that before required manual manipulation. Accounts automatically have letters sent at specific dates depending on status. When payments are received they are automatically updated in both the collection software and the schools billing program. Collector queues can be created by any criteria including past due balance, date payment was due, and specific school attended. By grouping the accounts by status, the collector works batches of accounts with similar criteria.

Accounts that require personal contact automatically flow to collector queues. Automated calling are also created that provide auto-dialing routines that will play automated messages and deliver live calls to collectors increasing collector productivity by 300%.

The implementation – The software vendor worked directly with the schools IT and Collections Department staffs to integrate the software functionality with the schools registration and billing management software. The key to success was coordination of the two systems so that activities of both billing software and collections software would be updated in simultaneously.

The results – The College has reduced the time needed to work accounts that have moved to collection status. Accounts Receivable past due has improved dramatically. The information entered in the collection system is updated in the main billing system daily keeping both system in sync. The school has recognized additional revenue from student accounts and has improved the number of student accounts that previously had been determined uncollectable.