One would expect the managers of what’s often a company’s largest asset, its accounts receivable, to be pretty high on the invite list to upper management meetings. Sometimes this is the case, and sometimes it isn’t.
NACM’s monthly survey for March found that credit’s inclusion in top tier meetings was split pretty evenly, with about 51% responding that “yes,” they were included in meetings with upper management at their companies, and about 47% responding that “no,” they were not. The remaining 2% noted that the question was not applicable, often due to their company’s size or structure.
Some participants noted that their companies used meetings to let employees know how valued they are. “Our company does a nice job of making all employees feel part of the team. They understand that if an employee feels they are part of the process, they take ownership,” said one respondent. “Both corporate and divisional senior and executive management are very good about bringing credit into the conversation when there is a change or issue,” said another.
Others, however, considered their exclusion from such meetings a depressing sign of the company’s priorities. “We are included when it's convenient for upper management to have us there,” said one participant. “Otherwise, no we are not and a lot of times we are not even informed of any changes that may pertain to us in a timely fashion.”
“Management attention is mostly concentrated on operational areas involving production, revenue and sales. Credit functions are not a primary focus,” said another.
As some noted, this can create a rift between departments that are deemed worthy of inclusion at upper management meetings and those departments that are not. “Upper management…views the department as a necessity and keeps us in the background,” said one respondent. “Upper management does not portray or embody an attitude of cooperation and benefit between sales and the credit department. This continues to feed the sales versus credit atmosphere dividing the two departments.”
NACM’s April survey deals with accounting ratios and is now live. Participate today by clicking here, and be entered into a drawing to win a free teleconference registration.
Jacob Barron, CICP, NACM staff writer