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As they have in other parts of their jobs, finance chiefs have reasons to be cautiously optimistic about their trade-credit relationships with customers. After an extraordinarily bleak 2009, which saw many suppliers forced to renegotiate terms with their customers or write off bad debt altogether, creditors have been buoyed for the past three months by increased sales, applications for new credit, and bill collection, according to a leading indicator of the nation's credit health among businesses.
At the same time, there have been fewer squabbles between debtors and creditors, fewer turndowns of credit applications, "and a marked reduction of accounts placed for collection," according to the most recent report on the monthly Credit Managers' Index issued by the National Association of Credit Management.
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