Collector - July 2018 - 40
A Better Framework
The search for an effective compliance management system led these
two companies to ACA International's PPMS program. Here's why.
By Anne Rosso May
he accounts receivable management
industry is highly regulated, and
to ensure compliance with federal
and state rules-not to mention client
requirements-you likely have policies and
procedures coming out of your ears. Often
these documents represent a patchwork of
quick-fixes and updates that may not be
organized in a way that makes them effective.
If you feel like you're solving the same
problems over and over again, it might
be time for a change. One option is ACA
International's Professional Practice
Management System (PPMS) certification
program, which helps companies develop
robust, industry-specific policies and
procedures. Using the PPMS framework,
agencies can implement change without
bringing business to a halt.
Jessica Anglin, CCCO for Darnel Quick
Recovery Inc., and Hila Safaei, compliance/
quality assurance officer for Credit Consulting
Services Inc., each recently helped lead their
companies through the PPMS certification
process, and Collector magazine asked them to
explain the highs and lows of the experience.
WHY DID YOU PURSUE PPMS
Anglin: We recognized that a solid
management system would not only
increase our bottom line by streamlining
our processes, but also communicate to
current and future clientele that we can be
trusted with the professional management
of their portfolio.
Safaei: We also felt it was important to
show current and potential clients our
commitment to improving procedures,
reducing errors and improving client
satisfaction. Plus, it was important
for us to complete PPMS because it's
industry specific. The accounts receivable
management industry is quite different than
other industries, and it's hard to box it in
unless you use a system geared specifically
for our industry.
WHAT BENEFITS HAVE YOU SEEN
SINCE YOU STARTED?
Safaei: Throughout the whole process, we
were able to identify gaps in our procedures.
It's great the way the PPMS elements are laid
out because you can go through each part of
your operations to see what works and what
doesn't. It also helped us prevent future issues.
Now we are able to nip problems in the bud
right away rather than letting them grow into
something larger, like a lawsuit.
Anglin: Implementing the PPMS system into
our daily routine has become second nature.
The system has not only helped us to address
issues as they arise, but most importantly it
helps prevent issues altogether.
DID YOU RUN INTO ANY
CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY?
Anglin: The major challenge to the PPMS
process was the overwhelming nature of
documenting, tracking and linking the
paperwork involved. It can be done, but we
needed a technological solution. We used
Peacock Consulting's CastIMS product
to usher us into PPMS compliance. Quite
honestly, we couldn't have accomplished it
without their help.
Safaei: I was pretty lucky because we had
management buy-in for the program,
but I think the biggest challenge for us
was getting everyone else in the office
on the same page. PPMS involves every
department in the company, not just the
compliance department. I had certain
deadlines that I wanted to get things done
by, but a lot of times other priorities would
come up that would need to get done first.
We also had to help everyone understand
why we were doing this, especially when it
came to tracking client issues. I think some
people thought we wanted to get people
in trouble. I had to let them know that's
definitely not the case-we just want to
analyze what's going on in the company.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR
COMPANIES THINKING ABOUT
Safaei: I think the best advice is to just jump
into it. It seems overwhelming at first when
you look at all the different requirements, but
don't overthink it. ACA's PPMS Foundational
Training course does a great job of breaking
the process down into planning, documenting
and implementing. I used the Microsoft Office
365 planning feature to make my goals and
deadlines, and shared it with the rest of the
office so we were all on the same page.
Anglin: Our advice is not to be
intimidated by the unknown or the
amount of work that is involved. ACA's
documentation provides a step-by-step
process for completion. The return on
investment will be substantial for your
company, not only for the bottom line but for
building a culture of compliant reliability.
Anne Rosso May is editor of Collector magazine.
To learn more about the ACA International
PPMS program, visit www.acainternational.