Processing Paperwork – Part 3 – Warning Signs
13 Jan 2015
In Part 2, I addressed the issue of keeping your administrative work on track and to recognize that this is 50% of your business and success, or failure in the bail business. In Part 3 of this series, I will identify the warning signs that you need to be aware of to bring your business into focus and help you get organized to grow and prosper.
The only benefit to letting paperwork pile up is the visual and physical indication that you are falling behind. It’s easy to be overwhelmed and even intimidated by the paperwork, but if it doesn’t get done, you can kiss your bail business good bye. I’m sure that for all your efforts and investment in time and money that you would not want this to be your reality, so take control from the get-go.
A different kind of ‘disorganization’ may be more difficult to spot. It’s in the form of filing away incomplete documents or accounts closed prematurely. You know the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” If your paperwork is filed away out of sight, you will undoubtedly forget that it exists and one day in the future you may learn that a bond or bonds were forfeited and your client, the defendant, has skipped bail and is no where to be found. This is not the situation you want to be faced with.
Since each client and case is different there are many elements to be aware of, such as; collateral, titles to property put up for collateral, defendant’s court dates, accounts payable, etc. The following is an organizational test for you to use to determine what you know about your business and clients that could be stacking up in the pile of paperwork on your desk. See how many of these issues you do not have a handle on.
1. If you needed to prove you hold title to a client’s property, could you locate that proof quickly?
2. Could you determine quickly which defendants you have out on bail?
3. Do you know if all your accounts receivable are up to date?
4. Do you have a specific procedure in place for opening and following up on new client files?
5. If someone were to audit all your client files, would you feel confident they’d find all your paperwork complete?
6. If a defendant called to ask when and where he’s supposed to appear in court, could you find that information while he’s still on the phone?
7. If the defendant’s bail was exonerated, would you know what collateral you would need to return, if any, and would you have the appropriate documents readily available?
8. Are you confident that every one of your defendants out on bail is current on his court appearances?
9. If you were given one day to prepare all records and receipts for your tax returns, would you be able to produce an accurate itemization of deductions?
10. Do you know whether or not you’ve reached a point where you need to hire an office assistant?
If you were able to answer “YES” to every question above, you’re on your way to running a well-organized bail business. If not, you know where to focus your efforts immediately. Don’t let your disorganization put you out of business. Take control and profit.