Profit is directly proportional to the volume of sales, provided all your business transactions are cash based. Is it possible for a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer to carry on his business without offering credit in this competitive business environment? The answer is a definite “no”, because extension of credit improves your sales and thus your profit. Problems arise only when a firm is not able to recover the debt within the stipulated period of time from the customers.
In credit sales, the supplier offers credit for a specific time period, which is an investment from the angle of supplier and largest single source of short term financing from the angle of the customer. The supplier should be able to recover the amount of interest on the credit investment he has made. How?
Cash discounts, quantity discounts and trade discounts are offered by many firms to the customers to encourage credit sales, favoring bulk purchases. A firm cannot be expected to survive long by pursuing the policy of cash sales while similar firms can overtake it by adapting to liberal credit policies.
Credit policy on one hand stimulates sales and so also its gross earnings, but on the other may be accompanied by added costs, such as:
1) Clerical expenses involved in investigating additional accounts and servicing added volume of receivables,
2) increased bad-debt losses due to credit extension to less credit worthy customers,
3) higher cost of capital.
Incremental earnings from increased sales should be matched with incremental costs that arise due to credit terms, to avoid funds being tied up in receivables. In course of time it would deprive you of your profits. The pivotal consideration of your credit policy would be the selection of credit worthy customers or debtors. If your funds become sticky, recovery becomes next to impossible and you need to proceed legally to claim your rights. Properly maintained accounting records and vouchers will stand as a testimony in your favor, in the court of law.