The Connection
December 2018/January 2019
Say " Hello" to NACM's Newest Members

Badger Inc. (Dallas Region)
Beach Lumber (New Orleans Region)
Safety Kleen Systems, Inc. (Dallas Region)
Southern Freight Lines (Multiple member) (Houston Region)
Star Pipe Products Ltd. (Houston Region)


A very somber time for so many...
It was a terrible shock to learn that former member ED LOWE fell to his death in Big Bend National Park on November 8 th. We send our prayers and condolences to Ed’s friends and family.
We are saddened to report that retired long time member of NACM Southwest, JAMES P. GRIBBEN (formerly with Concord Industries), has passed away. We extend our sincere condolences to his friends and family.
We’ve also been informed that the wife of retired long time member JOHN BOYETT, Donna, has also passed away. Our thoughts and prayer are with John and his family.
Going Paperless

The Benefits of Going Paperless and How ACH Works to Lower DSO
Making the switch to electronic payments (e-Payments) from traditional paper checks can be anxiety-inducing—and yet, consumers have overwhelmingly made the switch much quicker than have business creditors. Nearly two-thirds of all business-to-business (B2B) payments are still made by physical checks, according to a recent FinTech Market Landscape study. By just switching payments to ACH, days sales outstanding (DSO) can decrease by 20% after full remittance increasing cash flow and making budgets more flexible, as stated in a recent Receivable Savvy webinar hosted by Senior Director, Product Management and Strategic Corporate Relations for NACHA, Robert Unger.
“Not only is ACH a way to move money between bank accounts [company’s account to seller, etc.], you can push payments and pull payments from a seller,” Unger said in the webinar. “More importantly, it supports a boatload of remittance information. It describes what the payment is about, what kind of deduction is being made, that sort of stuff.”
According to a survey by NACHA, more than 50% of respondents in the study said less than 20% of all remittance information is processed automatically with the help of ACH, meaning most back-office functions are still performed manually. When so many tedious tasks are performed by employees, talents become wasted and the margin of error for processed reports increases. Not only is this use of employees for back-office tasks a waste of time, it’s also a waste of money, Unger said. Staff taking care of back-office assignments is at greater risk for human error; their skills can be better employed on other tasks.
“How do we cut expenses without eliminating personnel?” said Gary Mulherin, CCE, ICCE, in an interview with NACM. “There are additional savings to be had if the business looks carefully into talking to their bank to see what options they have. Sometimes they don’t want to or they don’t have the time to.”
With ACH, customers also have the option to trigger payments or have them debited, according to Unger. Using debit transactions, payments can be made almost instantly from one company to another. Instead of waiting for a check to reach the post office—or dealing with the dreaded, “The check is in the mail” excuse—suppliers have access to money from the customer readily available. This permission can be granted when negotiating terms with a customer.
“When you talk about certain customers not being able to send you ACH payments, remember this: With their permission, you can pull funds from their account, too,” Unger said. “Don’t overlook the B2B debit: one-third of all B2B transactions are debits, where one company is pulling funds from another company.”
Even after lower DSO, the benefits continue: Using an ACH provider is cheaper than working with physical checks. Third-party senders—one of the many options for ACH payments—still need to finance their companies; the fees associated with using their services are usually up to the business: Businesses can pass some costs off to the customer or pay their own costs, Senior Manager of Credit Administration at Grainger, Ed Bell, CBA, ICCE, said in an interview with NACM.
“It’ll save you money because you’re not doing the function. We’ll charge the actual supplier for the cost,” Bell said. “If we, the supplier, are willing to accept those third-party offerings, it will save money for the end-user customer.”
—Christie Citranglo, editorial associate
The More You Know

Proactive VS Reactive
December 5, 2018

Holiday Gala (Houston)
Maggiano's Little Italy
December 5, 2018
602 Memorial City Mall Houston, TX 77024

Holiday Gala (NOLA)
Porter and Luke's Restaurant
December 13, 2018
1517 Metairie Rd, Metairie, LA 70005


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  Accounting Errors
Catch Errors If You Can: Working With Your Accounting Department
Like a well-oiled machine, business credit can run smoothly when the credit and accounting departments work together during the entirety of a transaction. As credit managers keep their eyes peeled for any signs of distress and ensure payments are collected in a timely fashion, accountants handle the ins and outs of financial statements, setting the foundation of the relationship. Errors in either department, whether big or small, can create problems down the line, essentially leaving the business’ fate in the hands of finance departments.

A September study from Massachusetts-based research firm Audit Analytics saw a rise in material accounting mistakes in the first half of 2018, but according to NACM’s Financial Statement Analysis course instructors, Toni Drake, CCE, and George Schnupp, CCE, all hope isn’t lost as long as credit managers and accountants learn to coalesce and strengthen their give-and-take relationship. Drake, the president of TRM Financial Services in Midland, Texas, and Schnupp, the global credit director for Anixter, Inc. in Glenview, Illinois, teach Financial Statement Analysis I and II, respectively, at NACM’s national office in Columbia, Maryland. Schnupp also teaches FSA II at Credit Congress.

“Most credit managers are in one industry, so they’re looking at financial statement after financial statement all in the same industry,” Drake said. “If there’s something that doesn’t look appropriate or normal for that particular industry—something that just sticks out and that’s not how the rest of the industry is performing—you have to look into that.”

“The No. 1 communication is risk between the two departments because risk would be captured by reserves,” Schnupp added. “The second-most important piece is the communication of cash, our estimations of cash coming in. This is timely notification of very large wires coming in and reserves and cash coming in. These are key communications between both functional areas that really should be going on every day.”

For more than a decade, accountants working for U.S. public companies have been at the top of their game, each year showing less and less material accounting mistakes. A financial item is considered material when there’s a possibility the error could impact an economic decision, such as estimated income and earnings trends, according to management consulting and publishing firm Solution Matrix Ltd.’s website. If the impact is deemed “too small,” the error may be ignored.

Audit Analytics’ latest finding revealed the number of accounting mistakes not only rose during the first half of 2018, but also led to the restating and refiling of several companies’ finances. Changes to U.S. tax law, specifically the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed in December 2017, were said to have contributed to the rise in errors.
“Errors can be anything from a misapplication of accounting principles to an error in inputs in accounting software or an error in [Microsoft] Excel schedules,” Michael Burke, partner at accounting firm UHY LLP, told The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in a September article.

The WSJ article revealed results from the study of more than 9,000 U.S. public companies, 65 of which made accounting mistakes that required restating and refiling “entire financial filings to regulators, compared with 60 companies for the same period last year.”
Dun & Bradstreet U.S. Economic Health Tracker
Read and download Dun & Bradstreet’s latest report as it provides a multi-dimensional review of the health of the economy and key insight on small business, jobs, and overall business performance.
The Crossroads of Past, Present, and Future Risk Management in Finance
With so much to account for in the past and present, managing future change can seem daunting. Learn more about the new framework for thinking that is needed to address this three-pronged challenge.
[VIDEO] Improving Your Business Performance with Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions
Finance leaders today are under pressure to perform traditional risk management duties and more strategic initiatives to drive growth. This two-minute video can help you find the best opportunities to improve your business performance.
Best Practices in Online Business Credit Application Forms
Check out this guide to the basics for online business credit applications to get you started in reimagining how your company’s credit application could be updated and converted to a digital application.
NEW! Request a Risk Analysis
Let us help you uncover your biggest risk and opportunities. Get a comprehensive view of the financial health of the accounts in your business portfolio with a Dun & Bradstreet Risk Analysis.
Join Dun & Bradstreet at Our Virtual Events

[REGISTER NOW] Webinar: Leveraging New Tools for Effective Account Monitoring, Nov 14 2018: Learn to manage and monitor your credit accounts in their entirety – as a portfolio. This webinar will arm you with tips to help you see the big picture of your risk landscape and extract actionable insight for better account management.
[REGISTER NOW] Webinar: Economic Health Tracker, Dec 6 2018: Join Senior Economist, Adam Morehouse, as he reviews D&B’s industry-leading data and monthly indicators. His micro-to-macro approach will connect the dots between the global and local economies.
[ON-DEMAND WEBINAR] Hidden Gems - Mining Maximum Insights from Your Credit Solution: This webinar recording will guide you through the sections of a credit report to explain what the data means – and why it matters. You’ll get an in-depth look at risk ratings and scores and learn the best way to apply them to risk assessments – including a few new tricks.
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About Finance Perspectives
Finance Perspectives: Finance Insights & News is a Dun & Bradstreet monthly newsletter exclusively dedicated to our customers in the finance space. Our aim is to deliver insights and news that will guide you through how data can help you transform the finance function into a catalyst for business growth.

Ask your NACM representative to learn more about D&B Credit Advantage! Call Jim Epperson at NACM Southwest 972-518-0019 or email him