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Set & forget credit control – Debtor Daddy

“A creditor hath a better memory than the debtor”. Or so said  James Howell back in the 17th century.

Let’s face it, reminding your customers about those unpaid invoices is a pretty onerous task. Think of the time spent on phone calls, or indeed something they used back in the 17th century – faxes!

There has to be an easier way right? Well now there is, and it’s called Debtor Daddy.

Debtor Daddy helps you get paid faster by connecting to your Xero account and finding all your outstanding accounts receivable invoices. Within a few quick steps you’ll have a customised template that can be automatically emailed to clients who have not paid by the due date – just the thing to keep cash flowing into your coffers.


You can set reminders to go out just before the due date, right after and at intervals right up to the dreaded “Final Demand”. Let’s hope it doesn’t get to that though!

Sounds great so far, but what about those customers you need to keep sweet no matter what? Debtor Daddy has thought of that: you can prevent reminders being sent to particular contacts or for certain invoices.

Watch this video to see how Debtor Daddy integrates with Xero:

You can find out more and sign up for a free 30-day trial here.

 

Read more about Business

 

35 comments

Trent
24 June 2011 #

This is a great feature, but why is there not an auto reminder built into Xero?

Other services (even free ones) have this as standard.

I love using xero, but not having this feature is a real pain, and having been told for over 12 months that is is coming does not help.

richard dyer
24 June 2011 #

Agreed. 29 dollars a month for essentially a feature you wouldst expect as standard.

Skiddle has 2 levels of credit control. 95% you pay up front. The rest if its not paid within the agreed terms it gets sent to the debt collectors regardless of who they are

You got to love your Debtor Daddy! This goes a bit beyond what accounting packages provide, I don’t remember seeing anything like this in MYOB or Cash Manager. This has templates, that you can use for sales or seasonal messages too. Set and forget. I have noticed an increase and prompter payments from clients when Debtor Daddy is used.

I use Debtor Daddy, plus I have it for a couple of clients. Great work Matt and Team.

Glennis.

Asif N
24 June 2011 #

Yes, please add the feature directly into Xero! It’s a basic requirement for anyone managing any kind of accounting and paying extra for it is, well, daylight robbery!

Julie
24 June 2011 #

Just started to use Xero and it now become clear that the Xero team promised lots of functions such as debtors reminder or SBR-enabled report that are now handle by third party provider who will charge you (a lot in some cases) for it. I have to say… I am disappointed! Is this a temporary solution? Will Xero integrate these functions at some point?

Shawn Smith
24 June 2011 #

I also would think this should be a standard feature – or via a small uplift in Xero subscription fees.

Rod Drury
24 June 2011 #

As you know we have a huge number of suggestions on what to work on. That’s the nature of building accounting software. There are so many things we could do and it just takes time.

We try not to promise too much ahead because as we get feedback and learn more our priorities change. Sorry that’s just a fact of life as we try to please as many people as possible.

We have an open API (http://developer.xero.com) and others companies are welcome to build solutions that connect to us which gives our customers lots of choice.

Sure we would like to more with Debtors but it’s not as high a priority as some other features customers have asked for so we wish Debtor Daddy well and appreciate them developing something on our platform. It looks very useful and nicely done.

Rod

Mark
24 June 2011 #

I agree. We love Xero, but if key and fairly simple features are spun off into expensive third party services (which presumably give xero a kick back) then the whole things starts to taste sour.

Nick
24 June 2011 #

To all the people complaining about this not being standard, there are other more important features to develop than this (this is coming from a accounting business who recommends this to a lot of clients). This is a great plug in for a very small cost. None of Xeros competitors have this ability, so this is great! This will personally save us significant time and human effort, for a tiny cost….

smallfurrything
25 June 2011 #

Although I would love to see something like this in Xero too, I think q point has been missed somewhere. Saying this feature is fairly simple is inaccurate, (@mark you’re obviously not a programmer so that’s perhaps understandable), presuming Xero get a kick back is disingenuous though; Xero’s API is open, so anyone can build in. We are building into it we’ll be keeping all our profits :-)

All Xero have done in this post is promote a service someone else has built that we may find useful. If it is cheaper for you all to spend your time chasing invoices, or paying someone else to do it then great, but it’s hardly robbery when someone offers a paltry $29 to chase all you invoices a month. That would equate to (roughly) two hours work for a junior administrator on my staff and they wouldn’t get through an eighth of our accounts -particularly if we send a reminder every 7days. As with anything, figure out the best say for your own business and go for it.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention Xero, it also serves as a good demonstration of the API.
I do still keep my fingers crossed you might do something similar in the near future, but in the meantime this’ll do.

My observations.

1. Should be a part of Xero core functionality without a doubt, Freshbooks has had this for years.

2. $30 is a big charge given that we pay $19 a month for the whole Xero system!

3 but as smallfurrything has said $30 = around 2h maybe 3h of admin time here in the UK so compared the that $30 looks cheap.

4. I’ve looked @ their site and the system does look great but should still be core functionality.

Rod Drury
25 June 2011 #

@Mark, no we certainly don’t get a kick back from our API partners. We want partners to use our API and invest around Xero so that our customers have access to a vibrant ecosystem.

We’re very open about partners. As long as they meet some basic standards we’re happy to tell you all about them and put them on our website.

This approach seems to be working well.

Rod

Matthew B
25 June 2011 #

I would be interested in using this product, but their website is downright scary in terms of lack of details.

The account sign up page says $19/month, the front page says $29/month. Is this NZD or USD? Who are etraction? Are they the web development company at etraction.co.nz? When I try to download the terms and conditions, an error message is generated.
Is Xero vouching for this company? Rod, what are the basic standards that these companies have to meet for Xero to put them on this blog?

Matt McFedries
25 June 2011 #

@Matthew B – Thanks for pointing out those oversights – we’ll get them sorted asap. Prices are in NZD for now, other currencies available shortly along with a bunch more features aimed at getting you paid faster.

Our research has shown that staying on top of debtors is a major challenge for many small business owners. The Debtor Dashboard in Debtor Daddy makes it easy to see at a glance who to chase, plus gives you the ability to send out firm or friendly reminders in a couple of clicks.

Thanks for the comments & feedback. Feel free to get in touch anytime by emailing support@debtordaddy.com.

Matt

Ronan Quirke
25 June 2011 #

@Matthew B
There are a number of things that we at Xero ensure before certifying a new Xero Network Partner (the programme for which I am responsible here @ Xero), and listing them in our add-ons directory and/or blogging about them.
You are right to think that we do not list just anyone. The highlights of this are here: http://www.xero.com/partners/developer/

Specifically around quality:
- We review how they have integrated with us from a technical point of view (and very often assist with this)
- We conduct testing to ensure any data going to or from Xero is as expected (eg same tax rates, calculations etc)
- We then test the application a number of times from signup right through (a bunch of my colleagues have been getting Debtor Daddy reminder emails for a while now!)
- Before a new product is listed, a pilot is conducted with a number of users, which I then speak to, to ensure they are happy with it from a quality point of view
- Any new partner’s site is also scrutinised: we look at terms and conditions, privacy policy and the site as a whole

You can see from the above that this is not an overnight process. We typically work with new add-ons for several weeks if not months before listing them.

I certainly haven’t seen any issues with the t&c’s or with the pricing not being consistent throughout the Debtor Daddy site in the several times I have reviewed it, but will certainly check again.
Excellent point on the currency though, and thanks Matt McFedries for sorting so fast.

Melissa North
25 June 2011 #

I honestly thinks it’s a great idea. It doesn’t just start from day 1 when you lodge the invoice but goes right through the end of the debt collection procedure. Whereas in the offline world, staff chase debtors, then debt collector agencies, and if it gets that bad, then you’ve got to try and get a default set (depending on who you use for debt collection). This process can be arduous and month’s of hard work for jack. Using debtor daddy, you don’t have to do waste your valuable time. And if you don’t want to take any further action and write off the debt, you can choose to stop it….

I don’t need to use it myself just yet, but when I do, I will. I don’t have fun with debtors or collection agencies (even if the collection agency is employed by us). It’s just frustrating….if I provide credit to my customer and they can’t pay, why not just talk to me to organise an arrangement or pay it off slowly….? Not paying is the killer, paying a little is much nicer than having a default on your credit rating.

I recommend Xero to Accountants to help them in their marketing.

My thoughts are, is the overall solution better with the “option” of Debtor Daddy? My answer is yes and keep in mind it is an option – so is using another system.

Should it be standard? Yes, it would be nice but it depends on what others are doing in the market.

Is there a way of knowing what is in front of this type of development?

I have been reading this all, we do debtors for companies, the time saving using Debtor Daddy is well worth the price. There is of course a need to phone customers as well at a point. The increase of funds closer to the due date alleviates all the creditor calls that come if you don’t pay. So yeah, nice if it was a part of Xero, but Xero is cool without it too. The girls at Katalyst love you Xero and Debtor Daddy!

Glennis.

Dave
27 June 2011 #

I too think it should be a core function of Xero but might consider using the system if Debtor Daddy followed up with the phone calls and letter if needed. I don’t know about others but I’ve found email is for the basically honest people, the hard core debtors need the letter and phone calls.
Why not become a full debt collector company?
Dave

Peter Venero
27 June 2011 #

This looks great, but I’m sorry – this should be a standard feature in Xero.

Joshua Farmer
27 June 2011 #

Worked with a few small business accounting systems and this definitely does go beyond typical standard core features. MYOB doesn’t do this for example.

luke
10 July 2011 #

I’ve just chosen to use Zoho books instead of Xero because this features was important to me. Their entire accounting software package is only $24 and includes auto reminders. I’ve set mine to remind 7 days before due, 7 days overdue and 21 days over due. all with custom messages, including HTML and Wildcards (balance, due date, client name etc). Another two MAJOR but simple features lacking in Xero which is double the price of Zoho books.

It’s extremely disappointing that a company as established a xero has missed the mark on these basic features. I feel most of their multi-million dollar investment goes towards marketing.

If Xero brings these features in, I am sure they will be awesome and better than the competition and I may even come back.

Chris
3 August 2011 #

I’ve sent some hopefully constructive comments to the company but I think for now it should be advertised as a NZ-only service as the invoice reminders are sent out in dollars which I don’t think works really. I will keep an eye on it though.

james
19 August 2011 #

I wouldn’t compare xero to myob/quickbooks, they are a desktops solution and quite old fashioned. However comparing xero with a myriad of other online providers, they have dropped the ball big time here. This should be a standard feature, and at no extra cost. I cant imagine something like this would be all that difficult either.

Had a look at Zoho, great features (not as pretty), but will be making a move over ASAP.

If Xero did integrate this, would it pretty much wipe out an entire other company (Debtor Daddy)? My guess is that Debtor Daddy and Xero and somehow connected (friends or family :-) and feel bad and this is why they have not implemented, I cant think of any other reason.

Ronan Quirke
19 August 2011 #

@Chris – thanks Chris, they should really be showing the glorious Great British Pound symbol in all it’s glory – will drop them a line. It does work ok for the NZ, Australian, US and Canadian markets of course, but that is no excuse!

@James – There are dozens of things we would love to drop in and each one in isolation is (reasonably) straightforward, but when you have 10′s of thousands of customers, there is no quick and fast change you drop into an application. If you follow our blog you will see we had a release this week with lots of functionality which other people wanted a lot more than email reminders. We try to please everyone, but we are only human….

I can’t speak for other products, but I think you might be missing our bank feeds – it is one of our many killer features.

We have an open API which any developer can use to create a product or service that compliments or indeed competes with functionality within Xero. It is certainly true that Xero could well have similar functionality in the future – the Debtor Daddy team know this, and have more things planned for their product. It is quite unfair to suggest there is anything underhand here – it is not a very good ‘guess’ at all.

Rogp
20 August 2011 #

Reminders should absolutely be an integral feature in Xero without a doubt – it has become standard in many online competitors – Fresh Books, Harvest etc and is a key benefit of using an online system. How many people asking for this feature is required before Xero gets the idea it is worth doing? remember if it helps us all get paid how much more are we going to love xero!! this is the only feature that has caused me to look at Xero alternatives – Come on Xero – I first asked for this 2 years ago!!

Matt McFedries
26 August 2011 #

A quick update on this… support for UK £ will be available from this coming Monday (29/08). A bunch of other enhancements including SMS reminders are in the pipeline too.

Tabiha Harris
30 August 2011 #

Debtor daddy is just a reminder system coded to work like a calendar or diary, what happens when that dosent generate the payment, you still have to use an agency and it looks like the commission rate with the agency through debtor daddy is 20% thats pretty high these days

Brendan Tully
6 January 2012 #

Ideally this should be part of the Xero functionality but I have to say, Debtor Daddy paid for itself the first day we implemented it

If you have AR of any size, the ~$30 a month will save you hours and hours of time…definitely worth the spend

Jeff Nutbeem
30 January 2012 #

Don’t touch this software with a bargepole. I looked at it as it was recommended here. The initial screen give you a video about how it works but nothing more. You are then forced to leave your credit card details in order to start the 30 day free trial.

I expected a dashboard to appear, Instead all that comes up is a screen telling you to start importing your Xero information. OK, so I started that and left the screen doing its thing, still thinking that I would get the dashboard afterwards.

Not a chance. The next thing I know is that my customers have received chase up emails which I haven’t even seen.

Log into the software and can I find anywahere to turn these off? No. Can’t even find the dashoard. All I get is the Xero screen again. I try the help function and am told I have to log in. Finally I find a dashboard but cannot find where to cancel the account. So I have log into Xero and delete the key in Settings.

Then I try to find the email address for Debtor Daddy. Yes, it is secreted away in the terms and conditions. Which I now read, and see that they give no service level agreement, and can change the software in its entirety if they so wish.

I send an email to cancel the trial as I have no confidence in this company. I receive an email back telling me where the cancellation area is – well below the fold on one of the dashboard screens (they helpfull provide a link becasue for the life of me I still cannot find it).

Once cancelled, a feedback questionnaire is offered, which I thought I would complete. Until I saw below the fold what was written on the “submit” button. – “Post this bad boy”. I deleted my comments.

This company seems to be run by twelve year olds. Shame on Xero for recommending them. Perhaps there is something in one of the comments above that there is more than a connection between the two.

Ronan Quirke
31 January 2012 #

@Jeff Sorry to hear about your experiences with Debtor Daddy and thank you for
taking the time to give feedback. Please let me know your contact details
and I can talk through a solution – network@xero.com.

Chris
1 February 2012 #

@Ronan Why not provide a better solution here? :-o
Would be helpful.

Ronan Quirke
1 February 2012 #

@Chris – I’m happy that Debtor Daddy is working correctly having reviewed it again following Jeff’s comments, and I also note dozens of users of the service who have no complaints, so best I take Jeff’s concerns out of a blog comment to and fro and see what I can do to assist.

Jeff
7 February 2012 #

@Ronan, I did email you and am still awaiting a reply. Apart from that I have reviewed my comments and yes that was what happened. I’l be interested to hear from you. I have time now I have finished dealing with the customers who are furious that they received chase emails which I didn’t want to go to them.

Charles
14 April 2012 #

While my experiences weren’t quite as bad as Jeffs I have to say that debtor daddy seems like beta software. The login is odd, and asking for cc details upfront even for a demo is daunting. The software is very slow at importing and the options overall across the software are slim. Having tried them for 4 months I cancelled them. After 8 months I tout I’d give them another go, but it seems that I can’t rejoin because I can’t retrieve my password!?!? Even their “support” takes days to answer and can’t help. What the?

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