GERMANTOWN, Md. -- Understanding business performance can be challenging for owners and operators due to the closely held nature of information. Far too often have we seen business owners struggle to assess opportunities for improvement within their business due to a lack of information, which can negatively impact long-term business performance. As a result, Kaulkin Ginsberg Company (Kaulkin Ginsberg) teamed up with Commercial Collection Agencies of America (CCA of A) to develop a two-year operating metrics performance trend. 

This Member Benchmark Operating Metrics Survey Report (Benchmark Survey) covered a great deal of information on operating statistics and best-in-class business practices between 2016 and 2017. According to Annette M. Waggoner, the Executive Director of CCA of A, “The Board believes that it’s important for business owners to establish a basis for comparison on operations since this provides a tremendous benchmark on how individuals can improve operations within their respective businesses, whether that be through optimizing the allocation of supervisors to collectors, investing in compliance resources and certifications, or entering into a new market vertical.” 

Specifically, the Benchmark Survey showed that compliance was a point of consideration for CCA of A participants. According to Michael Thomas, Vice President of Kaulkin Ginsberg, “between 2016 and 2017, the total compliance software and labor expenses increased by roughly 86% and 29%, respectively, year-over-year.” Annette noted that compliance audits have become more prevalent and will continue to be in future years. As service providers, agencies use these types of audits to ensure that financial and technology internal controls are compliant and capable of serving the needs of client businesses. The resulting attestation report, which includes an auditor’s opinion, is used for the purpose of complying with laws and regulations, governance requirements for client’s financial statement audits, and due diligence reviews. Going forward, Kaulkin Ginsberg and CCA of A believe that investments in compliance functions will continue to grow in importance and expense allocation. 

Furthermore, the Benchmark Survey saw that thirty percent of CCA of A participants filed credit reports with credit reporting agencies (CRAs) between 2016 and 2017. While the percentage of those filing reports remained constant, the cost of using credit reports by collection agencies increased by 15.7% year-over-year. When asked to explain this trend, Michael stated, “This may suggest that collection agencies are relatively reliant upon credit report data and the lower rate of filings is leading to an increased push by CRAs to charge more for access to credit reports. As such, credit reporting as a 

practice and expense should be closely monitored since it represents both an opportunity for operations and potential legal liability for the business.” 

When asked why CCA of A decided to work with Kaulkin Ginsberg Company to provide this survey to its members, Annette stated, “We believe it’s important for business owners to establish a basis for comparison on an operational and/or financial basis to support strategic planning. By leveraging benchmark data, owners are better positioned to target significant technology investments and improve expense allocation.” 

This report is thought to be extremely beneficial and will support strategic business initiatives. Please contact Kaulkin Ginsberg if you are interested in exploring a more in-depth analysis of your operation, such as financial benchmarking against comparatively sized and/or regionalized industry peer groups, by contacting

About the Commercial Collection Agencies of America 

Commercial Collection Agencies of America is an organization of commercial collection agencies, creditor’s rights attorneys, and law list publishers. The certification program, which is the platinum standard in the industry, is promulgated by an Independent Standards Board, which includes professionals from a cross-section of the industries related to credit and collections. For more information or to locate a certified commercial collection agency, please visit 

About Kaulkin Ginsberg Company 

Since 1991, Kaulkin Ginsberg Company has provided critical strategic advice to the outsourced business services industry. Our client-centric approach covers almost every stage of a company’s life cycle and enables us to maintain longstanding relationships as trusted advisors. We provide mergers and acquisition advisory, strategic consulting, valuation and financial solutions, market intelligence and analysis, as well as litigation support and expert witness. 

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