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Jul 01 2016
Always Learning in Credit
Layla Calkins, Sunroc Building Materials, Inc.

Like many people in credit, I didn't plan on being a part of this world, but here I am. It was a series of temp jobs that led me to where I am today. Doing jobs in accounting, let me see several sides of the financial business whether it was AP, AR, collections or credit. Some of these overlapped and only increased my knowledge of my company's products, people, and financials. Recently while working with Sunroc Building Materials, I've been able to start increasing this knowledge by taking courses for my certification, the first being Business Credit Principles.

Many aspects that we reviewed in this course have come up in day-to-day scenarios. One that we continually touch on is the Five C's of Credit. I had never heard this analogy before taking the class and was surprised there wasn't a motivational poster in one of my previous boss's office showing them all listed. They are simple yet succinct, Character, Collateral, Capital, Conditions, and Capacity.

Everyone has different ways to remember the five C's, but for me, the easiest way was as a stick figure. Each of his points (head, arms and legs) represent one of the five C's. First the head is Character, what the company's ethics and integrity are and how that can show important aspects when considering extending credit. The arms are Capital and Collateral, their available wealth and a second source of repayment. The stick figure would be able to hold onto buckets of money (we all can dream.) One of the legs is Conditions as the stick figure would have to walk through constantly changing situations. The other leg is Capacity, the ability of the stick figure to continue walking forward/creating cash flow. 

I prepare and review new applications daily and these are now something I keep in mind when looking over potential customers or reviewing current customers when updates are needed. Each part of the stick-man represents different aspects of a company that I can use as a visual check list. It helps me view the customer not just as numbers on a page but also more of a person.