February 9, 2012: Columbia, MD-Budget shortfalls remain widespread in the wake of the financial crisis. One notable, and oft-overlooked, casualty of the worst recession in a generation is lax administration of escheatment and unclaimed property rules by state authorities. Where once companies could often pay little mind to local laws governing unclaimed property, now, as recent studies have shown, enforcement is ramping up as local governments look high and low for ways to fill in budget gaps.
The nation's credit professionals must keep this in mind, and to help them, Val Jundt, managing director of Keane Consulting and Advisory Services and a frequent presenter at events hosted by the National Association of Credit Management (NACM), recently offered her best recommendations to trade credit professionals beset by these new challenges, where stringent enforcement of unclaimed property liabilities is the norm, rather than the exception. "Though accounts receivable credit balances are clearly within the definition of an unclaimed property liability, it has only been within the past 5-7 years that this category of property has become a primary focus for the auditor," said Jundt. "The responsibility of the credit manager to ensure that the identification, tracking and posting of all customer credit balances is done accurately, and completely, is critical."