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For 15 years I’ve been intrigued by what makes the perfect Accounts Receivable person.

They have so many important characteristics, it is difficult to describe them succinctly and do them justice.

Then a colleague suggested there might be a “spirit animal” for the perfect account’s receivable person. “What’s a spirit animal?” I asked.

Apparently, it’s an animal (real or imaginary) that shares the characteristics of the person or a specific role you’re describing.

I was hooked.

I found a website and entered the characteristics I believe define the best Accounts Receivable people.

Down to earth: AR folks are always grounded. They are doers not dreamers–with no exceptions.

Peaceful: Calm is better than chaotic when it comes to making AR calls.

Approachable: This is the X factor. Slow payers will return their calls and chat readily about problems paying, which is a prelude to finding solutions.

Organized: With high volumes of work you need a good system.

Norm Follower: The best AR folks follow the rules, scripts and note-taking systems.

Imaginative: It’s true! AR folks have to think outside the box sometimes.

Happy: Grumpy “bulldogs” sometimes get the AR job, but it doesn’t ever work out. The best are always happy people.

Curious: It’s curiosity that underpins their approachability. The best AR folks are genuinely interested in each slow payer’s individual circumstances.

Energetic: AR is a fast-paced role. Keep up or move on.

Non-judgmental: This is reflected in their sincere empathy for the slow payer.

Humility: Ego gets in the way of great communication. Great AR people leave theirs at home.

This list of key characteristics are based on years of employing team members and contractors to do this role. By the way, if you are looking for a fabulous AR person, do reach out.

So. what do you think the spirit animal of the perfect Accounts Receivable person is?

Fox? Owl? Grasshopper? Spider?

Turns out it is a snake. I was totally suprised and maybe a little offended a snake – really?

Further reading enlightened me that snakes are thought to represent healing and change. That makes perfect sense.  A business relationship can not be healthy if one party doesn’t pay the other.

Snakes also represent a connection to a life force. Who can argue that cash flow is not a life force for business.

Love to hear your views.

Is there a better animal spirit to represent the perfect AR person?