Effects of Late or Non-payments/Identifying Costs
Before presenting the types of costs associated with nonpayment, you should first consider how sales are tracked from a bookkeeping perspective and then consider how costs impact sales.
Some companies do not separate exports sales from domestic sales in their accounting systems. To them, a sale is a sale. However, international sales, as you are learning, sometimes carry costs and risks that domestic sales do not. So what happens if domestic and international sales are combined?
Imagine for a moment that Company A sells its products for $100 each. Costs for selling domestically are $92 for each unit. Costs for selling internationally are $94 for each unit (due to a shipping cost differential). It may seem easy enough to track the differences, but a problem could occur when you add the method of payment and potential risk of nonpayment because variable costs (costs that vary from sale to sale) change. Assume, for example, that domestic sales are paid via 25% cash and 75% credit. The chances of losing profits are less than if all sales were credit. If the domestic credit tends to be low risk of nonpayment, costs of nonpayment may not be a large factor. However, international sales would probably be all credit. Add to that an increased risk of nonpayment and the profit associated with international sales could be significantly impacted.
Keeping the sales and costs together makes it difficult to identify the true profit of domestic sales versus international sales. Knowing the costs of international sales can impact marketing strategies, pricing strategies, and credit decisions.