Our Experts Explain How to Pursue Unpaid Invoices
Our Experts Explain How to Pursue Unpaid Invoices
Every business in the UK has its version of how to pursue unpaid invoices.
If a business has provided goods or services, the client needs to ensure that an invoice is paid on time.
Most business arrangements proceed forward with paying clients without any issues.
However, It is also common for clients to withhold payment.
There are a variety of reasons as to why this might happen.
Regardless of this, the business must chase payment as soon as possible.
If an overdue invoice is ignored, it will affect the business’s cash flow.
This could then go on and could even put the company at risk.
Federal Management has been the UK’s leading commercial debt collection agency since 2004.
During that time, we have helped thousands of businesses recover millions of pounds worth of debt from unpaid invoices.
We asked our debt collection experts how to pursue unpaid invoices.
They also outlined how both large and small businesses can make sure that they are paid on time.
5 Expert Tips for Chasing Unpaid Invoices
Business owners across the UK must deal with the issue of unpaid invoices every day.
Chasing clients for payments can take a lot of valuable time and cost money.
It is important to ensure that they know how to pursue unpaid invoices in the most effective way possible.
Here are 5 tips from our debt collection experts to help you to maximise the effectiveness of your credit control process.
1- It’s Ok to Chase For Payment, But Remain Professional
Many newer and smaller business owners are often hesitant to chase a client for payment.
This is due to the perception that it might be rude, or they may be worried about frustrating the client..
Whilst these concerns are valid and completely normal, chasing payment is a normal part of everyday business life.
After all, you deserve to get paid if you have provided goods or services to your client.
When chasing for payment, make sure that you are professional and polite.
Often, business owners can become frustrated and annoyed when their clients withhold a payment.
Whilst this is can be understood, it should never trickle down to the collections process.
If emotions come into play it may undermine the collections process and make things more difficult.
2 – Prevent Issues by Setting Up Payment Terms
One of the best ways of preventing issues with invoice issues is to set up payment terms.
The best time to do this is before you commit to an agreement.
This document will detail when you will expect payment and what may happen should an invoice become overdue.
Payment terms will help your client understand exactly what their obligations to you are.
They will go a long way to making sure invoices are paid on time, and minimise wasted time and money.
This should be done regardless of the size of your business.
Even sole traders and those that are self-employed should create them.
It is common to set payment terms for 30 days, as this is a good window for payment to be made.
Some businesses also set their payment terms for 60 days, but larger companies normally only do this.
3 – Send Payment Reminders
If a client has not paid an invoice, sending payment reminders to them is a good way to prompt them.
This is a very simple and easy way to chase payment and can be very effective if done properly.
A good payment reminder should be professional and polite whilst clearly stating the invoice due date and amount.
It is good to send the first reminder within 14 days of the invoice being overdue.
Follow-up messages should be sent after the 15th day if you have not had a response.
If your reminders are being ignored, it is good to send a final notice 30 days after the invoice was due.
This final reminder should state that you intend to escalate the matter if payment is not made.
This may be through a method such as taking legal advice.
4 – Apply Late Payment Charges or Consider Charging Interest
When considering how to pursue unpaid invoices, this is a very common option.
There are many benefits to providing your client with an incentive to pay on time.
Some companies also take this step even further and allow for early payment discounts to their invoices.
If you intend to apply interest to your overdue invoices, you should make this clear in your payment terms.
Has the client has agreed to and is aware of these charges and still withholds an invoice payment?
If so, you will have no issue should the matter be escalated to a small claims court.
5 – Consider Escalating the Matter to a Debt Collection Agency
Chasing an unpaid invoice is not free, and does incur a great cost over time.
You need to pay for the time that you or your team are spending pursuing the debt.
Have you spent time chasing an unpaid invoice but your client is still refusing to pay?
If so, it is time to pass the case to a professional.
Whilst options such as going through the county court systems do exist they are normally too expensive.
How to Pursue Unpaid Invoices – Get FREE Expert Advice
Federal Management is the UK’s leading commercial debt collection agency.
If you are having issues with clients not paying their invoices, speak to one of our experts today.
We will perform a free, pre-action assessment of your debt by looking at the details.
With this information, we will give you a clear idea of what your options are.