Are these Halloween characters lurking in your aged debtors report?
Most small business owners have a chilling tale or two to tell about their business - unfortunately, it’s often a tale of unpaid invoices, or spending a scary amount of time chasing a late-paying client. It’s a sad fact of running your own business that you have to deal with late payers or clients who just don’t pay at all.
So how can you deal with unpaid invoices, and what frights should you be looking out for this Halloween? Take a look at your aged debtor report to see if any of these scary characters are lurking in your books, and read on to find out how to banish them!
The vampire is a chronic late-payer - they always pay eventually, but not before those unpaid invoices have drained away from your healthy cash flow! By keeping an eye on your aged debtor report regularly, you can identify clients who frequently pay late.
If you’ve got a chronic late-payer, you can cut down on the time you take to chase them by using FreeAgent’s automatic invoice reminder feature. Just set it up before you send the invoice, then FreeAgent will do the chasing for you!
The werewolf is only half-human, so apparently only wants to pay half the bill! If you see invoices that are only part-paid, you’ve found a werewolf in your books.
Luckily, if you’ve set up automatic invoice reminders, FreeAgent will keep chasing the client until the amount has been paid in full. When you see the partial payment in your bank transactions, you can explain the part payment against that invoice, and the outstanding balance will still show in the contacts page and on the aged debtor report.
The mummy keeps meaning to pay that invoice, but they’re just too wrapped up to pay right now! It seems like a few clients are so busy running their own businesses that they can’t seem to make the time to send that payment.
If you’re working with a mummy, try to make it as easy as possible for them to pay you next time - before they get tied up! Try using FreeAgent’s online payment options so that they can click to pay online using GoCardless or PayPal. We’ve also found that FreeAgent customers who invoiced within seven days of finishing the work got paid twice as quickly as those who waited another week - so especially for the mummy, make sure you send that invoice quickly!
The ghost is the scariest character in your aged debtor report - they’re the ones who simply disappear! Ghosts never pay their invoice, and never reply to your attempts to collect the money. It’s as if they were never there at all - except that you’re already out of pocket!
If you’re dealing with a ghost in your books and you decide to write off the invoice, here’s how to write off unpaid invoices in FreeAgent.
And finally, if your client is much more of a treat than a tricky customer when it comes to paying, don’t forget to say thank you! To make it easy, you can set up automatic thank you emails so they know you appreciate their prompt payment!
- Business basics: how to price your freelance work
- Home truths: 10 things everyone who works from home knows
- Leave the laptop at home - a day with FreeAgent Mobile
- Introducing CIS subcontractor support
- 8 things to do before taking on your first employee