We appreciate that you do not, where possible, want to have to address the issue of unpaid bills. There are a few simple steps you can implement to reduce the risk of people not paying your bills. We have put together a free 10 point guide to help you on your way.
- Know your customers - Put into practice your own risk assessment policy at the outset of the relationship.
- Free websites – Check out the solvency of your clients:
- Minimise disputes relating to terms and conditions - Provide your customers with your terms of business and obtain an agreement to the incorporation of these terms in writing, before starting to trade or providing services.
- Client’s trading style and job title - Ensure that the people who sign your terms and conditions state their full trading style and job title to guarantee they have the authority to contract with you. This should match the details on your risk assessment.
- Steer clear of course of dealings – This prevents ambiguity. Always rely on your terms and conditions.
- Retain your paperwork - Ensure that all paperwork and records are kept, so if litigation is necessary, there is a clear record of what was agreed.
- Implement credit control procedures –You can implement your own procedures. If your invoices state payment is due in 30 days, monitor this and have standard chase letters at the ready.
- Address genuine queries - Investigate queries and complaints in the first instance to resolve matters at the earliest opportunity.
- Pursue debts as soon as possible – Do not to save them all up to purge at a later date; be pro-active on a case by case basis.
- Limitation periods - Debts cannot be recovered after 6 years and it will be more difficult as time goes on to ensure your customers have not become insolvent or moved premises.
These are all things you can do yourself but should you need additional help we are always at hand to help.