There are many strategies to reduce and or limit outstanding account receivables.
Along with ensuring you develop a good working relationship with your clients and keep up to date (and accurate) records, here are some more effective tips to help you get paid on time:
1) Incentivise your customers to pay early by offering a small discount on early payment. It doesn’t have to be a huge discount, simply a sweetener to motivate them to pay early.
2) Send a friendly invoice reminder shortly before the payment is due to remind your customers to pay on time, and always remember to use polite and clear language on all your invoice communications.
3) Send your invoices as soon as possible to ensure you get paid on time. Good processes and record-keeping can help your business run smoother.
4) To avoid late payment or non-payment, if possible, get your invoices paid in full in advance. Alternatively, you could ask for part payment in advance.
5) Put in place a late payment fee to deter late payers. Make sure this policy is clear on all your invoice documentation and written agreements.
6) Where possible, be flexible with how you receive payment. In other words, don’t make it difficult to get paid!
7) For seriously overdue clients, i.e. 30 days or more, hold off on providing more services or products until you have been paid.
8) In order to treat all your customers fairly, equally and consistently, and/or if you're servicing larger organisations, ensure that your invoicing and account receivable terms, including late fees and reporting late payments to CreditRegistry, are clearly communicated as company policies or policies approved by your board. This will help prevent customers or larger organisations trying to get around your established policies by delaying your payments or not paying you at all.
9) Order a credit report from CreditRegistry before you enter into business with a potential new customer to ensure they are not regular debt defaulters.
10) Make sure you have the right payment reminder and debt reporting tool.
GetPaidFaster is our easy-to-use payment reminder and debt reporting system that will not only manage and monitor your invoices but incentivise your customers to always pay you on time.
You can upload all your unpaid invoices (and other forms of debt, i.e. contracts, lease agreements etc.) and schedule automatic payment alerts to remind and encourage your customers to pay on time.
You also have the option to report very late payments to CreditRegistry, Nigeria’s largest credit bureau.
Reporting debt defaulters and late payments to CreditRegistry means that there are serious consequences for not paying you on time.
By reporting past-due debts, it prevents non-payers from applying for further credit and/or getting post-paid services from other businesses until you are paid. It also helps alert other businesses that there might be a problem. This is an extremely effective deterrent for repeat late payers and debt defaulters!
Your business can also conduct credit checks on customers before you decide whether to offer them invoice credit or make them pay you upfront.