8 July 2024

Outstanding invoices? Here’s how to get paid

Outstanding invoices are a frustrating fact of life for business owners and they’re often left at the bottom of the to-do list. However, getting paid is essential and it’s not as difficult as it seems.

It’s all about being polite, but persistent.

Start simple

Often, an outstanding invoice can be solved with a simple payment request or by re-sending the invoice. Xero allows you to set up payment reminders for how often you like. This means you don’t have to remember to do this, xero will automatically do this for you. This should keep the customer reminded and get your invoice paid. Start here, and you might be surprised by how many long-neglected invoices are paid.

Firmer follow-ups

If your payment requests are ignored, it’s time for firmer action. Although most people dread making a phone call to ask for payment, it’s actually one of the most effective ways to get an invoice paid. You can also charge a late fee – but this needs to be written into your terms of service before you do the work.

Last-ditch options

Of course, some clients won’t respond to polite requests. If you have spent months waiting for payment, it’s time to bring in the big guns. This could mean cutting off services until payment is made, or calling in professional debt collectors or lawyers. The bad news: these aggressive options will likely scuttle your relationship with the client. The good news? You might get paid.

One more option is doing a credit check before you do business with a client. This can help you reduce the risk of late payments and defaults, and even better, minimise the need for awkward or aggressive follow-ups.

If you need help clarifying your terms of service, following up on late invoices or writing off unpaid debt, get in touch for our support and guidance.

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