Chasing unpaid invoices is an arduous task that every business has to wrestle with, but when you are providing a professional service, rather than a tangible product, it can sometimes seem even more tricky to recover money owed to you.
Professional services organisations rely on relationships and reputation, so many feel it’s easier to just write off a certain amount each year and accept that chasing for payment simply isn’t worth the time and trouble.
But why should your bottom-line take a hit? If you’ve provided a professional service or advice, you should be paid in full. It’s time to start taking debt seriously and this is how to do it:
- Make sure you’ve got robust terms and conditions in place, which clients must sign when they appoint or instruct you. Your Ts&Cs should make it clear what the consequences are for late or non-payment covering issues such as administration fees, legal costs and interest accrued on the debt.
- Put in place a clear credit control process, invoicing clients as soon as you’ve completed their work or at the agreed time if staged payments have been agreed. If you leave it too long before sending your invoice, the valuable work that you have done for them will fade in their memory.
- Ensure your credit control process includes a timeframe for reminders and follow-ups.
- When your internal processes have been exhausted, don’t give up! You need to bring in a debt recovery expert to add additional weight to your demands and relieve you of the need to waste any more time and energy chasing. Don’t delay in doing this, as the longer unpaid fees are left to fester, the more difficult it becomes to recover them.
- Appointing an experienced solicitor to handle unpaid fees at this stage will result in a much higher recovery rate. Your solicitor should work with you to understand your business and your relationship with the clients who you are want to recover payments from. This ensures a balanced, pragmatic approach, that preserves valued relationships, but gets results in terms of recovering money owed.
At the end of the day, it’s your money, so why would you stand by and watch it slip away?
For further advice about recovering outstanding fees, please phone 01782 205000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org