Collecting Your Past Due Accounts

Trying to get payments out of customers can be difficult and awkward. You’ve already provided services and now you’re waiting for payment. A soft approach is often ideal for maintaining a customer relationship, however sometimes it doesn’t work. You’re left with unpaid invoices and looming bills of your own. So, how can you get those invoices paid?

It is important to recognize that the longer a debt sits, the harder it becomes to collect. A proactive approach is always best. You have to decide what level of escalation you feel comfortable with and how badly you need payment, then decide the best course of action. Sending monthly statements and circling unpaid invoices can help draw attention to unpaid debt, which is helpful if you’re dealing with a customer that is a little lax on accounting procedures. Making phone calls directly to the individual or accounts payable department can make the issue a priority for your customer, rather than something that sits on the back-burner. Occasionally, you have to show a customer that you’re serious. This could mean sending the account to a collection agency. Customers often take demands for payment more seriously when they come from a collection agency. Suddenly, they become aware that there may be consequences for lack of payment. Regardless of the method you choose for collecting past due accounts, always be sure your own accounting records are accurate. It is the best way to avoid disputes regarding amounts owed or misapplied payments.

How to collect your money
How to collect money from slow paying customers

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