It’s tough to keep your accounts balanced, especially when you have other companies and clients who don’t pay their bills.
You’d really rather avoid collection actions if you can (naturally), and the best way to do that is by taking steps to minimize problems in the first place. A better invoice may help you get paid faster.
What are the most common invoice mistakes?
When you make any kind of billing error, you can expect it to hold up payments – and that’s a problem. Some of the most common mistakes companies make with their invoices can be easily avoided. For example:
- Not sending your invoices out in a timely fashion.
If you’re not getting your invoices out on time, what makes you think that the debtor will feel particularly rushed about paying? You set the tone for urgency (or, at least, promptness) by being prompt yourself.
If you’re trying to give the other business or your client a little extra time to pay, move to 45-day due dates instead of 30-day due dates.
- Using the wrong name, wrong address or wrong figures.
If your invoices aren’t correct in every way, your debtor may balk at paying – and rightly so, since they also need to balance their books. They want to know that they’re being charged correctly and paying their own bill (not someone else’s).
Make these kinds of mistakes and your invoice may go straight in the trash if the debtor doesn’t recognize the bill as legitimate and thinks it’s just a scam. Even if they do realize it was simply a mistake, any payment is likely to be slowed down while the invoice is corrected.
- Making it too hard to pay the bill.
Invoices that are hard to pay are more likely to get shoved to the bottom of someone’s to-do list.
If you use electronic invoices, make sure they have “one-click” options to open and pay. If you send paper invoices, make sure that you clearly display the payment options and make it easy to take payments by phone.
When all your efforts at collection have failed, it may be time to get some experienced legal assistance.