Home Insights & Advice How to ensure you get paid on time, every time

How to ensure you get paid on time, every time

by John Saunders
30th Nov 21 3:45 pm

There are few things more frustrating than not being paid on time. You’ve taken the time to create your best work and deliver results. The last thing you want is to then get your payment late, or not at all!

How can I make sure I get paid on time?

By putting the right processes, reporting and software solutions in place, you can optimise your chances of being paid on time.

  • Consider an invoicing software to centralise and automate your invoicing and payment.
  • Make it as easy as possible by removing any barriers that might hold back timely payments.
  • Stay on top of record keeping so you don’t lose track of your invoices or issue any reminders late.
  • Don’t be afraid to take action and send reminders.
  • Make credit control a weekly task and don’t turn a blind eye to overdue invoices.

Consider an invoicing software

One of the best ways to get paid on time is to centralise your invoice management using invoicing software. Instead of reconciling spreadsheets, emails and PDF invoices, the best invoicing softwares puts this all in one place.

Invoicing software gives you the ability to issue invoices quickly with payment links that are easy for your customers. You can then track the progress of invoices and some software will allow you to turn on automatic reminders, so your invoice is less likely to be forgotten. Plus they make reporting and filing taxes much easier by putting everything in a single location.

Make it as easy as possible

Faster payments happen when there’s as little friction as possible. Take a look at your processes and think about what might be causing things to be just that little bit too difficult. Most people don’t enjoy paying invoices, so if you give them any reason to put it off, they probably will.

Make sure you accept a wide range of payment options. Don’t just limit yourself to one method if you could be accepting more. What’s stopping you from setting up on PayPal, or even going old school and accepting cheques?

This also goes down to the way you present your invoices, although ensure you always include all the necessary legal details. Make your payment information and instructions for how to pay obvious and easy to spot. The last thing you want is an excuse that it was buried on a separate page.

Stay on top of record keeping

Sometimes, however, getting paid late will be down to you if you don’t keep your records in order. Once invoices get out of control and lost in folders and sub-folders, you risk sending them out late.

One solution is to keep all your records in one place using invoicing software. This makes it super simple to add new invoices and check up on the status of those in progress. If you choose to go manual, however, make sure you’ve built a robust database that you keep updated regularly.

Don’t be afraid to take action

It can feel awkward chasing people for money, particularly for those who are doing this for the first time. But this shouldn’t put you off taking action when you don’t get paid on time – or if you think you might be at risk of not being paid on time.

Crucially, if someone is paying late, don’t turn a blind eye hoping that the problem will solve itself. Small businesses are especially affected by unpaid invoices, with 429 complaints regarding late or unpaid invoices made between December 2017 and July 2020. People might have a legitimate reason for not paying on time, but you need to understand their reasoning before you can make any alternative arrangements. Crucially, do not be afraid to get tough, particularly on repeat offenders.

Make credit control a weekly task

You should be constantly staying on top of payment related tasks, including sending invoices, dispatching reminders and checking account balances. Most importantly is your credit control and chasing overdue invoices.

Usually, you should start sending reminders and chasing messages from seven days after the missed due date. If payment isn’t forthcoming, which is unfortunately quite common for small businesses, chasing will become a task that needs to happen at least weekly. If it comes down to it, don’t be afraid to have a reputable debt collection agency lined up, and include their information on chasing messages for the most egregiously overdue debt.

Chasing payments is probably pretty far down on your list of things you want to be working on. But it’s essential to stay on top of your invoices. Ignore it and things can quickly spiral out of control, leaving you and your business out of pocket. But with the right software and processes in place, you can ensure you get paid on time, every time.

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