The Accounts Payable professional is not oblivious to the sense of fairness that prevails in a provider being paid on time according to the agreed or established terms. And even, if company policy allows, feels a certain satisfaction in paying before the due date.
But we all know case of companies who are still not conscious of the difficulties that they themselves are creating, leading to late payment. Pete Loughlin, in one of his articles o the Purchasing Insight blog, suggests providers "meet" their clients at payment time, and make it easier, by following these 5 simple recommendations.
Know your client
The commercial connotations are not what is important in this point. Simply, "literally"know who is your client, their name or corporate name, their details...An error in the name or details on the invoice, or that it is sent to the wrong client, does not help if you want to be paid on time.
Agreement about payment conditions
Nothing should be taken as fact, do not suppose that a client is going to behave like the majority. It is very important to speak about payment conditions, especially due date and leave things clear from the beginning.
When there are delays in receiving the invoice, you cannot expect the other party to be much faster and more agile. Delivering the product or service on time, and the invoice as agreed, will help the whole process run smoothly.
Send the invoice to the correct person
It is very common, especially in the case of small or medium providers, that the invoice is sent to their contact in the company client. However, this only delays and adds points of possible failure in the process. AT the time of agreeing payment conditions, it is good to specify the person to whom the invoice is sent directly.
Reminding or requesting payment
There are companies that let the time pass without requesting a payment that has passed its due date, because of carelessness or for fear of damaging a fruitful commercial relationship. However, it is fundamental at times to repeat a request for payment of an invoice even though there is only a small delay, it can even be beneficial for the relations, because it helps build confidence and does not embarrass the client in the event of a longer delay or remaining unpaid. Nobody is perfect, and in all companies payments are delayed because some invoices are "buried." Help your client and remind them to pay you.
Any professional who visits the Accounts Payable department of a company, and witnesses its day-to-day, the problems that arise in the posting of invoices due to the multitude of formats used by different suppliers, realizes that the worst thing to do is to send paper invoices. The technology has now been standardized at all professional and business levels, bringing the breakthrough of electronic invoicing.
When a client accepts an electronic invoice, and now almost all accept them now, nobody doubts that the probability of the payment arriving punctually and without problems is high. So the last big piece of advice is: whenever possible, always send electronic invoices and if your clients still don't accept them, make them see the advantages they have...You will benefit too!