Seven questions to ensure you’re paid on time

Staff and customers rarely have the same, clear understanding of the details of a deal. If you ask three different people in your organization what is expected from the customer on the due date, you might get three different answers!

If your people are not clear about the deal, customers are just as likely to be confused. This can lead to delayed payments. Here are seven questions to help make sure everyone understands the deal and to ensure that you are paid on time:

Question Comments
1. What are the payment terms? The payment terms and the due date should be printed clearly on the invoice - in bold type.
2. When do the terms start? Whenever possible it should be the invoice date not the date the invoice or goods are received.
3. What does the due date mean? Make it clear that it means payment in your account and cleared by that date.
4. What information do our customers need on the invoice? Make sure you have all the information your customer needs on your invoice – queries mean delays. Make it as easy as possible for them to pay.
5. What sanctions should our customers expect for late payment? It is good practice to let all your customers know what the sanctions will be for late payment - no surprises!
6. What influence should a disputed invoice have on other outstanding invoices? It should be clear in your terms that a disputed invoice should have no influence on other invoices – don’t allow customers to delay other payments.
7. Do we expect our customers to pay on time? Customers will usually deliver to expectations. If your people expect them to pay late, they almost certainly will. Use the term "a deal is a deal" to encourage an "on-time" payment culture in both staff and customers.

By asking your staff these seven simple questions you can learn a lot about current practice and make sure that your payment terms are crystal clear from now on. The easier the deal is to understand the more likely you are to be paid on time.

If you need more information then email me - david.wojcik@justoneconsultancy.com or telephone JustOne Consultancy on +44(0) 203 303 0310.