Invoice disputes are a major reason for delays in AR payments. While it may be difficult to eliminate invoice disputes altogether, you can try your best to prevent such disputes and in the event of their occurrence, handle it calmly and resolve the issue. Here are some precautions you can take to prevent and handle invoice disputes with clients.
- Generate Accurate Invoices– Missing and incorrect information on invoices is a major reason for invoice disputes and payment delays according to account receivable solutions companies. Generating accurate invoices with correct prices, items, units, billing name and address are of great importance to maintain good business relationships. Generating accurate invoices also helps build and maintain the reputation of your business.
- Backup Invoice Data– When a client raises an invoice dispute, it helps if precise data is presented to the client. Account receivable solutions businesses have found that clients are more likely to make the payment if you are able to provide accurate information that supports your invoice data. Always backup copies of quotes, contracts and all communication regarding products and services. Even if your client doesn’t agree to make the payment, these documents are needed to clear things in court.
- Clear Communication on Resolution– Account receivable solutions demand that you provide the client who raised the dispute with a plan for payment resolution. State professionally and clearly a plan for resolving the issue; this document will also serve as documentation in the event that the matter reaches court.
- Stay Calm– Every customer is important and should be treated with respect. Handle the irate customers with calm and listen to what they have to say, no matter how big or small the account they hold with your company. Doing so will not only help you to retain customers, it will also help to build your business’ reputation. Train your employees to handle situations calmly as well.
Invoice disputes are a part of doing business. There is no reason to take the matter personally and to erupt into negative interactions. Being prepared and keeping calm can go a long way to ensure you resolve invoice disputes.
Accounts Receivable Financing is gaining immense popularity in the business sector, especially among small business owners. AR financiers are who business owners turn to when their working capital is not enough to keep the business rolling, when traditional loans and lines of credit are not available.
What is Accounts Receivable Financing?
Accounts Receivable Financing is simply an asset financing arrangement where businesses use their outstanding AR as collateral or sell it at a discount to specialized factoring or finance firms. In return the finance company will provide the concerned business with an immediate influx of money.
Advantages of AR Financing
- Immediate Cash– The greatest benefit, account receivable management businesses state is the fact that you get the required amount quickly, generally within 5-10 days, sometimes even lesser. You can then use the money to make payments as required.
- Free up Working Capital– Your working capital can be diverted to more pressing areas like inventory and salary. You won’t have to worry about enough money to buy inventory and to make other important payments.
- Save Time and Resources– Accounts Receivable financing can save time spent and staff allocated to hound clients to make payments immediately when you are short of cash. You can leave your account receivable management team to work on it.
- Retain Ownership of Business– If you choose to use this financing option, you will not have to sell equity in your business to raise capital, which means you can retain full ownership of your business.
Disadvantages of AR Financing
- Social Stigma– There is still a lot of stigma attached to accounts receivable financing, mostly because this is not a long standing financing option like bank loans. Using this mode of financing is often viewed as “the last resort”, signalling that your business is struggling. This can damage the reputation of your business most account receivable management companies claim.
- Cost– Using accounts receivable financing can work out to be quite costly as the factoring companies are known to keep up to 4% of the receivable received as their fee. In addition to this, they also charge interest on the cash advance.
- Amount is Fixed Based on the Client’s Credit– AR financing depends not on your credit history but that of the client. Since any business owner can have clients with good and bad credit histories, it can affect the amount and the discount rate you get on your outstanding receivables.
- Pay More if Client Fails to Pay– Factoring companies are not AR collection agencies, as a result if your client fails to pay, you will be required to bear the costs. You might also have to get a account receivable management company involved. So check up on your client’s credit history before stepping into a AR financing contract.
Accounts receivable financing is a great option if you need money desperately and quickly, but as mentioned above, it has its pros and cons. Research your options and if this works for you, have a go.
It feels great to own and run your own business- the rush when you see your sales numbers increasing, the thrill when you hear people talking about your business; oh yes, it is just amazing. Sadly running a business has its downs as well; one thing that all small business owners hope they don’t see is overdue invoices. Waiting for payments to come in when you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur is tough, especially since you depend on the payments to take you through the month.
All business owners are looking for accounts receivable solutions, because their business depends on it. So what can you do to improve your situation? What if you were to collect payments upfront? What if you were to tell your client that you will start work only when you receive payment? Think about it- no more waiting for clients to pay up.
If you would like to try this, the first thing you need to do when meeting with a client is declare expectations before you start work. Lay the ground work, sell your business or your services and then state your payment terms. Of course, the client will have a number of reasons for why they can’t make an upfront payment-maybe they are worried you won’t fulfil your end of the bargain, maybe they can only pay by check, maybe they need approvals before agreeing. Hear them out, brainstorm and together come up with a payment option that can work for both of you.
It also helps if you quote fixed rates and skip the hourly rates. This provides clients with clarity and they know what they are getting into. You can also suggest discounts (who doesn’t like discounts!) for upfront payments as accounts receivable solutions.
Of course, there are downsides to this option; not every business likes the idea of upfront payments. If you are just starting out and building your reputation, losing a client over this can be bad for business. However if you have a good standing in your field with a loyal client base, you can try this from your next customer. This option for accounts receivable solutions can also help you understand the client based on how he reacts to your condition and even filter out clients you don’t want to work with before entering into a contract with them.
While the accounts receivable solutions of asking for payments upfront may not work for everyone, it could work for you; think about it.
Virtually everything is “virtual” today, well, at least most- virtual bookkeeper, virtual counsellor, virtual teacher- all the “virtual-s” have made life quite easy for all involved. Now we have another “virtual”- virtual assistant. Virtual assistant, or VA, refers to a self- employed individual who provides clients with administrative, technical or creative assistance from a remote location, mostly for small businesses like restaurants, client bookkeeping solutions companies etc. VA’s are becoming increasingly popular, why? Simply because your VA can take care of all the regular, time consuming administrative tasks, while you focus on the business. If you are running a small business, that is steadily growing, you should consider investing in a virtual assistant.
- VA’s are Contract Employees– This means that you don’t have to worry about all the things that go with using a regular employee or even involve your client bookkeeping solutions provider, and the best part, you don’t have to worry about keeping the VA occupied for a full work day.
- VA’s Can Help You Clear Your To-Do List– Reply to emails, send out invoices, make appointments, dealing with client bookkeeping solutions and payroll providers- small business owners dread seeing these tasks on their to- do list. A virtual assistant can handle all these dreaded tasks for you. Let your virtual assistant take care of the administrative tasks, which means you have more time to focus on your business, reaching out to clients and generating more income.
- VA’s Can Help Streamline Your System– VA’s, by virtue of their job description, mostly have experience working with many systems and generally have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. If you think your system falls short or doesn’t meet expectations, hire a VA specifically with experience in systems. A fresh pair of eyes and experienced hands can work wonders for your business.
While a virtual assistant is technically a great idea, it is not for everyone. Thoroughly research your options before hiring a VA. Make sure the decision works for you and your business; if it does, it can make a great difference to your business.
Everyone wants to be successful- successful in their personal life, jobs, business, in life basically. Unfortunately, or fortunately, success is not easy to come by; it takes determination, hard work and discipline. Numerous studies indicate successful people have certain habits that facilitate success, because not only does this require focus and discipline, it also promotes mental and physical well being; so what are these habits?
- Starting the Day Early– “The early bird catches the worm.” Start your day early before the rest of the world, take the time to collect yourself and cease the day. You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you have had that extra hour before everyone else is up.
- Make Time to Work Out– A healthy mind resides in a healthy body; never undermine the importance of keeping fit and eating healthy. If you are fatigued and don’t have the energy to move on, you will never get anything done, let alone be successful. So make time to work out and always eat healthy. Junk food slows you down, physically and mentally.
- Analyse your Financials Every Day– It may seem too much but if you get into the habit of analysing your financials daily and request for daily cash flow statements from your bookkeeper or virtual bookkeeping provider, you will know where you stand financially on every day. This can go a long way in motivating you and grounding you to reality.
- Meet Your Team Everyday– Your team is what makes your business tick; if they aren’t happy and together, your business is not going to be around for long. Gather your team together every morning and pep them up. This is a great way to motivate employees, whether you are a virtual bookkeeping or retail company, and let them know that you care.
- Reward Yourself– Treat yourself occasionally, reward yourself for your hard work and celebrate with loved ones; but don’t treat yourself too much or you will find yourself in debt soon enough.
- Spend More Time Reading– Reading books, not e-books, has been scientifically proven to help people de- stress, sleep better, and improve memory, creativity and concentration. Reading is also a wonderful form of entertainment, so make some time to read every day.
Develop healthy habits, don’t accept defeat in the face of failure, believe in yourself and hold on, for the illusive success is coming your way.
Face it, bookkeeping is the backbone of any business, big or small. Whatever business you may be in, you need money to keep things going and managing the money means bookkeeping. You can either do the bookkeeping yourself, hire a bookkeeper or outsource to bookkeeping services for small business. DIY bookkeeping is not advised unless you have the time, knowledge and are committed to keeping your books up-to-date no matter what. Whether you hire or outsource, bookkeeping can be tough on the pockets for small businesses, which is why we have a few tips on how to save money on bookkeeping for you.
- Be Organized– Being organized is important according to all companies that provide bookkeeping services for small business. Make it a habit to store all the relevant information and documents for each purchase and sale. This is useful when handing over papers to your bookkeeper as bookkeepers depend on the provided documents to update your books. If you provide sufficient information, it will save you and your bookkeeper time and money in the long run.
- Use Cloud Based Storage– Thanks to modern day technology, you will no longer have to depend on courier services and delivery boys to send around documents. Today it is as simple as clicking a picture of the document in question and uploading the image to your document management system, where your bookkeeper can retrieve it from. Now you can rest assured that your receipts reach on time and instantly, ensuring that your books are up-to-date and accurate at all times.
- Maintain Separate Bank Accounts for Business and Personal Use– If your bank account is used for personal and business purposes, your bookkeeper will have to spend more time figuring out the details of the business transactions. Instead of complicating things, maintain separate accounts and save yourself and your bookkeeper, hired or part of a bookkeeping services for small business firm, time and money.