Process: Keep the cash coming

When is the 30 day cutoff for AR? Coming up? Why not email or call the customers to make sure that they have all the invoices. Help them out, treat them nice and guess who gets paid first and on time as long as you have good products and customer service. My experience has been this, if your company does what the customer expects, i.e. deliver a great product on time by people with great attitudes and customer care, you have met their expectations (and maybe even exceeded them). If you have met their expectations, then all you ask in return is for them to meet your expectations, which is getting paid on time (obviously simplified the whole transaction process here). Did you get your product? Was it as you ordered? Was it delivered on time? Then why haven’t we been paid? That’s our expectation. You can have a polite conversation with customers as you sign them up and explain this to them. We will do X for you and in return we expect to be paid on time. Simple. Now usually (excluding customers in difficult financial straits) bills don’t get paid because of one minor paperwork issue. So, head these off at the pass and call customers a week before the due date to find out if they are missing invoices, credit memos, etc. Make sure that they have everything and make it easy for them to pay you. If they are holding back on one invoice because of a problem, explain to them that all the others should be paid (because you met their expectation and expect the same in return). You can always put an invoice in the disputed status, but at least everything else gets paid on time. I have seen customers hold back on $20,000 plus of AP due because of a dispute or question on a $100 dollar invoice. Let them pay the $100 next month and get the $19,900 paid today. They usually want to cut just one check (since they are a lean thinking company), and don’t want to have a $100 invoice hanging out there. Make it easy for them to pay you. Repeat this in your head – Make it easy for them to pay you. This will keep your customers happy – you are helping them with paperwork problems and getting paid on time. Ask anyone in your AP department which vendors they like and why? And which ones are a pain and why. It might surprise you. If you are able, you can put customers on credit hold IMMEDIATELY and tell them why you need to be paid on time. You met their expectation and expect the same in return. Period. Get new customers in this habit right away from the start and you will have smooth sailing on the seas of cash!

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