We always say that a sensible approach to invoicing can help to cut down on the number of problems you face - and that's still true. Chasing up invoices, making sure they've been received by the client, and querying any payments as soon as they become overdue can all help to encourage clients to pay up on time.
But when an invoice goes unpaid, it's easy to find yourself becoming more and more lenient in the hope that your client will eventually pay - while they become less and less reasonable in their reasons for delaying.
Small firms in Ireland are waiting an average of 62 days for their invoices to be settled, but when it comes to debt collection Ireland's entrepreneurs are still reluctant to take action.
These are the findings of the Small Firms Association's Late Payment Survey, published in early January, which looks at the issues affecting the credit control and debt recovery Ireland's small businesses use to keep their accounts - and their non-paying customers - in check.
Late payments are a pain for all of us, clapping the irons on our cashflow, disrupting client relationships and generally causing a world of stress until they're resolved either directly or through the intervention of a debt collections specialist like Safe Collections.
But on an international scale, late payments cause even bigger headaches for economies across the EU, leading to an annual debt of €23.6 billion (£19 billion) according to European Commission figures.
Continuing our series of articles on debt collection in the USA, this article covers the Statute of Limitations and Interest Rates on a state by state basis. This article is based on a recent review conducted by our American Debt Collection partner via their network of state based debt collection attorneys.
Before considering legal proceedings to recover an business debt in America we would recommend you first read the preceding three articles in this series.
An official hospitality centre for African nations during the London 2012 Olympic games has been forced to close amid allegations that suppliers have unpaid invoices totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The center, situated opposite the Royal Albert Hall, featured an exhibition area and restaurant open to the general public as well as reception area for games participants, sponsors and officials.
In part two of our series on Debt Recovery in the USA our American Debt Collection agent outlined the 10 questions any creditor must ask prior to taking a claim to court in the USA. Whilst many of the points raised in this piece are not entirely dissimilar to the questions any creditor should ask before pursuing legal action, one critical point is often overlooked.
If your company is considering taking legal action in the USA to recover unpaid invoices, you will be expected to provide at least one witness at trial. Our US affiliate explains:
In our first blog post on USA debt collection we discussed the three pre-legal stages an American debt recovery agency will use to attempt recovery. But what happens when they have done their best to collect, but the debtor refuses to co-operate?
In this instance your only option to collect the debt may be to consider taking legal action. As with any legal claim here in the UK you can expect to pay the court costs and lawyers fees. But unlike in the UK you as a creditor will be required to attend any hearing, generally at your own cost.
Here at Safe Collections we have decades of experience in helping our customers recover unpaid invoices and bad debts both in the UK and across the globe. One of our key markets is the USA and we have been working closely with our US debt recovery affiliate since 1986.
Robert is the Vice President of International & Corporate Quality at our affiliate office in New York and here he explains the Three Phase USA debt collection procedures they follow in recovery of overdue accounts from US based debtors.