Collecting Your Own Past Due Accounts: What can you do to get these invoices paid?
When it comes to past due accounts, trying to get payments out of customers can be difficult, timely and awkward. Not to mention frustrating, as you’ve already provided services and now you’re waiting for payment. A soft approach is often ideal for maintaining a customer relationship, but what happens when it doesn’t work? You’re left with unpaid invoices and looming bills of your own. What can you do to possibly get these invoices paid?
First, it’s important to recognize that the longer a debt sits, the harder it becomes to collect. Taking a proactive approach to the situation is always best. You have to make a decision regarding what level of escalation you feel comfortable with and how badly you need payment, then decide the best course of action. Sending monthly statements and circling unpaid invoices can help draw attention to unpaid debt, which is helpful if you’re dealing with a customer that is a little lax on accounting procedures. Making phone calls directly to the individual or accounts payable department can make the issue a priority for your customer, rather than something that sits on the back-burner. Occasionally, you have to show a customer that you’re serious. This could mean sending the account to a collection agency. Customers often take demands for payment more seriously when they come directly from a collection agency. Suddenly, the urgency of the unpaid bills is realized and they become aware that there may be consequences for lack of payment. Regardless of the method you choose for collecting past due accounts, always be sure your own accounting records are accurate, in order to avoid disputes regarding amounts owed or misapplied payments.
Finance System, Inc. offers a business outsource process known Accelerate Self-Pay™ as an alternative to full-blown collection agency action. Our process is commonly referred to as “early-out” in the collection industry and most widely used for medical debt. Accounts can be placed with the agency as soon as one to 90 days from the date of first delinquency and collection costs are reduced to a fraction of traditional collections. What is great about this service is that a series of letters and phone calls are made on your behalf as if it were from your own billing department. You can put an entire call center of veteran collectors to work to supplement or replace your current accounts receivable department. Any accounts that remain unpaid after the collection campaign can now be placed with an agency. This will leave you with peace of mind, knowing that your past due accounts have been worked properly, as well as or even better than your in-house employees could have performed. With experience and expertise, we can collect the money you’ve been missing while you can focus on the aspects of your company that matter most.