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Apr 17

Bill Promptly

Posted by: Steve Marr

Tagged in: Untagged 

Some clients I work with experience cash flow challenges.  They need to increase day to day income. One common issue is failing to bill promptly. Businesses don’t get paid until they send out invoices. 

Excuses for late billing range from “I’m too busy with client work” to “I just didn’t get to it.” However, sending out timely invoices is important for several reasons. My experience is that some business people don’t place a priority on prompt billing until the bank account is empty.

First, cash flow is important.  A two or three week delay in sending invoices slows down incoming cash. Most customers set up invoices with specific payment terms.  If terms are net 30 days, the 30 days starts when the bill is received; not when you should have mailed the bill.

Second, late billing is unprofessional. Late invoices make you look sloppy, like you don’t have your act together. Besides, most customers want to receive and process invoices in a timely manner.

Third, if there is a billing error or a dispute arises, it is better to work through the issue as soon as possible instead of next month. After time passes, memories dull.  It is easy to forget key facts that could resolve the issue.

Fourth, it could result in losing the account. I have experienced situations where invoices were sent out six or twelve months after work was completed. A customer may have forgotten the obligation.  Once, a sub-contractor billed six months after the work was completed.  When he did, he was told that the project was closed out and additional charges, even if valid, could not be processed.

King Solomon advised “Don't put it off; do it now! Don't rest until you do.” (Proverbs 6:4, NLT) Sending prompt billing invoices is one task you need to do now.


Steve Marr, Your Christian Business Coach 

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Comments (1)add comment

Chuck Nielsen said:

Thank you for writing this article. I have fallen in that trap before and actually have to post reminders to myself to make sure I get invoices posted as soon as a project is complete. I even invoice mid-project now because it is so easy to have material delivery delays and distractions. Thanks again for The Spirit Led advice.
April 17, 2012
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