Your Debt Recovery Experts

When you add it all up, using debt collectors makes sense

why using debt collectors makes sense

If you are like many other business owners and managers, you could be facing a conundrum.

Your clients may owe you a significant amount of money and they are ignoring all requests to settle their outstanding debts.  But at the same time, you are reluctant to take them to court or call in debt collectors to rectify the problem.

Why? Well, in the case of debt-collection agencies, you may not have used such a service before and feel understandably hesitant. Or you may be afraid of getting into a confrontational situation with a client with whom you have been dealing for a long time.

A mind shift is required whereby you think of debt collectors as a resource, rather than as a last resort. Just as you are an expert in your line of business, it makes sense to draw on the skills of an agency that has experience and a proven record in debtor management.

The scenario

Here are some of the issues or comments that business owners often raise when they are struggling to get invoices paid:
• “We don’t have the time needed to keep following up bad payers.”
• “The debt is not big enough to justify getting a third party involved, is it?”
• “Even if we allocate time and resources to these debts, there is no guarantee of recovering our money.”
• “Quite frankly, we don’t want to make unpleasant phone calls.”

The solution

And here is how we will typically respond to such sentiments:
• We have packages in place to ensure our services are cost effective, no matter what size your debts.
• We are experts in the field, who take the emotion away and follow our proven processes.
• We have lawyers who specialise in debt collection, so you have access to their expertise as well as ours.

As we say, shifting the mindset is the key. So what sort of tools or approaches do debt-collection agencies typically use?

The best ones take methodical step-by-step actions. From issuing reminder messages or calls to debtors requesting payment; to following up with phone calls and SMS reminders; to advising debtors about payment plans; to pursuing possible legal action – this is a proven formula that, in the hands of experienced debt-collection professionals, will more often than not result in payments being made.

Good debt collectors understand all the legal implications of chasing debts and are aware of and follow the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s debt-collection guidelines.

Remember, the real secret to debt collection is taking the emotion out of payment disputes and putting in place a logical, rational series of actions that can ensure all parties emerge with dignity. And you’ll also get, more often than not, your long overdue money!

To read more about who we are and our history click here or contact us by email to let us know how we can assist you: sales@kearleylewis.com.au

Healthy cash flow

heathy cash flow

We’re well into the new financial year now, and many businesses would have reviewed their debt recovery processes and procedures, to ensure they maintain a healthy cash flow and minimise potential bad debts this year.

When we are winning new business, it’s great for our P&Ls, however if we don’t follow up on our invoices and get paid, it’s not great for our cash flow.

Do you need to review your credit terms or invoice frequency?

You may have standard credit terms that you offer your customers e.g. 30 days, however do your customers pay in line with these?  Does the payment cycle work for the cash flow of your business?

It may be that you could think about having shorter terms, so that you are paid more quickly.

Similarly, you may wish to look at how frequently you invoice. If you invoice monthly, what would be the impact to your cash flow if you invoiced weekly?

The sooner you invoice, the sooner you will be paid.

Follow up your sales invoices

Follow up your customers by calling them to confirm delivery or satisfaction with the goods or services you have provided.

If there are any reasons that could give rise to a dispute, find out early and not when payment is overdue. The sooner you resolve any issues, the sooner you will be paid.

Stay close to your customers, give them no reason not to like you. Just like people buy from people they like, they pay the people they like.

And remember, those who shout loudest get paid first!

Do you need to review your terms of trade?

Do you have a clause in your terms & conditions that will allow you to recover your debt recovery costs back from your debtor in the event that they do not pay?

If you do incur costs, you want peace of mind that you can recover these as well as the debt.

There are many clauses that can assist in the speedy recovery of your debts, and help maintain a healthy cash flow. Read more here on the benefits of having customised terms and conditions for your business.

Don’t give up on unpaid debts – lodge a credit default

Some debtors are stubborn, to put it kindly, and simply refuse to pay their accounts.
So what should you do if you have unpaid debts and all your efforts are falling on deaf ears?

Unless they are disputing the debt, we recommend lodging a default on the debtor’s credit rating. Why? You want to ensure that your unpaid debts are not going unheeded and that there will be some pain and consequences for not paying.

The benefits of lodging a credit default include:

· knowing that a default will stay on the debtor’s credit file for five years.
· hurting their ability to gain credit with other suppliers and financiers.
· demonstrating to others that you have had an issue and raising a red flag for those who may be considering extending credit to them.
On a positive note, too, we see more payments being finalised once a default has been lodged.

What to expect

You may be thinking: Won’t that client dump us if we lodge a credit default? Yes, that is more than likely, but remember that you don’t need clients who don’t pay their bills. This is especially true if it is not an ongoing client and there is no relationship to salvage – it’s just about getting paid.
In the case of a longstanding client it is quite often possible for us to identify problems in advance and resolve issues around why they are not paying on time (or at all). Properly handled, this process can strengthen a potentially toxic relationship.
Once a credit default has been lodged, you will find that some debtors pay immediately in order for the default to be marked as paid, while others will contact you down the track when they need the default marked as paid. The latter typically happens when they are having trouble gaining credit elsewhere. Your debtor may approach you at any time in the five-year period following lodgement.

How it works

Certain conditions must be met before a credit default can be lodged and our debt recovery process ensures these are ticked before we lodge on your behalf.
The real message is simple – don’t close the file on unpaid debts. If you’ve had unpaid debts, before giving up ask us about lodging a default.
It is often a good way to prod tardy payers – and ensure that you get your money.

CHRISTMAS CASH FLOW TIPS

Christmas Cash Flow Tips

We’ve all read the posts on cash flow tips over Christmas, it’s when businesses shut down, it’s when you can’t get hold of anyone and it can be the most stressful time of year for business owners.

We’ve narrowed our tips down to three:

  • Chase your debtors early, and get a commitment of payment from them. For all those customers who are usually slow to pay, send them advance reminders of when payment is due.
  • Review when you will be invoicing leading into Christmas and consider when other businesses will be closing, so you are paid on time.
  • Review what you need to pay in January, against your current bank balance. What do you need to do between now and then to ensure you can meet your commitments?

Early work can save you stress over the holiday season, we hope you have a very merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous new year.