When the holidays are over and we return to work, one of the first things we need to get on top of is the status of our accounts receivable.
Whether you’ve been really busy or closed over the holidays, this will inevitably be on your ‘to do’ list.
For many businesses, getting through the holidays and keeping the bank balance positive has taken some work. Some won’t have been so fortunate and need to collect their unpaid invoices … yesterday!
Then there’s the businesses who have been so busy over the holidays that they need to catch up on their invoicing and administration. Sales have been great, however now the cash needs to be collected.
Cash Flow Checklist
Here’s a handy checklist to run through in the new year, to assist in prioritising the tasks when you’re working on your cash flow.
1. Ensure orders are completed & invoiced promptly
Firstly, invoice for the orders that have been completed. Make sure any orders that have not yet been fulfilled are completed promptly, so you can invoice for these also.
2. Ensure Invoice Queries Are Resolved
Get onto any invoices queries straight away, the sooner they can be authorised, the sooner they will be paid.
3. Follow Up Outstanding Invoices
Start contacting your overdue customers. You will soon get a handle on who is back at work, so be first in best dressed, and have your invoices pushed to the top of the pile for payment.
4. Send Reminders
Send customers advance reminders of when payments are due.
5. Can your sales team assist you?
For many industries, January can be the time when the sales team are encouraged to take annual leave. Can any of your sales team who are back at work assist with chasing up overdue accounts for you? These colleagues may have some good relationships that they can reach out to, and assist in getting a commitment to pay.
6. Can you assist the sales team?
It may be really useful to assist the sales team in generating new sales at this time of year. They may be grateful for a list of historical sales by customer from you to see which customers were ordering last year.
7. Review your credit limits
Are there any customers who have reached their credit limit with you? Think about whether you need to review these and ask for payment up front or a deposit invoice instead of extending further credit.
8. Make It Really Easy For Customers To Pay
Have all payment options on the face of your invoices, and think about what an early settlement discount could do for your cash flow if you offered it for payment before the end of January.
We Can Help
Remember, when we chase your customers for payment, we ask them to pay you directly, meaning your bank balance gets an immediate boost.
If you need a hand chasing up unpaid accounts, send them to us as soon as you can, so we can work on them for you.
Let’s follow up those slow payers and get your cash flow flowing again! Call us on 03 9629 8777.