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Posts Tagged ‘checklist’

Clients not paying on time or refusing to pay?

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Overdue payments

If so, ask yourself this: Do your clients actually know when they need to pay you or are you assuming they do!

Check through these three easy steps:

1. State your terms BEFORE you provide the goods or services– this may seem obvious but many businesses do not actually tell their customers when they want to be paid! I had a client call me up for help because she was owed money by a customer who was refusing to pay.When I asked her to send me a copy of her Terms of Business, turns out she didn’t have any! She had sent out beautifully coloured proposals setting out her services and the price, but no actual statement of when it was payable or what would happen if they were late paying.

2. Check your invoices– do they clearly set out:

  • Payment terms e.g. ” Payable within 14 days from date of invoice”
  • Your bank account details
  • That interest is chargeable if client is late paying
  • Link back to your Terms of Business?

3. If all else fails, sue! If the amount you are owed is less than £100,000 and you have done everything possible to get it back, you can actually take the client to court yourself online without involving a lawyer.Check out the new Money Claim Online service, offered by HM Courts & Tribunal Service. It costs from as little as £25 for claims up to £300.

If the customer does not pay or defend the case, you get judgment against the customer and can then enforce it. Most customers do not want to have a judgment against their name as it will affect their credit ratings if they want to borrow money, not to mention the overall black mark it creates on all sorts of records.

If you need help with drafting your Terms of Business or would prefer us to handle the claims process, contact us now.

Good Housekeeping without a feather duster!

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Assuming you are a star business woman and sign a contract with all of your customers and suppliers, do not leave them languishing in a dusty pile or even simply file them away tidily, thinking “well that’s that then!”

Think of your contracts as recipes or tools for each deal that you sign. They should clearly set out who will do what and when. So you need to record key elements of each contract, so that you do not find yourself in breach or conversely, forgoing rights that you would otherwise be entitled to.

I would start a table with the following key details of each contract:

  • Name of the other party
  • Start  date of contract
  • End date and how much notice is needed to end it. Beware: Some contracts renew automatically if you do nothing! This is where your calendar tools in Outlook can be really useful. Simply enter the longstop date  minus few weeks’ thinking time as a reminder. If, for example, you need to let a supplier know by 30th Nov 2012 whether you want to continue with him or not, enter a reminder for 1st Nov 2012 so that you have time to think about whether you want to continue or not.
  • Key dates/milestone dates e.g. when certain goods or services have to be provided
  • Payment terms e.g.  when you may invoice, when you have to pay for things, agreed rate
  • Special terms  that are key, but which differ from customer to customer e.g. territory, exclusivity, non-competition

Finally, make sure you have back up copies of your contracts e.g. a soft copy and a hard copy or, if you want to save paper, a back up copy of your contracts on a separate hard drive. These can be bought for around £50 and simply plug into your computer. Find the ‘back up’ application on your computer and run it at least once a week. Remember to test that it is actually working!

Handy Checklist- Bookkeeping & Administration

Friday, September 16th, 2011
  • Have you decided what you want your administrative system for: VAT records, corporation tax and accounting purposes, invoicing, credit control, other management information-gathering purposes?
  • Have you discovered whether you can manage without a computer-based system?
  • Have you spoken with your accountant/ tax adviser to make sure your systems meet his or her needs as well?
  • Do you file invoices immediately when they arrive?
  • Do your business’s invoices clearly state your terms?
  • Do you issue invoices promptly on delivery?
  • Do you issue statements promptly each month?
  • Do you have a credit chasing timetable, and do you follow it?
  • Do you know your statutory obligations as an employer?

If not, we can advise you.  Please contact our employment lawyer, Pam Loch via info@offtoseemylawyer.com.

  • Do you keep proper records on all your employees?

Checklist Source: Start Up & Run Your Own Business: The Essential Guide to Planning, Funding & Growing your New Enterprise by Jonathan Reuvid (Kogan Page; 8th edition 2011)