Your collector is here to help you, any questions that are asked in the process of debt collection are for your collector to gain knowledge on the debt, we have compiled a series of articles based on information required by your collector to perform their role and have a smooth outcome.
Are you looking for debt collection services in and around the Mandurah area? BCA Debt has assisted thousands of large and small businesses around Australia to recoup outstanding money and provide services in the Mandurah and surrounding areas.
BCA Debt implements a proven 6 Step Debt Collection process to professionally and efficiently recover monies owed to your company with personal service and 24-hour secure access to the status of your debt.
BCA Debt provide debt collection expertise and services throughout Western Australia including the local areas of:
You do not want to ruin your association or jeopardise any further business dealings with your client, but to wait months for payment is unfair and unjust. Chasing outstanding funds from debtors is stressful and frustrating, not to mention the changes to legislation, legal guidelines, and updates to the Privacy Act that business owners need to keep on top of. If you are based in, or around Mandurah and you are constantly taking time out of running your business to pursue those who owe you money for work already done, BCA Debt can help. They understand the feeling of waiting on funds from clients, the awkward and frustrating nature of dealing with this situation whilst trying to maintain a business relationship. BCA Debt can lift the burden on you by implementing professional strategies to rectify the problem and move forward.
Specialising in debt retrieval for many industries including:
BCA Debt boasts over 13 years of effectively assisting businesses in retrieving of owed debt and providing up-to-date and thorough advice to their clients.
Where Can I Find a Debt Collector in the Mandurah Area?
When you are looking for a debt collector in the Mandurah area, from Rockingham to Pinjarra, BCA Debt is proud to be of service. Call the team on 1300 136 917 to speak with a debt collection professional today.
CHOOSE YOUR INDUSTRY
Debt Collection over the past few years has changed dramatically. Keeping up with changes to the legislation, plus the introduction of the debt collectors guidelines and the recent updating of the Privacy Act means we all have to adapt and keep pace with these. This doesn't just affect debt collection agency's, businesses are expected to know and understand these law's and abide by the same guidelines when collecting their own debts.
Changes in technology have also been massive and I don't wish to show my age but the introduction to internet banking has made a remarkable difference to the way people are able to pay. However, they still have to make the effort to do this and sometimes this is where the frustration of getting debts paid comes from.
The constant following up on customers to pay their bills can get any business person down. Honestly, we often have the same problem, all businesses have to chase clients up to get paid at some time and we are no different. We completely understand how it feels to be waiting on money.
Having outstanding debts stifles cash flow and upsets the balance of your business and I know first hand how that feels.
One thing I have learned is that the quicker you get onto your debtors the better chance you have of collecting the full amount of the debt. Leaving money outstanding for too long is a big mistake, often business owners are afraid of upsetting a customer by asking them to pay up. This can lead to a poor relationship between you and resentment can set in, waiting for money that is owed months after a job has been done is unfair and unjust.
Are you having disputes with customers over money they owe you or late payers who are stifling your cash flow?
Often when work is completed sending your invoice is the last thing on your mind, but actually, it should be on your mind all through the job, if you are billing for hours keeping good records as you go can help make the invoicing process a lot easier.
Make sure your billing is detailed, set aside time at the end of each session for this. I can’t tell you how many debts we have that are disputed overtime issues.
If it’s possible, get your customer to sign off on your times especially if the job will go over a few days or weeks. Customers don’t like surprises on their invoices and my suggestion is that you keep them updated daily. If you can get your customers to sign a daily time sheet or if they are not present send an SMS letting them know of your times, this way you both have a record.
Most accounting packages have time tracking, but I am sure there are apps that you could use.
Second but of equal importance is to keep detailed records of inventory, this is another area the causes disputes resulting in debts not being paid, so many arguments happen over the costs and amount of materials used on a job. Please record what is useful and again get your customers to acknowledge these as you move through a job. Keep good records so at the end of the job you are not guessing what was used.
When you have completed the job get your customer to sign off that the job has been completed to their satisfaction. Use a dedicated job completion form that includes the clauses from your Terms and Conditions stating what the requirements are for a remedy if they are not happy with any element of the job. This form should also have a time frame in which they have to raise concerns and a process to which to raise these.
This is so important because many jobs that are not remedied quickly get left to fester and may never be paid and it may have been over one small element of the job.
I can’t stress how important having a disputes resolution process is for your business.
You can make it your administration person or bookkeeper responsibility to ensure jobs are signed off on and completed to your customer’s satisfaction.
So now it is time to send your invoice, as part of the finalisation of a job gather all the information and send it to your bookkeeper, I also recommend calling them and to discuss all the elements in the invoice. This can save a lot of time in the long run if there is confusion over element of the job being invoiced. You will also get clarity that your bookkeeper knows exactly what to put in the invoice.
Then send it off by email through your account package
Check that your Terms and Conditions have a dispute resolution process that suits your business.
Getting paid for the job you have done is your customer appreciating the work you have done, getting paid quickly by your customer is the ultimate compliment.
So how do you make sure you get paid quickly?
Therefore, you need to have a system for this that is easy to use and a reliable person to use the system.
Who in your business is responsible for making up the invoices? This is one area many businesses fall down, they take too long to send out the invoice, usually because it left to the wrong person to do it.
Make sure you have an automated way to create invoices and set aside time each day to do it, or have someone do this for you, a freelance bookkeeper may be a great choice for this role or if you are doing a lot of work you could employ a bookkeeper. Have them send the invoice immediately and then follow up to ensure the customer received it?
Most accounting software has a numbering system, use this wisely and code your customers, also put this on the invoice. Little things like these make it known to your customers that you are organised and know what you are doing.
Make sure your invoice is well itemised, put everything on it, you can also attach a copy of the quote that was provided (you did provide a quoted didn’t you?) Make reference to the quote on your invoice.
Customers don’t like surprises and your invoice is not the place for them, don’t use it as a way to add extra charges that have not been agreed upon.
Honestly, this is one massive problem for us as debt collectors, clients doing extra work that has not been agreed to, it is one of the biggest causes of disputed debts resulting in non-payment. Many times we have seen a customer get their back up and refuse to pay the whole invoice because one element was added that wasn’t agreed to before the job was started.
On your invoice, have easy payment options and give lots of choices. How your customers pay you may depend on the type of customer they are, is it business to business or business to consumer?
Consumers are more likely to click and pay if the option is on the invoice when sent electronically, where a business may be more likely have a formal method, like online banking. But don’t guess give lots of option no matter who your customers are.
Make sure invoicing is some one’s job if you are the business owner preferably not yours. Don’t put any surprises on your invoices. Check for errors before sending and give plenty of payment options.
Who is paying the invoice?
Often an invoice is disputed because it has been sent to the wrong person or written out to the wrong entity.
Make sure the entity you are dealing with is an enforceable entity, we often see invoices made out to entities that cannot be sued.
As you know, invoicing is one of the most important elements for getting paid for the work you have done, making it important that you are issuing them to an enforceable entity.
A common mistake many businesses make is issuing an invoice to a business name.
Now, I can hear you saying 'what’s wrong with that?'.
Well a business name is not a legal entity, ASIC Manages business names and when you search on their website it applies ABN numbers to them, but the ABN belongs to the legal entity that owns the business name. This may be a PTY LTD Company or an individual, it may even be an association, no matter what it will be owned by a legal entity.
You need to think of the business name as an alias or a nickname.
On your contracts and invoices make sure you are addressing the full legal entity, plus the names of the directors, trustees, and people who the entity is associated.
Ok, now I have mentioned trustees, trusts are another problem and are set up for various reasons. The important thing to realise here is that a trust is also not a legal entity and again like a business name they cannot be sued. It is the trustees that are the legal entity and their names are what must be on your contracts and invoices.
This is another common problem for businesses, in particular for accountants as they may be preparing taxation, financial planning and various services for trust, super funds or businesses and invoicing to the same, however again none of these are enforceable entities and cannot be sued, ensure your contracts and invoices are contracted to the correct entity. When you are working for these types of entities you still must invoice the original owner of the entities.
I know this is a big problem when it comes to enforcing payment, so ensure you are billing, invoicing and signing up a legal entity that is enforceable.
The simple way to avoid this is to check on ASICs website that the name on your contract is a legal entity before going ahead with any work and then invoice that entity.
3 common mistake businesses make with invoicing:
We recently had a client come to us who was a graphic designer and printing firm, they had a client sign up for a job, they did a job for them under the name on the contract and that was all good.
The same person came back and asked for more work to be done, for two additional jobs but they were for different companies and they asked to have the invoices made out to the separate companies. The graphic design and printing company never got them to complete new contracts for the two additional companies. When it came time to pay there was an argument over who was being billed.
They went to court and because there was no contract he only got a portion of his money back and that was from the entity on his contract. It just goes to show that when you get a job, double check who is paying the bill.
This may sound like a pretty simple question, but honestly, it is a very confusing event when this happens to your debtor.
Insolvency refers to a company that can’t pay its debts when they fall due.
It is an offense of the Corporation Act to run a company that is not solvent.
There are three procedures that are generally taken out when a company becomes insolvent.
These procedures may be self-imposed or imposed by external forces. The following refers only to a company.
1. Voluntary Administration: This is when either the directors or a major creditor appoints an external administrator to sort out the affairs of the company. An administrator will make recommendations to creditors in regards to the financial status of the company and work towards a resolution. Being under administration is not the end of the company. At this stage, they are brought in to assist in getting the company back on track. The outcome may be that the company is handed back to the directors, or the company may have no option but to enter liquidation, or the company may enter into a Deed of Company Arrangement with the creditors.
While a company is under administration unsecured creditors cannot commence or continue legal action against the company. If there are lease agreements for machinery or equipment that are unsecured with the company these will be ceased by the administrators and cannot be recovered. A court application to put the company into liquidation cannot be commenced. If a creditor has a personal or directors guarantee they cannot act on this without the court's permission.
The role of the administrator is to give the company breathing space while the affairs of the company are sorted out.
2. Liquidation: This is the orderly winding up of a company, whereby decisions are made as to what will happen to the company’s assets, the distribution of proceeds from the sale of assets, and the cessation or sale of the company. The Liquidator’s role is to provide a professional, orderly and fair manner of winding up the company.
After a company goes into liquidation unsecured creditors can no longer continue or commence legal action against the company unless they have permission from the court. If the liquidator suspects the company directors have acted illegally they can report this to ASIC for investigation.
A liquidator may investigate all payments made to creditors in the previous six months of being appointed to determine if any creditor has received unfair payments. If they believe this is the case then a creditor may be required to return payments to the company to be fairly distributed. Unfair payments to creditors are deemed so if the creditor was aware the company was trading insolvent at the time of the payment, putting them at an unfair advantage to other creditors.
3. Receivership: This is when a secured creditor appoints a receiver to the company to sell or liquidate assets for the sole purpose of paying out the secured debt in their charge. A receivership only deals with their debt. Once their debt is paid the receivers hand back the company to the directors. Once again if the receivers believe there has been an offense committed by the company they are required to report this to ASIC.
The receivers are responsible for ensuring that any assets are sold for their market value as to not disadvantage the company and any creditors.
It is possible that a company can be in receivership and under administration at the same time.
An unsecured creditor can commence a legal action or continue legal action against a company when it is in receivership. This means that an unsecured creditor can commence winding up procedures and have the company put into liquidation for unpaid debts through the courts.
In the process of insolvency, a Deed of Company Arrangements may be entered into. This is a binding agreement between the company and its creditors as to how the proceeds of the company will be distributed. The aim of this is to maximise the company’s chances of trading out of insolvency, to enable a better outcome for creditors and to prevent immediate winding up procedures.
When a person becomes insolvent the procedure is generally Bankruptcy.