The most common excuse for late payment to businesses by debtors is that the cheque is in the post, according to Lancashire law firm Napthens.
Suzanne Dean, head of debt recovery at the firm, has surveyed clients across a wide range of industry sectors to discover some of the most popular excuses used to avoid making a payment. Despite recent advances in technology designed to make payments easier, such as smart phone apps and electronic payment systems that log and authorise payment of invoices, Suzanne found that many businesses are still using the same excuses that have been relied upon for decades.
Second most common on the list of excuses is “I have not received an invoice”, while “no-one is in to sign the cheque” comes a close third. “Payments are authorised and paid on set dates” is fourth and the fifth most common excuse used is simply “I can’t pay.”
Suzanne is now offering tips on what businesses should do if they are struggling to receive an overdue payment.
She said: “It is understandable that many companies are wary of damaging customer relationships in the pursuit of payment, but it’s important to consider the additional financial pressures brought on by outstanding invoices.
“Businesses do not have to be helpless. Continue to follow up invoices and make sure to incorporate payment terms into terms and conditions; use this document to make it clear to customers that you expect payment on time.”