4 Ways to fast track an invoice payment
You know that point where you have done the work but you get paid late? You might have been expecting the payment as soon as possible because you had already sent an invoice and even planned on what you were going to do with it. There is an old saying that goes, “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”. In this case, do not start making plans with a payment you have not yet received.
As a consultant, sometimes you may receive a late payment because of lack of communication, unscrupulous deals on the other end, management hiccups or maybe you sent your invoice late.
Let’s have a look at how you can ensure payments are done consistently in due time to avoid any stress that may lead you to not giving your best.
Set your payment priorities from the beginning
Ask questions about invoicing and payment procedures as many times as you can. When should you send your invoice? How will the payment be done? How long will the payment be done after I have sent my invoice? When will the payment be made? Who should I send the invoice to / who should be made aware of the invoice (it’s advisable to send your invoice to the one who is going to pay)? How will the communication be done incase of a delayed payment. If possible, you can ensure that the questions you ask can be included on the contract so that everyone is on the same page. By asking questions, you are able to set your financial priorities in order. In the case you are aware that a payment may delay or not happen as consistently as it does (like it does when you are employed) you will be able to plan well.
Send your invoice on time
It is that simple. Delaying your invoice then demanding for payment immediately is not ideal. As a consultant, you should also realise the client is working with company or organisational financial policies and the payment is done during specific times of the month and authorised by specific people. To avoid all hiccups, it is important to send your invoice on time as agreed between you and the client. An invoice sent fast is guaranteed to be paid fast.
Be clear on your invoice
Do not write a complicated invoice. It is not an essay of all the work you have done. Be straight and simple on your invoice since any confusion may delay payment. Creating an invoice is not a complex task in the age of the internet. Search for Invoice Templates online and work with one that fits your standards. There are so many templates online you don’t need to pay someone to do it for you especially when you begin as a consultant.
When your payment delays, send a reminder. Do not be afraid to ask what has happened to your payment especially if you sent the invoice as agreed and the payment is yet to reflect. Sometimes it could be an internal issue that you may not be aware of or a bank delay on one end. The relationship with your consultant should not be only when you’re achieving the targets but also when and how you get your well deserved dues.
Have you experienced a delay in payment before. Share your story on what happened and how you were able to get paid.
Originally published at https://theconsultant.ke.