Businesses rely on proper payment methods to flourish. Late payments can be devastating for small and medium enterprises, pushing some of them to the verge of bankruptcy.
It is a severe problem among businesses. The number of companies behind on their bills has been up nearly 10% since last year.
According to the survey conducted by Atradius, one-fourth of all B2B bills issued in Mexico, the United States, and Canada are paid after the due date.
Financial instability, staff wage issues, overdraft, and lost time attempting to gather past debts rather than focusing on development and productivity are only a few of the consequences of late payment on businesses.
Many businesses give a variety of reasons for late payments. We’ve compiled a list of the most popular excuses and how to respond to each one, as seen below.
Top 10 most typical excuses for late payment
Here are the top 10 most typical late payment excuses-
1. We are facing issues with your order
In this situation, you should request more feedback right away. After collecting all of the information about the problem, write it down in detail. Then look into and resolve issues as quickly as possible.
Get a commitment from them to pay the amount as soon as you’ve resolved the issue.
2. We have already paid the invoice
It’s a classic excuse. If your customer says, he has already paid an invoice before the due date, first check the payment. Sometimes there are errors in data entry, or your client can give you wrong information about a bank transfer that hasn’t arrived in your account.
Another reason for this excuse could be that they have not yet sent you the payment and forgot to tell you. This type of late payment may be acceptable if it’s not too often.
However, if you find yourself using this excuse more than once, it’s time to reevaluate your business practices.
3. The cheque has been sent
If you have been waiting for a payment from a customer for a long time, he can probably tell you he has sent the online payment. But if this is your first time working with him, you are right to be suspicious about this excuse.
Ask for evidence or advice from your bank to make sure that everything goes smoothly. If you need convincing, ask them why they didn’t send it before the due date.
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4. The person responsible for payment has a family emergency
It’s a common trick to pretend that the individual who is supposed to make the payment isn’t in the office. Make sure you find out who they are and whether anybody else is coming in to fill the position. It’s just not realistic that the firm would be put on hold until this person returns to work.
If no one appears to be available, ask to talk with a senior director. They will realize that you are serious about defending your rights this way.
If there is no other option apart from waiting for that individual to return, ask them when you can anticipate the payment to be made and make sure they respond in writing. If they have still not paid on that date, contact them again.
5. We are switching to a new bank
Source: Money Crashers
Moving an account to another bank is not a big thing for any business since it only needs to wait a few days. When you wait weeks or months for payment, it’s likely that your lender is simply avoiding paying you.
Depending on your prior knowledge and relationship with the late-paying customer, you can ask for proof that they are changing banks or permission to contact the bank.
6. We’re experiencing cash flow problems
If your customer tells you that they are running out of cash and won’t be able to pay you on time, ask them when they anticipate repaying you. If they give you a date, check to see how much of the outstanding amount they are short of paying.
Tell them to give you the amount they can afford right now and the rest on the date they previously stated. In this way, you will get your payment in only two installments.
Also, provide the client with a copy of your invoice, as well as an explanation that if they do not pay by the new deadline, you will be obligated to levy late payment penalties.
7. Claimed bankruptcy
If the business has gone bankrupt, get confirmation and discover who the administrators are. You may contact the officials and show them evidence that the bankrupt firm owes you money.
If the firm is only shutting down yet not bankrupt, you can pursue them in court if you think they have enough assets to cover the debt.
8. Still waiting for the goods to receive
This problem may be resolved with ease. You must keep delivery records safe. If a client claims he or she has not received the items, you can quickly send them the signed delivery papers electronically to avoid any additional delays.
A company may offer a signature guarantee through an online document management system like Invoicera, which allows you to use in-person signing on any mobile device. These papers are then saved on your online account and can be retrieved with ease at any time.
9. We are working on a big project
Source: HMA Consulting
If your customer is not looking for money at that precise moment, it can be true. However, if they ask you to wait for their payment without explaining or justifying why they need more time, don’t accept this excuse because it will probably happen again in the future.
Don’t accept any of these excuses without proof. However, if your customer gives you a good reason why the payment is late and tells you when they will be able to pay in full, at least you know you’ll get paid eventually.
10. It was a typo
If you have made a typo on a bill that has been sent to the client, your customer will tell you about it. If you haven’t received any notifications until after this date, send an email explaining the change and asking them to pay again if they have already done so.
Also, ask for evidence because it’s improbable that you have made a typo in the invoice number.
How to overcome late payment excuses?
Online invoicing is a widely used practice to overcome late payments. The internet can alleviate the hassle of sending, receiving, and processing hard copies of paper invoices; it can save on stamp expense and postage and provide quick turnaround times for both the invoice sender and receiver. These efficiencies mean businesses don’t have to wait days or weeks to get what they’re owed or spend hours hunting down someone in the office before they can make a payment.
Importantly, billing invoices online makes managing one’s business finances easier by enabling real-time access to collected invoice balances—no more need to keep spreadsheets updated with collected payments manually.
Businesses also benefit from increased billing receipts because digital signatures are legally binding on all parties. This means that if a company sends an invoice with a legally binding digital signature, they don’t have to worry about disputed payment matters.
How can Invoicera be a game-changer here?
Invoicera is a new and revolutionary cash flow management and invoice system that has successfully streamlined the workflow of most small and medium-sized businesses. The program offers protection against late payments without assuming any risk, allowing companies to put their resources into building their products or service offerings.
Invoicera helps customers keep on top of overdue invoices and stay ahead of the late payment cycle to focus on their business and avoid meetings with collection agencies – all while getting paid faster.
With 10+ integrations with online payment gateways, you can easily accept credit cards payments online from anywhere in the world. It is fully capable of handling the complex technicalities of financial transactions. It’s quick, simple, and secure when accepting online payments from anywhere.
Sign up today to get a free trial of cash flow management software here.
If you find your customers are always giving excuses for late payment, it might be time to consider a different invoicing software. Invoicera is an online platform that helps small and medium-sized businesses with all aspects of the invoice process, including creating invoices, automated reminders, receiving payments, detailed reports, and invoice approval. Its easy-to-use interface makes complicated tasks like attaching files or calculating taxes easy enough for anyone in the office – not just accountants!
As well as saving on labor costs by taking care of routine work, Invoicera also has powerful analytics tools that allow you to track how successful each invoice was at getting paid on time. With these insights, you’ll know what needs tweaking in future processes too!
Have any other tips? Tell us in the comment section.
Thanks for reading!!