How do I stop invoicing queries: 7 of the most common queries and how to resolve them.
You raise an invoice, send it out and then payment doesn’t arrive. What do you do next?
You need to find out from the customer what the reason the payment is delayed.
The most commonly used reasons are:
- I haven’t received the invoice.
- It’s incorrectly addressed.
- The items invoiced for weren’t purchased/supplied.
- The description doesn’t mean anything to me.
- The cost isn’t what was agreed.
- I haven’t received the goods/service
- I wasn’t aware that it was due.
Once you have established over the phone which of these is the reason for non payment, request the customer puts in writing what the issue is. This means you both have a record of the problem that needs to be corrected.
How do you answer these queries?
1 – I haven’t received the invoice:
If they say they haven’t received it, request an email address, send it whilst they are on the phone and then confirm with them they have received it. If you post out invoices, send the next one recorded delivery and once Royal Mail confirm a signature, call the customer and confirm they have received it.
2 – It’s incorrectly addressed
If it’s incorrectly addressed then make a note of the correct details, confirm these on an email giving the customer 24 hours to respond if they are still wrong. 24 hours later credit and reissue the invoice.
3 – The items invoiced for weren’t purchased/supplied.
If they are disputing the items, go back to your ordering system and find the confirmation or order request they sent you/you sent them and if the items are the same email them a copy. If they are different credit and re-invoice them correctly.
4 – The description doesn’t mean anything to me.
You have put a description they don’t recognise. Go back to your order book and see what you wrote down they wanted.
5 – The cost isn’t what was agreed.
If they are disputing the cost, go back to your ordering system and find the confirmation or order request they sent you/you sent them and if the costs are the same email them a copy. If they are different credit and re-invoice them correctly.
6 – I haven’t received the goods/service
If they are saying the goods or service haven’t been received, then find your delivery report for the goods, or your sign off sheet for that service and send this over to the customer.
7 – I wasn’t aware that it was due.
If they say they weren’t aware it was due, remind them of the date you agreed your terms and conditions of sale. If possible forward them the original email you sent outlining your terms and conditions and also point out to them the due date on the invoice itself.
Now over to you:
What other reasons have you had for late payment? How did you get around them?