In business we are often faced with the challenge of collecting payment from our clients and customers. We set terms. We negotiate agreements. We establish with invoices and credit terms what the agreement is. We will do X and the customer will pay Y by a certain date. But what happens when the customer doesn’t pay?

We contact the customer to request payment. We send statements … and we wait. We talk to the customer and “the check is in the mail”… and we wait for the mail to be delivered. (As a side note, my personal experience has been that the clients that have the most money and other resources are the ones that I have the most challenge with when it comes to payment.)

Currently as I write this I have a client that is nearly two months past due in payment. This was a new client that had an “emergency” and needed over 20 hours work done in the space of a few days. I juggled schedules, worked late hours, and was on call over a weekend. The work was done, the deadline met and the invoice presented. Last week I sent a statement reminding them the bill was past due. The check was supposed to arrive this week; the mail carrier came and went, and there is still no check.

The Bible addresses this behavior:

Jeremiah 22:13 (KJV 1900)
13 Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness,
And his chambers by wrong;
That useth his neighbour’s service without wages,
And giveth him not for his work;

Collecting payment for your services or products is a challenge. We cannot ignore bad behavior and we must hold others accountable. We are required to act with integrity when pursuing payment for our services.

When we are the customer, we are to enter into agreements for services and products only when we are able to honor the terms to which we agree. If payment is expected at time of service or delivery, then we need to pay what is due. If the terms are 30 days paid in full, then we must meet those terms. Do unto others as you would have done to you: Don’t delay payment to your vendors when the work has been performed.

 

Author:  Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
All Rights Reserved

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