Top 10 tips to avoid payment delays

by Paul Sparkes 23. January 2015 09:30
It’s not breaking news that managing a healthy cashflow is an absolute necessity for any business to succeed and grow.
At Exchequer we are frequently talking to businesses who are persistently frustrated (and paying the price!) of having late paying customers. Just imagine what could be achieved if customers paid on time and cash flowed freely within your business.
Having an efficient and effective credit control procedure in place to protect your business is vital. So to help in your fight against late payment here are our top 10 tips to avoid payment delays:
1. Have a clear credit control strategy in place
Although it can seem a little daunting at first, implementing a simple credit control process needn’t be complicated and can ensure you get paid every time. Start by clearly setting out a day-by-day strategy your accounts team can adopt. Take a look at our 'Timeline to getting paid' infographic which shows how a structured approach could help reduce the threat of late payment.
2. Know your customers
With 60% of SME’s having to overcome the challenges posed by late payments, it’s becoming increasingly important to run credit checks on all new customers before offering credit terms. Simple credit checks can be run online in a matter of minutes and could save you valuable time and money in the future. 
This tip shouldn’t be isolated to new customers, it should be an ongoing process to monitor credit scores as even the most reliable payers can have a change in circumstances.
3. Agree clear payment terms
Make sure your payment terms are clear and consistent, and be upfront with your customers about any late payment charges to save disputes further down the line. Think about including your payment terms on your statements, invoices and in your T&Cs of business.
4. Invoice quickly and accurately
Make sure you send your invoices on time. This sounds simple enough, but many businesses fail to do this. Equally as important is making sure that the invoice is addressed to the right person, and that the information it contains is 100% accurate. Any holdup or mistake can just delay payment coming in. Speed the process up even further by emailing the invoice rather than sending it through the post. 
5. Make it easy for people to pay
Everyone prefers a simple and straightforward process, so ensure that customer payments can be made easily, and preferably online or by Direct Debit. Where possible avoid the use of cheques given the delay in processing.
6. Build positive relationships
A friendly and positive relationship with your customer can have several advantages. Not only will it encourage them to purchase more from your business, it will also improve your chances of getting paid on time.
Consider making a courtesy call or sending an email a few days before the payment is due to ensure the invoice has been received and there is no query. This is good customer service and will remind the customer of their outstanding invoice with actually chasing the debt.
Also, why not thank all your customers that pay on time?! Not only does it show you’re grateful for their punctuality, it is good for customer relations and can lead to repeat business.
7. Start chasing payment immediately 
The early bird catches the worm! Don’t delay in chasing late payment from the day after it was due. It’s better to start as you mean to go on and the longer you leave it before you make contact, the further down the queue your invoice will get. Consider having set dates when debtors are chased by telephone, email and in writing.
8. Be flexible
Businesses can ensure good cashflow by offering flexible payment packages or terms to their regular customers. On large, outstanding amounts this could mean regular installments or simply splitting the bill into two manageable amounts and in some circumstances it may be your best chance of getting payment.
By providing these packages both you and your customers can both plan ahead, with the ability to confidently predict cashflow.
9. Use technology to help
Automating manual processes could help you to take a pre-emptive approach to payment delays, protect cashflow and save time. Exchequer’s Credit Pursuit solution manages all aged debtor information within a single system and has proven results. One of our customers saved two working days a month and reduced outstanding debt by £200K, all in the first three months of implementation.
Calculate your debtor days and see how you could take control of your cashflow with our online calculator at
10. Don’t let the problem escalate
If you haven’t received payment, stop supplying the customer immediately. Make them aware of your decision and inform them that they will no longer be supplied until all outstanding invoices have been settled. If the customer needs your product or service in order to run their own business this should provide enough leverage to ensure prompt payment. 
Compiling a stop list can help you identify persistently late payers, and you could consider asking repeat offenders for a deposit or payment in full when they are placing future orders.
For more information on credit control and to see Exchequer in action, sign up to our upcoming webinar '3 tips to transform your credit control' on 26th February 2015.

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Accounting Software | Infographic

Mobile working - Can your organisation perform 'on the move'?

by Paul Sparkes 6. March 2013 10:31

On-demand access to instant information is not a new trend; successful, dynamic and fast-paced organisations fuel their business with the power to access key information anywhere and at any time. This infographic explores the face of today's business landscape and what mobile working will mean to us in the future from checking our bank balances to accessing our mobile accounting software. 


For further information, download our latest Whitepaper - Mobile Working on the Move.

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Accounting Software | Mobile | Remote working

Optimising business performance

by Paul Sparkes 21. February 2013 15:12

A proactive and agile business will always employ performance indicators to measure, evaluate and optimise success. It is relatively easy to compile a set of objectives and goals that are important to your organisation, but there are some simple steps to consider when deciding which KPIs are right for your business;

1. Firstly, the KPI must reflect organisational goals. It may be the case that your organisation adopts several sets of KPIs, each set relevant to individual departments. It is perfectly acceptable for each team to strive towards a personal set of goals, but the organisation should set company-wide KPIs, applicable to the overall targets of the organisation.  KPIs should take into account the strategic objectives of the organisation and be integrated into all business plans.

2. Keep the number of KPIs to a minimum – say a maximum of 5 company-wide performance indicators and then a sub-set of 3-4 for each department. 

3. Share and communicate KPIs throughout the business. Whether this is on the company intranet, on wall displays or in company briefings – ensure each staff member understands and comprehends their contribution in achieving each goal. Performance indicators will also enable management to share specific, tracked information with shareholders and board members. 



5 critical factors to consider when selecting a cloud hosting supplier

by Paul Sparkes 13. February 2013 11:13


Reviewing, selecting and choosing the right supplier to host your IT requirements challenges the traditional buying model. The hype of the cloud has created an influx of new organisations, all claiming to offer the best levels of service. The recent demise of 2e2 should send warning signs to anyone looking to migrate their software or IT services to a cloud solutions provider. Additional steps and care and attention should be applied to the buying process.  

This 5-step guide provides tips that you should take into consideration to ensure you make the right selection. 

1. How reliable is the supplier?

This is critical. With so many new start-ups offering to ‘host’ your IT infrastructure, you need to choose carefully. The stability of the hosted supplier is vital. If the cloud bursts – what happens to your data and your IT network?  Ensure you fully research how many clients the organisation has, how long it has been trading, who is it backed by (if anyone) and overall use your gut to decide if you would feel confident trusting them? In this instance, you may think it wise to opt for a long-standing provider, who can offer back-up and security as opposed to a new start-up. 


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Accounting Software | Cloud computing | Hosted solutions | News | Topical

Real Time Information Checklist

by Paul Sparkes 9. January 2013 16:56

From April 2013 Real Time Information (RTI) will become the standard PAYE/NIC reporting. Make sure you are ready to go live with this handy 6-point real time information checklist from IRIS Exchequer to help you with the migration to live RTI submissions. Remember that you will need to send RTI data to HMRC online, every time a payment is made.

If you would like more information on Real Time Information (RTI) or to have a discussion about RTI preparation, payroll software or training, please contact the Exchequer team on 0844 815 5608 or email
Further information can also be found on the Exchequer website at

To add this infographic to your blog or website, please copy the following HTML snippet into your page:

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Infographic | Real Time Information (RTI)

How to run your business from a mobile device

by Paul Sparkes 13. December 2012 13:02


Advances in technology are seeing mobile devices become a key way in which businesses can boost their productivity and remain competitive in challenging times. Mobile working gives businesses the flexibility and agility they need in a 24/7 economy and can even help to create business opportunities. For some, working away from the office is becoming the norm and it’s essential that they can work on the move as easily as if they were in the office.

We’re so used to using smartphones, apps and tablet devices in our personal life that it’s inevitable that this way of working is starting to become more widespread in business. There is now a range of technology tools to help businesses offer remote working to their employees. Here are a few that are particularly helpful;



Hosted solutions | Microsoft | Mobile | Remote working

Trends in remote working

by Paul Sparkes 28. November 2012 16:34

Three Quarters of Businesses Now Offer Remote Working

Cloud computing is now providing real business benefit and the use of mobile technology is increasing rapidly for businesses who manage their day to day operations on the go.

Research from IRIS Accounting & Business Solutions shows that three quarters of businesses now offer remote working to its employees, with 76 per cent claiming it makes their organisation more profitable and one in ten saying it gives them the edge over their competition.

If you spend a lot of time out of the office or if your team are heavy mobile users then utilising the devices and technology that your business is familiar with (be it iPhone, iPad, Android, ios or Blackberry) then business solutions on the go such as mobile accounting software empowers your business to provide increased efficiency, service and sales whilst working remotely.



What is real time information?

by Paul Sparkes 18. October 2012 13:44

A major change in payroll is set to hit UK businesses in 2013. Real Time Information (RTI) represents the biggest change in payroll since the introduction of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) in 1944.

What is RTI?
RTI is a new system for reporting tax, NI and other details to HMRC. As an employer you will be responsible for all tax deductions and calculations but instead of submitting this data once a year to HMRC, you will be required to return year to date figures at the same time as payment is made to your employees, whether weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
HMRC have now confirmed that all companies with up to 5,000 employees will need to start making RTI submissions from April 2013, with larger employers needing to comply by October 2013.


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News | Topical

Building a successful future for charities

by Paul Sparkes 8. October 2012 15:14

Under increasing pressure to perform, the not-for-profit sector is facing some of its biggest challenges to date.

With budgets under scrutinisation, investing in new accounting software may not seem like the most obvious solution to save on your budget. However the investment is possibly one of the best decisions you can make in improving efficiency and reducing costs.

We like to hear our customers' success stories so when The Epilepsy Society told us that Exchequer; "Has delivered a significant return on our investment both financially and increased productivity", then we know that we're doing our job right.

With advanced levels of automation and integration, a new financial system could provide much greater support and help you to increase productivity and gain greater organisational insight. Impressive when The Epilepsy Society report that they save over £40k a year with Exchequer.


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Accounting Software

Building a strong business case for IT investment

by Paul Sparkes 2. October 2012 15:05

The British Chamber of Commerce has reported today (2 October) that the economy is still in the depths of recession. The results of the new Quarterly Economic Survey released today shows that most key Q3 balances are weaker than Q2, with the economy defined as ‘stagnant.’

In summary the Q3 survey results show the following:

  • Worsening confidence and investment levels from both manufacturing and services firms
  • Despite previously strong reports this year, export growth has dropped back
  • Domestic orders in both manufacturing and services are weak and far below pre-recession levels
  • Firms are less confident in taking on staff
  • Companies are reporting cashflow problems

No-one expects the next few years to be anything but challenging, especially if looking to refinance existing borrowing or to raise new credit. While many FDs and businesses have taken decisive action to mitigate the impact of the downturn and have implemented tough survival tactics that are undoubtedly working, caution remains about the strength and timing of the recovery.

As we move into yet another cycle best described as pre-recovery, we need to take a fresh look at the best tactics to weather the current economy and to thrive in the months ahead.


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Accounting Software | News | Topical

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