Helping SMEs overcome the challenges of late payments
Late payment of invoices represents one of the greatest threats to European SMEs. In recent years, the late payment problem has been a growing concern for smaller businesses. The number of SMEs that are suffering from late payments is now so high that it will be affecting the performance of the economy.
SMEs represent 99.2% of total businesses as well as three-fifths of the employment and around half of the turnover in the private sector.
However, the average SME is owed £15,370 in late payments and around 60% of small businesses report that they would go out of business if that amount reached $50,000.
To support their SME clients such as Docuflow, FHC needed a reliable way to ensure that both they and their clients could optimise their accounts receivable and credit control processes, ensuring consistent cash flow without impacting their relationship with their customers or diverting significant amounts of capital or staff time on unproductive or repetitive tasks.
Effective credit control can help businesses, especially SMEs, that struggle to get paid on time, ensuring that there are as few delays as possible when it comes to getting paid for work done. It allows companies to improve cash flow which is critical to surviving and thriving as a business.
In the case of Docuflow, the company was having trouble getting paid on time, which was restricting their ability to grow their business, and were having to divert large amounts of staff time in order to make repetitive and unsuccessful manual chasing and phone calls that damaged their client relationships without getting them the money they were owed.
Having had great success with Chaser in automating their own credit control procedures, FHC introduced Docuflow to Chaser in an effort to reduce the number of outstanding payments on their books and increase their cash flow.
After using Chaser to follow up on our own clients’ late payments and seeing huge time-savings, we decided to introduce it to our clients too. The results achieved for our SME clients with Chaser has been astonishing, like our client Docuflow who are now getting their invoices paid 54 days faster!
FRANCOIS VAN HEERDEN
Partner at FHC
Streamlining and automating credit control with Chaser
As a result of FHC introducing Docuflow to Chaser, the company was able to get their invoices paid, on average, a whopping 54 days faster than they had prior to using Chaser's accounts receivables software.
The reason for such a significant reduction in days before payment is wrapped up in the wider benefits of using Chaser's accounts receivable platform.
Because Chaser is fully integrable with all commonly-used business accounting apps, such as Xero, QuickBooks and Oracle, and many more the Chaser platform streamlines your entire accounts receivable process.
In addition to that, there are a number of other benefits to be enjoyed from using an automated accounts receivable system such as:
There is no need for double data entry since all financial information is recorded in real-time with two-way synchronisation between Chaser and your accounting system - so you can keep track of customers' payment history.
By implementing Chaser, you are able to create a comprehensive picture of your customer's payment behaviour - allowing for proactive measures to be taken before it's too late.
With Chaser, there is no need to spend time chasing up invoices or sending out reminders manually since email reminders can be sent automatically on pre-selected dates. This takes the pressure off from having to constantly follow up with delinquent accounts because they simply get reminded when it's their turn, and chased automatically.
Additionally, if an account falls into arrears then a faster response rate may help prevent them from becoming a lost business opportunity altogether by improving communication between yourself and customers that have fallen behind in their payments.
In doing so you have the opportunity for negotiations through which clients pay off part of the debt and re-establish their credit with you. With the ability to facilitate payment plans with chosen amounts and intervals, and chase installments automatically, customers who find it difficult to pay can be offered greater flexibility, increasing your chances of receiving payment or part-payment sooner.
The best way for Docuflow to get their clients to pay them is to offer the widest possible range of payment options in the most convenient manner. Chaser's payment portals are available on all devices, allowing customers to access their account information and make payments wherever they are.
The Chaser platform also offers the ability for clients to pay online with the usual debit card, credit card or bank transfer methods, as well as payments through Stripe.
All the required payment information is available to the client in one centralized portal, allowing businesses to help their customers stay organized, and collect what they owe faster.
The Chaser platform also makes it easy for Docuflow to find out who owes them money with real-time dashboards that show exactly which clients have paid and how much they've paid.
The Chaser platform is fully automated, so sending repeated payment reminders no longer takes staff away from more productive tasks.
Chaser helps keep track of what is owed to Docuflow, and it sends automatic payment reminders. This allows the firm to spend less time managing accounts receivable and more time doing other important things like helping clients solve problems with their document processing.
Make payments easier for customers
By using Chaser's customer-specific Payment Portals, businesses are able to offer more flexible payment options to customers. This helps them improve their cash flow by reducing the amount of missed or late payments, as well as allowing for faster debt recovery times.
Get paid faster
The average SME is chasing five outstanding invoices at any one time, using up an astonishing 1.5 hours a day. Instead of wasting that time sending individual reminders, Chaser's automated features can be used to send repeated invoice reminders, payment reminders, and even thank you emails when payment is made.
Even better, because all these messages appear to be coming from your business email account and can be customized to reflect your tone of voice, you are likely to see much faster responses from your clients.
This means that the average time taken for an invoice to be paid drops substantially, and there is a real chance of seeing lower bad debt rates due to this improvement in cash flow.
No one wants their accounts to fall into arrears or become bad debt, because when that does happen, most small businesses just write that debt off rather than turn to traditional debt collectors.
This is because the aggressive and antagonistic methods used by traditional debt collectors can ruin carefully created business relationships, and that's a bad thing for small businesses.
Thankfully, there are some alternative methods to traditional debt collection agencies which provide good results without the added stress of dealing with an agency or the fallout of their use of aggressive tactics.
Chaser's approach to debt collection is one of mediation and understanding. Chaser works with a client to understand their business, and what they can realistically afford to pay back on credit terms.
Chaser then calculates the best repayment schedule for each customer based on what is affordable within their situation, so that everyone gets paid in full while still maintaining an amicable relationship between your organisation and theirs.
Reducing the time spent chasing invoices and getting businesses paid faster
In conclusion, credit control platforms such as Chaser offer businesses like FHC and Docuflow a number of benefits including being able to automate accounts receivable processes and provide real-time information about who owes money and how much they owe.
It also helps to reduce the costs associated with recovering payments, allowing businesses to focus on growth rather than chasing debts down.
Chaser can help businesses automate their accounts receivable by enabling more efficient communication between the company and any customers that have fallen behind in their payments.
This improves payment times, reduces stress levels for staff members handling billing issues, decreases costs of collections associated with late payments, as well as improving cash flow due to faster debt recovery periods.
By choosing to partner with Chaser, businesses can make the most out of their invoicing and billing processes by improving efficiency, decreasing stress levels involved with chasing payments down, as well as reducing costs associated with late repayments.