“I need to recover my debts, I’ve got to take them to court.”
Covid 19 has brought the most difficult times for some businesses reminiscent of the Great Depression of the 1930’s.
Chasing outstanding invoices
Regretfully in assisting my clients, lack of respect has been evident. Whilst we are all together in this economic downturn, keeping communications open is an absolute necessity. One of my clients who is a supplier has been chasing outstanding invoices for months. He has been met with silence, phone calls have not been returned, emails not responded. Out of frustration he rang me. My first response was that court should be the last option but when I was given his records of multiple attempts to contact the debtors, I could fully appreciate his concern.
There seems to be a misconception that suppliers have long pockets and can afford to support smaller businesses. This situation is very misguided, even the largest companies have their staff and suppliers to pay. It is often the case that a business’ inventory is supported by overdrafts which depend on cashflow to service.
Communication is the key
I started by contacting the debtors, many who were either sole traders or partnerships, by email asking them to contact me. I must say the response was disappointing. Less than half responded. They shared their situation and their embarrassment of getting behind in payments for the first time, without sufficient income. I asked them if they had accessed Jobkeeper. To my surprise I often was told as their accounts were not up to date they could not meet the records requirement. There is help available either free or a minimum charge. Please access this article on The Conversation:
My efforts have resulted in many debtors either paying their outstanding invoice or agreeing to payment plans, which has come a good way to relieving my client’s cashflow crisis. Regretfully, it took court action to get some debtors to the table.
If I can be of service to assist you or anyone you know, please contact me.