The 10 Worst Payment Excuses (and how to overcome them)

No collections department is free of crazy payment excuses. In fact, if you’re a small business you’re more likely to come across late payment excuses. Dun & Bradstreet reported that majority of the culprits for taking a long time to pay their debts are large businesses with over 500 employees, leaving small businesses to try and handle the excuses.
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How to Break Up With a Customer

Face it. There are good clients and there are bad clients. There are those that pay on time, and there are those that are chronically late. The chronically late ones are always giving us excuses for why they can’t pay us and making us spend more than enough time on the phone every week requesting payment. So, how do we fix the problem? Break up with our bad clients.
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The Statute of Limitations on Collections By State

The statute of limitations on collections is your worst enemy. As soon as those kick in, you cannot sue the client for their unpaid debts, which means you likely won’t collect a dime. Unfortunately, these statute of limitations can vary state by state, so you have to stay on top of your individual states laws. Keeping an eye on your accounts and who is reaching the statute of limitations is when you need to employ all of your accounts receivable tricks. Bankrate put together a graph with the statute of limitations for each state, which we have included below.
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4 Lessons on How To Talk To Customers About Outstanding Payments

One of the worst conversations to have with a customer is talking about an overdue payment. It’s uncomfortable having to discuss financial issues with someone that you barely know. It can also be frustrating because you may hear some crazy, off the wall responses that catch you off guard. What most people don’t realize is there is a tactic and strategy to talking to your customers about overdue payments. It’s a skill that you can learn and get better at with practice, allowing you to collect faster and skip over those awkward and frustrating conversations.
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The 10 Best Cities to Be An Accountant

Whether you’re a recent graduate or simply looking for the next opportunity on your path to success, it’s always nice to know where you’ll gain the most traction as an accountant. Ledgerlink, a community for accountants that share social and career advice, took a look at the best cities to live in if you’re an accountant. They took into account average salary, competitiveness of the accountant market, how many accounting jobs were available in the area and “lifestyle”, such as average commute time. Below, we’ve summed up their analysis and are giving you the 10 best cities to for an accountant.

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Despite Same Day ACH, B2B Check Use Up

This week, The Electronic Payments Association, or NACHA, is rolling out same day ACH payments. Previously, ACH payments would process the next business day, making businesses wait anywhere from 1-3 days after the time of purchase to actually receive payment. With same day ACH payments, businesses will be able to collect their payments on the same day that the ACH is processed.
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The Flaws of Using Excel For Accounts Receivable

When a company first starts up and doesn’t have much to deal with in terms of accounts receivables, Excel gets the job done. However, it won’t be long before you end up outgrowing that system, for a variety of reasons from time wasted to data errors. As your customer base grows, so does the amount of data that you’re trying to manage in Excel.
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What’s Holding CFOs Back?

Everyone wonders about the state of finance and accounting since advances in technology have made it far easier for those without a degree to maintain a business’ finances. Simply boot up a program, type in some numbers and the technology will spit it all back at you. However, the problem with these programs is they can’t analyze the numbers and tell you what it means or how you can fix it, which is where CFOs, CPAs, accountants, controllers and other finance professionals still come in.
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How to Get Your Hands on Cash Without A Business Loan

Business loans may not always be the best route. Either you simply can’t get a business loan because you haven’t been established long enough or the bank won’t give you one. Or maybe you simply would prefer not to take out a business loan and have those payments hanging over your head. No matter what the reason is, there are usually other options than simply taking out a loan. One of those options is tapping into your accounts receivable. Often, there are thousands of dollars waiting to be collected on that simply, haven’t. Here’s how to tap into that cash flow.

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Why Sales and Accounts Receivable Need to Work Together

We’re not sure where the rivalry among the sales and accounts receivable department cropped up, but we are sure of one thing: it has got to stop. Truly, this rivalry is not helping anyone and is most likely hindering the business. Yes, sales can impact accounts receivable and vice versa, but it will only impact in a positive way if the two teams are working positively together. Once you have a working relationship you will see sales increase and collection efforts increase, getting you paid more, faster.
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Accounting 101 for the Small Business Owner

Whether you’re just starting to entertain the idea of starting a business or you have a small team you’re managing, accounting is by far one of the most important aspects of a business to have a handle on. This is what makes or breaks you, cash flow is king. And why is accounting so important if you’re really just a small start-up? Because the statistics for small businesses are grim. Studies are showing that 50 percent of small businesses will fail within the first year and 95 percent will close their doors before they make it to the 5th year milestone. Even worse, 30 percent are continually losing money. For a little positivity, 40 percent of small businesses are profitable and you can be among those if you keep a good handle on your small business accounting. You don’t have to be an accounting genius to follow these guidelines.

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Increasing Productivity in the Accounts Receivable Department

Accounts receivable is one of your greatest assets. It is what keeps your business a float and where most of the focus should be, especially during times when cash flow is slow. The accounts receivable department is not one that you want distracted. You need this department to be the most productive in order to keep your business running smoothly, however, it is admittedly usually the team in most companies that is facing the largest bottlenecks and brain draining manual tasks.
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The 5 Cash Flow Sins

You can find tons of help books and online articles that tell you all the ways that you can improve cash flow, from improving your sales and closing more deals to improving your accounting process. However, not many articles will tell you what NOT to do. You can add on all the new, trending processes and research to your business, but if you continue to make the same mistakes over and over those processes won’t make a difference. Here are the 4 cash flow sins you need to avoid.

  1. Being a Bank
    There is a method and formula for extending credit to the right customers, and deciding how much credit you can extend. Your business is not a bank, so you can’t go out and extend credit to any customer that asks. Investigate and ask for references. If you continue to make this mistake, you will find yourself with a lot of product sold but no cash to prove it.
  2. Not Projecting
    Obviously, the cash that you have right now is extremely important. However, you should be focusing on how much cash you’re going to have in the future, as well. If you’re not projecting your future cash flow, you may make some bad spending choices that you won’t be able to support next month. It can also tell you how much you need to push collections to open up a larger cash flow.
  3. No Rainy Day Fund
    You never know what could be around the corner. Not saving for a potential crisis in the future is asking for cash flow problems. Plan for a potential disaster and save up about 10 percent of your operating cash to only be touched when an unexpected issue arises.
  4. Not Sending Timely Invoices
    The number one way to ensure that you’re collecting from your customers (one of your largest areas of cash flow), is sending out invoices on time. The longer it takes you to get an invoice to a customer, the longer it will take the customer to pay you. As soon as the service or product has been delivered, make sure the invoice has been sent. This gives customers more time to plan and get the money delivered on time.
  5. Not Embracing Technology
    The technology has arrived to make the sales, collections, and accounts receivable process easier. You can automate almost half of your daily tasks so you can focus on actually talking to customers and getting to the bottom of late payments. Not embracing technology and doing everything by hand is a waste of time and putting you behind your competition.

Go back through your accounts receivable and collections processes and see if you’re committing any of these cash flow sins. If you are, eliminate them. They are most likely holding you back from collecting and reaching your businesses fullest potential.

What’s Your Cost Per Invoice?

We all know by now that the best way to get more cash flow for your business is to employ best practices for accounts receivable, including sending invoices early and often, following up with a phone call, sending out past due notices and collection letters, and your other basic tips and tricks. These are all important and we don’t deny that. In fact, we highly encourage them. However, have you ever stopped to think how much invoices are costing you? Your traditional paper invoice may be costing you a lot more than you think, so we’ve broken down the cost per invoice so you can get a better idea.
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How to Step Up Your Game as an Accounting Advisor

The world of an accounting professional is quickly shifting from a numbers game to a game of consultancy and advice. Where a client used to sit back and wait to hear a string of numbers or something they couldn’t possibly understand, the client is no looking to be included in the process and to learn something. Clients want to know what those number mean and what the best option is based off of those numbers. This is why an accounting professional needs to learn how to change their ways and become an advisor, otherwise you’ll be left behind.
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