We’ve all been there when it comes to unpaid invoices – there’s always some reason why it can’t or shouldn’t be paid and then you’re left with the aftermath. Once the charges are added, you could end up being owed a small fortune.

There are certainly some more peculiar reasons to not pay up – from being imprisoned to temporary paralyzation. FundInvoice even reported that one person claimed “The postman must have stolen the stamp from the letter I sent you, that’s why you haven’t received your cheque”.

Although these excuses are less than common, there are some more common excuses seen time and time again; from lost cheques to non-existent disputes.

Below in our latest infographic we explore the top 9 inexcusable excuses for unpaid invoices – as well as some tips on how to avoid/solve them.

unpaid invoices infographic

 

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“I can’t pay until my clients pay”

Making sure invoices are paid on time is essential to running a business. If this is the truth, then you should ask for an immediate partial payment until they can afford the rest.

“The cheque is in the post”

Many businesses will post cheques, knowing that it can take a few days to arrive – then 3-5 days to process at the bank, buying them more time. Insist that all cheques are posted in advance of the deadline.

“I’m not paying, there’s a dispute”

Of course, if there is a dispute, you need to investigate it further. However, in some cases, there may be no dispute at all! Make sure that you’re not missing anything.

“We’ve not received an invoice”

Relying on the post can be hard, especially when you’re waiting for invoices to come through. Many would use this as the perfect excuse not to pay – so make sure important invoices are recorded delivery.

“We returned the invoice to you”

Some people may decide to send the invoice back to you or your company. This is usually because of a small error on the invoice itself. Make sure all invoices are double checked.

“The director/owner has passed away”

Nobody wishes to have to declare the passing of an important member of the team, especially those in charge – but if the business lives on then there is still no excuse not to pay the invoice.

“The company is no longer trading”

Claims like this should not be taken lightly, as lying about the trading status of the company can take up a lot of time and resources (finding out the truth of the matter).

“We have to pay other people first”

Sure, they may have others to pay as well as yourself – however no debt owed is more important than the other. Make yourself heard, remind them of the terms of your agreement and keep them on their toes.

“We’re currently changing banks”

Although it’s not impossible for your client to be switching banks, it does not normally affect their business financially – there should still be funds available to pay the invoice, regardless.

Feature image credit: Ion Chiosea via 123RF