Collecting debts

    1. Set up a system to track outstanding invoices. Start chasing as soon as an invoice becomes due for payment. If no contractual payment period has been agreed, invoices must be paid within 30 days.
    2. Draw up a timetable, setting out what emails, letters, phone calls or other action you will take at each stage of chasing a debt.
    3. Investigate costs and decide whether to involve external help at any stage. Ensure that any debt collection agency you use is reputable.
    4. Keep a file for recording the date of each action, which individual you contacted, and the contents of any telephone conversations.
    5. Identify the correct contact, and issue a polite reminder letter as a simple first step.
    6. Follow up with professional but friendly telephone calls.
    7. Consider alternatives such as email reminders, or visiting the debtor in person.
    8. Discuss and tackle any problems which are preventing payment.

Click to read more of the "How to collect Debts" checklist and the cardinal rules.

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