Chasing unpaid bills can be very time consuming for any company and can cost hours of time spent writing, emailing and phoning customers. This can put a strain on the rapport that has been built over years of trade. In some cases business owners just don’t have the time or the man power to chase outstanding payments, although this can have a knock on effect on their cash flow – creating a vicious circle.
Xero can help
Xero currently offers invoice reminders to help chase any amounts owing to you. You can create an email to be sent to customers once they have reached a certain number (which you decide) of days overdue. Once the first email has been sent you can set up a further email for any amounts that continue to remain unpaid at predetermined later dates. In these emails you are able to attach a copy of the invoices in pdf form, making sure the customer is less likely to deny the debt.
Xero also allows you to set a minimum amount before the emails are sent, meaning you won’t be chasing any customer for immaterial amounts. This is a simple but very effective way of chasing customers. With a small amount of set up time it will run in the background and can only help you get paid quicker. This is already included in your subscription and could be a further advantage to Xero for those not currently using!
Automated debt collection can be taken to a higher level. Winner of the Xero app partner of the year 2016, Chaser is an elite credit control software which provides the tools and insights to effectively automate chasing your customers to pay their invoices. Some of the features offered by Chaser are:
- Templates: effective email templates are fully customisable allowing you to send an email which suits your style of business and relationship with your customers
- Schedules: Set your emails at different points before and after an invoice due date.
- Personalisation: You can make Chaser emails look like your typical emails, by using your usual personal signature and by the sent email address being your email address. There is no reason for the client to believe that you did not send these emails yourself.
- Insights: Chaser will analyse data from Xero and determine who your best and worst customers are. Additionally you can also view a log of all sent emails and any replies received.
- Thank you: Once Payment is received, you can automatically send thanks for paying messages to build relational goodwill with your customers and encourage on time payment in the future.
Chaser is easily able to be integrated with Xero. This can allow you to go about your normal business knowing that the information is being provided to Chaser and dealt with accordingly. Using Chaser will give you even more control and statistics over debtor chasing than Xero already provides, offering a more in depth and complete package.
Cost varies depending on amount of use needed. The basic package starts at around £25 per month and includes:
- Up to 50 invoices chased per month
- 2 Users
- 1 Sender
- 8 Templates
- 1 schedule
There can be huge benefit to using Chaser for some medium-large business owners who may be struggling to chase payments that are overdue. However for business owners, who don’t want the extra expense or only have a few unpaid invoices per month, Xero does provide a very good system already and I would urge people that are not currently using it to try it as it is free and included in your Xero package.
Please contact your local Whiting & Partner office for any guidance on how to set this up or to ask any questions you may have on this topic.