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Get Ready Early - Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) 2022

It’s that time of year again: time to think about your Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) return. Employers must lodge an FBT return if they’ve provided fringe benefits to any employees or associates during the FBT year. With the FBT year ending 31 March 2022, you’ll n.....

Business - 4 min read

Any small-to-medium business owner is familiar with the challenges that come with cash flow management. While managing the natural ebbs and flows in business, there are simple measures you can take to minimise debtor days.

Below we outline some effective payment processes to simplify the task for your customers. These have one end-goal in mind: manage cash flow seamlessly to put smiles on the faces of both your clients and employees. 

 

Make Payments Easy For your Clients

Be sure that your invoices are simple, direct, and include all the relevant information the client needs.

Don’t be afraid to state the obvious to simplify and personalise the process for your clients. After all, they have other things to do, too. For example, explicitly include the three ways their invoice can be paid, either via cheque, direct transfer or online credit card transaction.

Ensure their invoice number is clear and quick to find. If there are a few steps or logins required to make payment, arm your customer with all necessary information.

When you offer a streamlined payment solution to your clientele, they'll be happy to pay you as soon as possible. Well, at least it won’t seem laborious. 

Simplify the payment process by:

  • Sending your invoices on time.
  • Sending them as soon as the service is completed.
  • Don’t wait until you realise you’re short on cash flow.
  • Including the invoice due date near the invoice amount (bold or highlighted).
  • Offering as many payment options as possible.
  • Marking late or ageing statements with: “Overdue” or “Current” opposed to 30-, 60- and 90-, as this tends to encourage delayed payments.
  • Locating the name and contact of the person who will pay the invoice and send this directly to them, (CC'ing relevant parties) to prevent it getting lost, or forgotten.

 

Follow-Up Late Payments

Following up late payments often makes people squirm. We get it, you don’t want to be a nag, and you don’t want to come across as pushy. Keep in mind that your customers are busy, and may be managing cash flow issues of their own.

Nevertheless, it's imperative for you to run your business, irrespective of what’s happening on their end. So don’t be afraid to directly follow-up on your outstanding payments. By all means, considerate and understanding, but remember that your services deserve to be paid for on time.

The best way to do this is to train or educate your staff so they know how to approach these types of situations. Be sure to communicate and explain to your account managers to be friendly and non-threatening. Being personable is a great asset.

 

Be Clear with Payment Terms

Be sure to state your payment terms and conditions clearly on the invoice. In many situations businesses have even forgotten to include their credit card terms on the invoice.

If you’d like your client to be aware of a specified timeframe for payment, tell them as clearly as possible. It’s straightforward, yet often-overlooked. In these cases, clients assume there’s no urgency - leaving you wringing your hands in anticipation.

 

Involve your Team

To reduce debtor days, make it a family affair. Adopt motivational strategies and incentives for account managers who settle their client accounts on time or in advance. Hold your accountant, CFO or office manager accountable for monitoring cash flow and the debt collection process.

 

Go Paperless

Email your invoices, use apps or cloud-based systems that keep the payment process digital. Going digital is more efficient than snail mail, and can be followed up, tracked and adjusted with speed.

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