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Invoice and Payment issues


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I was doing invoices at the end of each week BUT

1. I was spending a whole chunk of my precious weekend working with books (not my strong point!)

2. Some of my parents (despite my procedures and contracts outlining the facts) were treating my setting as a babysitting - no show = no payment.

 

I then gave them 2 months notice and changed to Invoicing once a month in advance.

 

Some parents are still paying weekly but on time. Thats fine, but I only receipt once a month.

Some parents are now 2 months in arrears.

Some parents are not paying in advance. Still paying once a month at the end of each month.

 

If I have changed my payment policy and parents have all signed acceptance on the policy documet, does this take the place of a new contract?

At which stage should I add a % for late payment?

How long should I wait before resending another invoice?

 

What other ideas out there?

Does anyone else have similar problems?

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Personally, if you have explained no pay, no place then I would enforce.

Harsh, but sometimes it's the only way to get your point across (and stops your outgoings)

A % payment is fine if they are paying, but any % of nothing is still nothing

 

We've had to do this several times and eventually you get past 'I'm losing a customer' because if that customer isn't paying, what you are losing is an expense. You also get over the embarrassment - it is they who put you in this position

 

I also say that tax credits are informed and a reapplication/recalculation may be necessary (this is unfortunately where tax credits let you down as they don't want to know grrrr!)

 

Unfortunately some people are just cheeky and rely on you being embarrassed! (And it spoils it for those who genuinely struggle)

 

Another (softer) option is to insist they pay for current usage (up front) AND pay something toward the outstanding (an agreed minimum, more if they are flush that week)

 

Fall back on the phrase 'I have a responsibility to my business, the other families and to you, not to let the debt accrue further'

 

Good luck...horrible position to be in - worse when they swan in with armfuls of shopping/having booked a holiday!!

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Afterthought for those paying but at the end: ask for an overpayment each week/month until it gets them in the right position...some genuinely cant afford the lump sum but if they default its a big debt for you

 

This helps you gauge if they are genuinely interested in doing the right thing as they'll pay something regularly

 

Most of the time parents are relieved it's getting sorted - money problems are a massive stress factor, as you know ;-)

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You need to get tough. Our fee's policy states that if after two weeks of issuing the invoice we haven't received payment, we will suspend the Childs place. Its not nice to do but it works, I have to make sure i can pay the rent and the staff wages, you don't fill your trolley in the supermarket and tell them you'll pay next week! The families in real financial difficulty are offered terms but after being ripped off in the past we make sure we keep on top of things now :)

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I offer parents the option to pay weekly, fortnightly, 4 weekly, monthly, half termly etc. but it is always in advance on the first session that their child attends that week/fortnight/month etc.

 

No payment on day 1 and they get a personal nag. I make it crystal clear to all parents that we don't have an arrears system and that their child's place is subject to fees being paid on time.

 

Sound tough but as gingerbread says a non-paying customer is an expense and I'm sure that if you were to try some of the excuses for non-payment of fees on HMRC, the supermarket and others they just wouldn't wash.

 

Now all I have to do is whip my local authority into shape and get them to pay on time xD :lol:

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I have 4 unpaid bills at the moment but because the wraparound is run through school I use their accounting person and she has raised debtors invoices to 2 of the people concerned.

 

The third is a massive bill and another department in the county council (childrens services) owe it us and we cannot get a debtors invoice raised on that one!!!!!!!

 

The fourth comes way under the £75 point and is deemed too minor to chase!!!

 

I am now MUCH stricter about being no more than a week behind with payments.

I have suspended attendance at afterschool club and attendance of private sessions previously when bills not paid.

 

It is a horrible situation to be be in.

 

Good luck x

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Hi KidZoneFrome

 

I appreciate everything everyone has said on here and admit that I am such a pushover for a sob story but I know I need to toughen up somewhat.

 

Would anyone be willing to share their fees notice/policy with me so I can gauge how much I need to "harden up"

 

Thank you all in anticipation :1b

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