An invoice is proof that a contract was concluded, in writing or verbally. The more information contained in the invoice, the better. The following is information that one can find in an invoice:
- the title, for example: “Boutique’s invoice”;
- the billing date;
- the business’ contact information;
- the invoice’s sequential number;
- the client’s full contact information, including the exact name of the business, the address, the telephone number, etc. (this can be used as proof that you completed a transaction with this person);
- for services paid for with an hourly rate, the number of hours;
- the disbursements (if applicable);
- the tax numbers, for example, Quebec’s GST and QST;
- the subtotal before tax and the total price including all of the expenses;
- the payment terms;
- for construction work in Quebec, the RBQ licence number.
5 steps to take in order to get what you’re owed
- Send a reminder letter: sometimes, there is no intention not to pay. Maybe the debtor simply lost the invoice or didn’t have the time to pay it. In such a case, you should start by sending a reminder letter.
- Draft a demand letter: if you don’t get paid, the second step is to send a demand letter.
- Negotiate the invoices: often, the threat of commencing legal procedures (for instance, going to court) will be sufficient to motivate the debtor to pay the owed amount. If you consider that a two to three day civil trial costs on average more than $20 000*, it is often preferable to settle amicably, out of court.
- Filing a legal action at court: even if you’re not certain about going forward with a lawsuit, simply submitting a claim can be sufficient to encourage the debtor to pay you.
- Keep data, or statistics, regarding your collection: after many attempts, you will be able to identify best practices, what works and what isn’t so efficient. You will then be capable to shorten your procedures to concentrate on what is effective.
BidSettle’s practical tips regarding your debt collection
- You don’t need to send a reminder letter by registered mail: an email will suffice.
- However, we do recommend that you send your demand letter by registered mail. We also recommend that you use BidSettle’s tool to guide you through the drafting process, as this type of tool is on average ten times cheaper than a lawyer's fee.
- At the moment, a two to three day civil trial costs on average more than $20 000. Moreover, you are never guaranteed a win. Being represented by a lawyer could cost you a bundle. We suggest you first use all the available tools in order to avoid these costs.
- Even if you have doubts about the other party’s intentions, maintaining an open communication channel at all times (24/7) increases your chances to settle.
- BidSettle offers a turnkey service. Depending on the information that you submit online, BidSettle automatically generates a legal action (or judicial claim) and takes care of all of the mailings, correspondence, and other notifications. This allows you to have a more credible demand and it is constructed according to the industry’s best practices.
- In order to minimise your overdue accounts or (accounts receivable), we suggest that you develop clear policies and make your clients sign simple contracts: they don’t need to be excessively complicated! As well as constituting evidence, you will be able to provide them with an extra copy and remind them of their obligations.
Do you have many accounts receivable (or overdue accounts)? BidSettle Business Solutions can help you automate the collection process. BidSettle can optimize the offer and counter-offers, automate the sending of demand letters and final notices, as well as maximize the settlements before you transfer your debts to collections agencies. BidSettle only gets paid if it succeeds to make you save money. BidSettle’s policy is to build relationships where each party finds a beneficial outcome.