A rant about how businesses treat invoices (not exactly about non payment)
Allow me to rant for a bit. The organisation I work for provides services and we invoice people for these services. What often happens at this point is that I get a message asking me to fill out a form so that my request for payment matches the accounting system of the person who owes us money. Or I’m asked to change the format of the invoice for the same reason. Now I don’t want to come off sounding like a jerk. I don’t want to sound like someone who says “that’s not my job” and for the want of a few minutes work makes everybody else’s job harder. I’m happy with some give and take to keep things smooth. But let’s say this month I send out one hundred invoices. Note that these invoices have all the information needed, bank details and the like, for payment to be easily made by bank transfer or cheque. Fifty of these come back with requests for “tweaking” in some way or a request to please fill out your details on this form. (You want me to fill out a form with our organisations details on them? Sure I can do that. Oh look I can even copy them from my copy of the invoice I sent you). I’d be doing my organisation a disservice if I were to spend my limited time tweaking every single invoice we send out to conform to each individual’s requirements and duplicating information. It feels like the people making these requests are under the illusion that I should be happy to do the work of their accounts department for them.
I realise that a lot of companies use stalling tactic’s but after years of chasing invoices I’ve started to get a feel for when people are stalling, (they usually start by claiming they didn’t receive it in the first place), and those companies who legitimately think that the internal systems they have set up have any bearing on their legal obligations.
So my question to those who run a business or work in accounts. If you receive an invoice whose job do you feel it is to gather and process the information on it so as to fit your system?