Friday, July 18, 2008

Clients, gotta love them (and educate them, and hold their hands ..)

People are funny. I have a client (one of several) who is not paying their bills. I have been trying to collect for almost 4 1/2 months now. I have submitted each invoice on time, sent out "friendly reminders," made phone calls to their accounts payable and spoken with the business manager.

I have sent numerous emails to the client with each invoice carefully detailed on the statement, and I have attached copies of each invoice to the email. My reminders become a little more stern each time, and it is harder to remain polite. But, not being polite would be unacceptable. I don't find that rudeness makes anyone pay a bill any faster.

Collecting past due amounts is like a game, or a complicated two step. I find for every one step I get to take forward in resolving the amount due, the client takes two very clever, much quicker steps away from me. But, even an old dog can learn new tricks, and I apply their newest tactics against my other clients as they play the game.

Even as I learn the new tricks to try and extract blood from a turnip, I find that the clients continue to increase their skill level at trying to avoid making payment. Some days I feel very triumphant in my endeavors; but on days like today I am reminded that I am but one humble accounting cleric, doing my best to make a positive difference and yet knowing that I can not always do so.

No comments: