8 Tips for Avoiding Late Payments & Cash Flow Issues | Coface

Late payment of invoices is a problem for any business. It creates cash flow problems and the need for additional revenue to make good the bad debt incurred.

Our calculator below how big this impact could be for your business. It makes planning impossible and wastes valuable time and resources. Whether through our Business Information Services, our International Debt Collection services or through our Credit Insurance offering, at Coface we help thousands of companies throughout the world to avoid late payment and bad debts.

What does failure really cost you?

Your margin 10%
Total outstanding invoices 10,000

The extra turnover needed to make up for loss.


With credit insurance from Coface the additional turnover required would be:


Free debtor check

Below is our quick eight-point guide to giving your business the best chance of having invoices paid on time.

1. Research first, credit terms later

With up-to-date financial health checks available on any UK or global company, there’s no need to ever offer credit terms to a company without knowing its current creditworthiness.

  • We monitor 80+ million businesses across 200 territories
  • Data is adjusted by country, sector and current economy
  • You get instant access to crucial insights you won’t find elsewhere

Our Information Services can help you get instant commercial scores, automatic supply chain alerts, and exclusive sector and economic analysis. Our vast information network delivers essential real-time insights, whenever you need them. Making it easier to grow your business, react to critical risks, and steer clear of bad deals.

2. Rely on a contract, not a handshake

Your payment terms need to be enshrined in a contract, as does your continuing ownership of the goods until payment has been received – lessening the temptation to delay payment. RoT, “All Monies Due” Clauses, Lien’s does the business consider these as protection of their assets.

Check whether your T&C’s still protect you to ever changing legislation, does it consider the latest Insolvency Amendments as a result of Coronavirus Pandemic measures made by the government.

3. Keep your paperwork

If you have indisputable proof that goods were received and found acceptable, there are no grounds for late or non-payment.

Keep email trails and Proof of Delivery, especially if at some stage a concern or a dispute was voiced, you will want to use this as evidence once the invoice become overdue.

4. Stick to the credit limits you set

Don’t be swayed by a few on-time payments. You made an informed decision when setting the credit limit, so stick to it until you have new information.

Have you kept up to date with changes in your customer circumstances? Do you have insight in your customers’ latest financials? Minimise risk and check the risk of non-payment. Has your total portfolio of clients changed? Does your Client ledger still carry the same overall credit rating. But also where can you focus your sales with those clients with improved credit lines?

5. Chase bills firmly but politely

Chasing payment can be time-consuming and a frustrating distraction from other important tasks. As a Coface customer, you have access to our highly professional debt collection service.

Coface International Debt Collection specialises in efficient & effective, stress-free debt recovery.
We provide a single point of contact, regardless of the debtor country. Limiting your losses, minimising disruption to your business and providing access to local legal teams.

6. Monitor your customers’ payment behaviour

If anything changes or strikes you and your team as unusual, there may be a problem you need to investigate.

By checking the financial health of either your individual customer or your client base on an ongoing basis, you can reduce the risk of late payments. Your sales team will have additional resource to make the right sales pitch and not waste time on those deals that could become Bad Debts.

Coface it first to save you time, money and effort in the long term.

7. Get expert help to manage risk

We provide the tools for robust business growth, minimise your chances of not getting paid with Coface Check and Collect. No-one could be more of an expert than Coface.

We’re a world leader in credit insurance, active in over 200 territories and with deep knowledge of every industry. We can also offer invaluable advice if you are considering changing a customer’s credit limit, or if you believe there may be an enhanced risk of non-payment.

8. Protect your cash flow with credit insurance

With a tailored Coface credit insurance policy in place, your cash flow is as secure as it can be, and you have the peace of mind of knowing that if a customer does delay or default, you can claim back the cash.

Maximise your chances of getting paid with a professional service that gets to work fast.

Want to know how Coface can help your business know more and grow more?

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