Cashflow – What to do when clients don’t pay

Cash Flow – First thing first, what is a cash flow statement and cash flow meaning?

The cash flow statement (CFS), is a financial statement that summarizes the movement of cash and cash equivalents (CCE) that come in and go out of a company. The cash flow statement measures how well a company manages its cash position. That is, how well the company generates cash to pay its debts and funds its operating expenses.

As one of the three main financial statements, the CFS complements the balance sheet and the income statement. But in this article, we’ll talk about what to do when clients don’t pay up their debts.

Let’s look at how you can protect your income as a business owner.

This will make you focus on getting your brand on as many people’s lips as possible.

As a serious startup, you’ve put together an efficient administration staff that knows how to manage time. You do this so that operations can run smoothly. And in most circumstances, businesses must spend money in order to make money.

On a serious note

There are some services that needs an initial investment. Maybe you run a building maintenance business and need to paint anything. You’ll have to spend money on the materials you’ll need.

Your order book is looking excellent, and operations are in full swing to meet your deadlines. You’ve kept to your deadline and delivered in good faith to your client. Weeks have passed, and the client has still not paid their due sum. The end of the month is approaching, and you need to pay your expenses. But your bank account is in jeopardy. What do you do?

Following, are the rules and commitments that you need to draw before hand:

Commitment from the client:

Building a thriving business requires more than just a winning product, excellent service, and sound operations; it also necessitates the development of mutually beneficial business relationships that secure long-term contracts. Clients should keep their payment promises, ensuring that they will have access to your products and services in future.

Issuing purchase orders to balance your cash flow.

This document is issued by your customers to you, to confirm that they have placed an order with you. You can ask a client for this to ensure that the law protects you if a consumer fails to pay. They agree and sign a purchase order to set expectations for them. This is to ensure that they will receive exactly what they requested.

This record includes the client’s contact information, order date, description of products or services. It also includes the quantity, price, payment details, shipping address, and delivery date, in addition to an order number.

Establishing payment terms Issuing purchase orders to balance your cash flow.

One of your key responsibilities as a business owner will be to properly price your products or services. Because if you undercharge to make sales, you will stifle your company’s growth because you will just be breaking even. On the other side, overcharging can put off potential customers. You’ll need to decide whether or not to ask for a deposit from customers after you’ve determined your pricing. And if so, under what terms. The type of operation you run has a big impact. It’s more sensible to require upfront payment if you’re selling a commodity with a short delivery date. Like freshly produced pasta.

Offering different payment options in order to keep a positive cash flow.

Various payment options are available. Convenience will set you apart from your competition in today’s ruthless and fast-paced economy. Cash and credit cards are no longer the only methods of payment. You’ll need to keep ahead of the curve by allowing your customers to pay using Electronic Funds Transfer. Giving customers the opportunity to pay in increments is another way that businesses are growing their company potential these days.

Apart from taking the steps outlined above to ensure payment for the goods and services you’ve delivered, it’s in your company’s best interest to conduct a background check on new clients to determine their payment history. You may, for example, contact suppliers who deal with or have worked with the client in the past to see if they are financially capable of covering their company expenses.

When clients don’t pay, your cash flow becomes negative:

Client expectations are always satisfied in an ideal world, and businesses get paid on time, every time. While we’d like to believe that everyone has the best of intentions to pay in time. But even if they do, they may be facing unanticipated cashflow challenges. And this could prevent them from meeting their payback obligations.

These are some of the choices to explore if a client has made a commitment by making a deposit but has not followed through on paying their account after you’ve delivered the items or supplied the service:

Charge interest.

You might want to put in your invoice that if clients don’t pay on time, you’ll be charged interest. Customers are motivated to pay their bills on time because they fear incurring additional fees.

Exchange of product or service.

You could ask for a trade-off if the client is genuinely worried about paying their debt to you and has demonstrated this by continuing to keep you in touch with you or your accounting department. It depends on what kind of business they’re in and whether or not they can add value to yours. For example, if you run a delivery service and haven’t received payment from a customer in months, you could request credit for items equal to the amount they owe you.

Write Off

If you have made several attempts to obtain the funds owing to you and have received no response, you may decide to cut your losses and terminate their payment obligation in order to remove that bad debt from your books.

This choice is contingent on the amount due, which you must use as a metric to determine if it is worthwhile to invest the legal fees required to reclaim the outstanding balances.

As a business owner, you must ensure that your firm can always meet its daily, monthly, and annual expenses in order to stay in business. You’ll need to decide which risks are worth taking and how to manage them in order to accomplish this.

We’ve noticed that taking steps like issuing purchase orders, creating payment terms, and providing multiple payment choices reduces the chances of your goods or service not being paid.

We also looked at the choices accessible to you if a client fails to pay, so you have the best chance of getting compensated for the vital products and services you offer.


Starting a business is easy but it’s hard to run it if your cash flow is a mess. Cash flow is the money that is moving (flowing) in and out of your business in a month. Although it does sometimes seem that cash flow only goes one way—out of the business—it does flow both ways.

  • Cash is coming in from customers or clients who are buying your products or services. If customers don’t pay at the time of purchase, some of your cash flow is coming from collections of accounts receivable.
  • Cash is going out of your business in the form of payments for expenses, like rent or a mortgage, in monthly loan payments, and in payments for taxes and other accounts payable.

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