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Tips Helping Small Businesses Get Paid In Worsening Economy

Thorough invoicing procedures and diligent follow-up are key to getting paid on time, but many small-business owners and entrepreneurs fail to implement basic procedures

�Small business owners frequently deal with chronic late payment and bad debt issues, and this costs their business time and money,� says Ryon Gambill, president and CEO of Marauder Corp. and a collections professional.

�When a company runs into problems, it�s those creditors who can prove that the work was ordered, performed to specification, and invoiced according to agreed procedures who will be paid first.�

Chasing down a debtor who is overdue in settling a past-due invoice can be a frustrating and time-consuming part of running a small or medium-size business. What many business owners do not realize is that timely invoicing and follow-up means fewer collection problems.

To reduce the need for collections measures, Gambill advises business owners to implement the following tips into their invoicing and accounts-receivable procedures:

         Add a bold due date to your invoice.

         Make a courtesy call to verify your customer received your invoice. (This is especially important if this is their first credit transaction with you.)

         Make certain that all customer service issues are addressed immediately, so that they cannot later be used as an excuse for withholding payment.

         Do not accept temporary checks with handwritten account numbers on them, or a check number below 200.

         If the credit transaction is being done in person, verify the customer�s identification. If the credit transaction is being done over the phone, attempt to verify the customer�s information via the telephone directory, a Google search, a Zaba search, or some other online database.

         Have the customer acknowledge acceptance of the terms by signing (and dating) the invoice. This can ensure protection against later fraudulent charge-backs or stop payments.

         Start collection efforts immediately when the account or invoice becomes past due. Even reputable companies and consumers run into financial difficulties so it�s important that you stick to your policies and inform your debtors when they are late on payments.

         Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Don�t give up easily and remember not to take it personally when a customer is unwilling or unable to pay.

To help businesses deal with past-due invoices, Gambill�s company sells Bill Collector In A Box, a comprehensive billing and debt-collection software application designed by collection agency professionals. It centralizes the management of past-due accounts, from initial contact to resolution of the outstanding invoice.

For businesses that already have debt-collection problems, the software pays for itself within months. The program runs on Windows PCs and complements popular accounting and personal-finance software such as Quicken�, QuickBooks�, Microsoft� Money, and Microsoft� Accounting Professional.

Bill Collector In A Box includes features not available in typical accounting and finance software that automate every phase of debt collection:

         Automatic printing of professional-quality legal letters that warn a debtor of impending legal action unless they settle the invoice promptly. (The software also includes numerous debt-collection letters that comply with state and federal laws.)

         One-click reporting to SCAN (Shared Check Authorization Network) � the same central bureau used by major retailers and banks to identify people who write bad checks.

         Credit bureau reporting. Reporting a bad debt to a credit bureau is an effective way to convince debtors that they need to quickly settle their invoices. (With one click, BCB reports a bad debt to the major credit bureaus for up to seven years.)

         Skip Tracing. If a debtor has left town with no forwarding address and has disconnected phones, one click instructs the program to engage a professional investigator who will track down the debtor. (The software includes 25 basic skip traces and one advanced skip trace.)

         Processing of credit card and ACH transactions (through PPI, Inc.) to enable fast settlement of invoices.

         Recording of court information to provide fast access to details of litigation or small-claims actions.

         Comprehensive report generation as well as importing and exporting of CSV files to/from popular accounting software programs.

         Unlimited technical support, including an initial familiarization walk-through of the software.

�We designed Bill Collector In A Box� so that small-business owners can take the right steps to resolve past-due accounts, and turn debts into revenue,� noted Gambill, a founder of the company that developed BCB to help entrepreneurs and business owners collect money they are owed.

Bill Collector In A Box lists for $49.99 and is available at, Fry�s Electronics, J&R Electronics, Micro Center, Office Depot,,, and

For more information visit

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