American Society of Civil Engineers

Pursuing Past-Due Accounts

by Jill Tunick, (Freelance Writer, Arlington, VA)

Civil Engineering—ASCE
, Vol. 70, No. 7, July 2000, pp. 72-73

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Document type: Feature Article
Abstract: Small engineering firms often do not have a full-time staff member dedicated to collecting on past due accounts, yet it is small business that can be most damaged by unpaid bills. Experts say the first step to handling accounts payable is to discuss the company’s payment terms with clients up-front, delineate them in a signed contract, and remind them of the terms with each invoice. Then stay on top of payments; anything that goes beyond the stated deadline should be addressed immediately with the key decision makers at the client’s office. Threats of lawsuits should be used only as a last resort; personal contact with a company’s owner or principal may work much better.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Business management
Client relationships
Financial factors