Advocate has successfully recovered payment of a £5.6K debt that was 70 days overdue at the time of instruction. The debt related to a year’s worth of software access supplied for a bespoke project. Both client and debtor are titans in their respective industries, turning over upwards of a billion pounds per year and making strong profits in the process. Even the most flourishing of businesses have times when debtors don’t pay, and creditors get overlooked.
IT infrastructure provides the neural network to most businesses. Only when it goes wrong do employees realise how much they are dependent on it. Our client provides much more than networks and servers. Their software runs building environments, manufacturing plants, infrastructure and even farms. In this particular case, our client had provided software to the engineering department of an aerospace and defence company; used to develop and improve energy output.
According to the contract, the invoice would become due 6-months into the 12-month agreement to ensure it met the debtor’s needs. Our client received positive feedback from point of installation and had no reason to think payment would be delayed. Letters were sent, and phone calls were made chasing the debt, but these were ignored or given a vague response. Frustrated that the value our client was adding to the debtor’s business was not being appreciated through payment, Advocate were instructed.
Finding the Key
With any large organisation running several companies in multiple countries utilising an outsourced accounts payable department, persistence is the key to finding the right contact who can make payment. Finding that key was exactly what Advocate were able to achieve. With a little extra motivation courtesy of a Final Demand, we were able to identify the reason for non-payment and secure a payment date. Although the invoice stated a purchase order number, it became clear the engineering department had supplied an incorrect document reference. The PO typo explained why the payment hadn’t been automatically processed but not why the debtor had been unresponsive to our client’s chasers. As a by-product of our action, we were able to obtain escalation contact information for our client to use should the debtor struggle to action payment in future. This case wasn’t just about recovering a debt, it was also about future-proofing the client and debtor’s trading relationship.