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Sound Debt Recovery from a Record Label

On a daily basis, Advocate recovers payment from a wide variety of companies. From an evasive sole local trader to an international conglomerate doing business in the UK. Whether trading from a spare room or lavish tower at the heart of a bustling central business district, they are still a debtor. In this case, our debtor is a subsidiary of one of the big three global recording companies. Their artists are a staple of the UK, Global and Billboard Hot 100 music charts. With the album mixed and ready, the next step is to produce photos for promotion and the lynchpin music video. Our client is also based in London with a range of modern, contemporary and adaptable studios. The studios and staff are well versed in accommodating big corporate names, high maintenance artists, or a Best Boy in urgent need of a Double Macchiato enunciated in an authentic way.

After 2 days in the studio, the debtor was invoiced for £1.8K of space hire, equipment use, and subsistence. In line with strict instructions from the debtor, 2 purchase orders were added to the invoice. As is normal for the client payment terms of 7 days were applied. Shorter payment terms are reserved for semi-professional artists. Our client politely chased on numerous occasions and was largely ignored. As an existing client of Advocate, both sides speak regularly so this debt was first introduced when discussing another live case. As Advocate are aware the payment cogs of multi-million-pound companies can turn painfully slowly for relatively small suppliers. When a conglomerate chooses to trade with a local firm, the latter can easily see their perceived value diminished in the relationship. Shortly after the invoice was raised, bookings hit an all-time high due to pent up demand as artists prepared to build their brand ready for peak season releases. Unfortunately, our client had found little time to escalate the £1.8K. With the debt now 190 days overdue they rightly asserted their exceptional studios had allowed the debtor to produce a refined and no doubt financially bountiful product. Yet it appeared this value was not appreciated with payment.

Harmonic Acceleration

On instruction, Advocate Debt Recovery made repeated contact with the debtor. To release payment, several different sections of the accounts payable & production departments had to be engaged. On day 5 and with multiple stakeholders now on side, the time had come and payment of the £1.8K was made direct to the client. Our client could now focus solely on their busy schedule instead of having the debt lingering on the Credit Manager’s weekly report.

Incidentally, payment of the statutory late payment charges arrived on day 6. Most debtors have no issue setting up a payment (ad-hoc or not) to Advocate when clearing the principle sum and statutory charges. Some request a painstaking process of account set up taking months (unnecessary from the Court’s perspective) in which case obtaining Judgment against the debtor is a much quicker route to payment. On the same day, our client received payment, the debtor communicated to Advocate a process requiring a Supplier Application Form. In theory, it should yield payment in 48 hours. In practice, Advocate became a supplier, had a PO raised and received payment in just 24 hours. This is a stark contrast to the 195 days it took to pay our client’s overdue invoice. Advocate are now the client’s first call should payment ever be late in future. Coincidentally since the £1.8K was paid, the debtor has been back in our client’s studio with invoices being paid on time.

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