Posted - 24/04/12 | 0 Comments

How much are you owed?

Getting paid on time is a must for any business – especially in a recession.

Freelancers and small firms can feel particularly vulnerable when this doesn’t happen.

Unfortunately, freelancers working in the media industry have seen debts owed to them increase by 25% on the year before. Amounts ranged from £1,000 to £15,000 per person, according to reports. And there are fears that the debts will get bigger in 2012.

Of course, not being paid on time means you’re more likely to rack up debts of your own.

Small business owners and the self-employed have much higher debts than most people, it’s been claimed this month. According to research published in The Independent, the average personal debt of a small business owner or self-employed person stands at £30,514.

So what can be done to help to ease the cashflow? Employ a debt collector?

One web site has just come up with a novel idea – a kind of ‘compare the debt collector’ type service. Basically, allows businesses to get a quick quote and compare fees. Clever.

Obviously, it’s a shame if things go that far. And Clear does what it can to help you to get paid quickly – without having to take drastic steps and pay fees of any sort:

  • Firstly, getting the invoice sent immediately always helps with getting paid faster. With Clear, creating and dispatching an email takes seconds. A few clicks and it’s on its way.
  • Secondly, your payment terms (eg. 30 days) will be marked clearly on your online invoice. And Clear can chase your payment with automatic, polite-but-firm email reminders if any payment is late. You can be persistent without the stress of having to chase yourself.
  • Next, all your payment preference details are included with every Clear invoice you send. So there’s no excuse that customers don’t have your bank details. They are on your invoice.
  • And finally, the dispute resolution system within Clear lets you attach personal notes to invoices – and immediately blow apart any spurious invoice queries that are nothing short of ‘delaying tactics’.

Ultimately, a bad customer is a bad customer. But with Clear’s tools, it’s harder for them to hide – and easier for you to get paid.


Posted - 17/04/12 | 0 Comments

DIY-ers see red over white

What did you get up to over Easter? DIY and decorating?

Slapping on a few layers of paint is normally a simple enough job. But, just recently, it’s led to some very unexpected results and pricey bills.

Customers using one popular brand discovered that their ‘brilliant white’ paint faded to yellow within weeks. And now the company has been forced to pay out thousands of pounds in compensation to stirred-up customers, according to media reports.

“It was if we had chosen a different colour,” said one customer. Another is claiming it’ll cost him over £2,000 to re-paint doors in his home and a flat he rents.

Apparently, the problem is down to EU regulations which insist that solvent levels in the oil-based paint are reduced. But the paint company reckons only a small minority of customers were affected and problems have now been resolved, according to reports.


Posted - 05/04/12 | 0 Comments

It’s coming … to a doormat near you

It’s nearly Easter, which means the arrival of something brown and expensive.

Easter eggs, you might wonder? Well, yes … hopefully. But we were thinking more about that brown envelope from HMRC.

Out with one tax year and in with another, come tomorrow, April 6. And the invitation soon arrives to submit your tax return.

For small businesses and freelancers, there’s that tax bill to budget for. But there’s also likely to be an accountancy bill, if you get professional help.

The Clear team cannot do much about the first bill. But we can help you with the second one.

You see, Clear includes a report-building feature that could save hours of time for your accountant (and could reduce their bills) when they calculate your business income.

In a few clicks, you can use Clear to generate reports that show:

  • Paid invoices: Lists all invoices paid over a given period of time by one, some or all customers.
  • VAT summary: If you’re VAT registered, then this lists and totals all VAT included on invoices over a given period of time.

Just download these reports in a few moments and pass them to your accountant.

But Clear doesn’t stop there. A couple of other reports are ideal if you want to improve your cashflow – or start putting funds aside for the inevitable tax bill:

  • Unpaid invoices: This lists all invoices unpaid summarised by one, some or all customers – so you know who to chase soonest.
  • Aged debtors: This lists all unpaid invoices by age.

Note: Don’t forget, you can always you choose an option within Clear to send polite, automatic reminders, whenever your customers are late with payments.

With all these records at your fingertips, you can get a clearer picture of your finances in an instant. There’s no looking for old files and adding up. Clear remembers everything and crunches the numbers for you.

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