Most businesses have clear terms of payment, either negotiated terms as part of a formal purchase agreement or a specific date stamped on a mailed invoice. There are many businesses though that have neither — either the billing solution they use doesn´t support date specific payment information or an oversight has been made in preparing the invoice.
Looking at a number of business and personal invoices nearby, I see a variety of payment dates — Due Upon Receipt, Net15, May 26, and one that as no date. The most powerful is the date specific payment due date — May 26. Why? Because I know today is May 19, I can see a calendar, I instantly know the date is one week away. I have a clear deadline.
You might think Due Upon Receipt results in fast payment, creating urgency the day the invoice is received. It doesn´t. People react to dates and deadlines better than commands to do it now.
Truth be told, Due Upon Receipt and Net15 are better than no date or time expectation at all. And that´s why the first thing we did at Guardian Medical Group was manipulate their billing system to include a specific due date for each invoice mailed to a patient. Within three weeks we saw tremendous improvement to the 31-60 day aging report — accounts receivable fell dramatically. You can read more about it here.
So, when do you pay an invoice that has no due date? How do you prioritize it for payment — at the bottom of your stack of bills? Maybe pay it next month or never?