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Kaplan ITA's Monthly Inspection Tips - Free Electronic Newsletter

October, 2002
Increasing Cash Flow
Issue #6

Dear Inspector,

This month we will discuss increasing cash flow. Sure, I know most of us get paid at the time of the inspection. This is certainly the preferred method. There are times, though, when the client is delayed, forgets the checkbook, can't be at the site, etc.

Here are some suggestions for increasing the likelihood of quick payment:

Establish a merchant account with a bank and accept credit cards. Problem here is the bank fee. Expect to pay 1 to 3 percent of the sale in bank fees, plus sometimes a monthly maintenance fee. Many clients will find the credit card feature convenient. Raise your fees to cover the extra expense.

Client forgets the checkbook and you don't take credit cards. One option is to follow the client to a cash machine. I find this to be somewhat untrusting and time consuming. A close second is to retain the report until payment is received. Better (but not as much as sure payment method) is to carry self addressed stamped envelopes. I would give one to him or her and ask him or her to place a check in the mail that evening. If I did not receive payment within a week (extremely rare) I would call them and ask "did you forget." I have also found

including a sase in with invoices for inspections or consulting work where I agreed to bill would reduce wait time significantly. People just do not like to fill out and stamp envelopes.

In fact, we seem to expect it since most of our bills come with return envelopes.

Mike Casey
Kaplan Professional Schools
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