Insider Tips for Getting Clients to Pay on Time

We love staying connected with our community of more than 15,000 legal professionals across Canada who use Do Process software. We get to hear about personal experiences, successes, and the challenges that come with working in the legal industry. While it’s a large and diverse group, some conversations seem to come up again and again. One of the most common issues our customers speak about goes something like this:

“We have some clients that just do not pay their account. We try talking to them over and over about their past due account and topping up their retainer. How can we get clients to realize how important it is to keep their account up to date?”

No matter how uncomfortable it is to play bill collector, it has to be done. Here is some of the best advice we’ve gathered on how others have dealt with the same dilemma:

Go electronic

Customers will often procrastinate putting a payment cheque in the mail after receiving a paper invoice and if the timing is bad, like during a postal strike, they may forget altogether. When you send an email invoice with a link to pay by credit card, people are more likely to pay immediately simply for the convenience.

Be polite

Mom was right, manners do matter! Online invoicing company Freshbooks discovered that adding a simple “please” and “thank you” to requests for payments boosts the likelihood of getting paid by 5%!

Put it in writing

Remind your client right on the invoice what services they’re receiving by keeping their retainer topped up. When you explicitly show them what they stand to lose, they’re more motivated to pay and avoid that situation.



Set a reminder schedule and stick to it

Establish a payment policy that includes when to send out reminders for late payments and stick to it. In addition to phone calls, you can create reminder email templates so later you can just fill in the details and send them out quickly. It’s easy to get caught up in the work you enjoy but don’t let your accounts receivable fall to the wayside. Create a schedule, add reminders to your calendar, and never push them off ‘just until tomorrow’.