Money is a sensitive subject. It becomes exponentially more so when there’s misunderstanding between two parties. Whether you’re a freelancer trying to get paid, or a business that wants to maintain accurate accounting, invoicing discrepancies can be a huge pain. Here are five tips for handling business invoice disputes.
Present the Facts
Nothing is more valuable in determining truth than facts. Presenting factual evidence to support your claims is the best way to make headway in resolving a business invoice dispute. There are a few places where you can go to pull up reliable evidence to support you:
- Save Your Emails: Never delete emails between you and a client or freelancer. These are your best line of defense if they try to say something that you know to be untrue. Showing the opposite party an email that proves your point should, in most cases, be enough to close the issue.
- Organize Your Documents: Being disorganized will come back to haunt you in the event of a business invoice dispute. If you don’t have accurate records, you won’t be able to prove that you did or didn’t make or receive a payment.
Don’t Try to Lie
This should be assumed from the beginning; but it needs to be restated just in case. Don’t lie to cover up your negligence in a business invoice discrepancy. Doing this will only add fuel to the fire if the other party decides to take you or your business to court. Even if you were in the wrong in the beginning, it’s better to risk losing a client or freelancer than it is to put your reputation on the line. Tell the truth the whole way and you will be much better off for it in the end.
Use an Invoicing Service
One of the best ways to handle business invoice disputes is to avoid them altogether. There are online services that will streamline invoicing for you. These typically charge a fee; but the benefit is that you will almost certainly never have to deal with a business invoice disagreement ever again. All outstanding and overdue payments are displayed on a dashboard. There can be no ambiguity with this arrangement.
Listen to the Other Side
Chances are, the other person involved with a business invoice dispute is someone who you value—either as a customer or worker. Obviously, there are going to be people who just want to rip you off. But that doesn’t mean that everyone is like this. Oftentimes people just have communication styles that don’t necessarily work well together—especially if the involved parties are working remotely from different countries. It might take some time, but listening is one of the most effective ways to settle business invoicing disputes.
Unfortunately, it can sometimes take a while to resolve business invoice disputes. The process will be a lot easier for you if you can come to accept this fact. Getting upset and agitated will only bog things down, while making the other side feel the same way. Things will get solved a lot faster if you and the opposite party of a business invoice disagreement can keep a level head. Plus, losing your cool can cost you a lot more than just the money involved in this one dispute. It can send shockwaves throughout your entire professional network. You will also look like a real fool if you get all mad only to realize that you were the guilty party. In that case, you better learn how to apologize.
Due to the nature of business invoice disputes, they can become bitter conflicts if not handled the right way. Take these concept into account if you ever find yourself during a business invoice disagreement.