Friday, 30 January 2009

Why things are screwed - Part 2

But it's not just the public sector.

At a different client on Wednesday last week I received a letter from a supplier saying that we owed them £74. Wednesday is the day I'm in and the day cheques get written. But of course I'm not going to write out a cheque just because someone's asking for money. I sent the supplier an e-mail explaining that we hadn't received an invoice and please send us one. There was no reply on that day.

This Wednesday I'm back in and there is a reply. Please can I supply our account number? Now, I've been around finance for a long time and if someone sends me an e-mail that identifies the customer and asks for a copy invoice it'll be out the door instantly. I once sent someone from London to Bradford to pick up a million pound cheque and then rush back down and take it to Lloyds Bank head office in the City. It's a long story but business is all about getting paid.

Back to this week. I send a reply giving our account number. A couple of hours later I get another e-mail telling me that they couldn't send me the invoice because I'm not recognised as an "admin user" of their system. I passed this information on to one of the directors who will no doubt get the invoice, perhaps for payment next week.

Incidentally, another invoice was received from these people this Wednesday. It came by post and was opened by the receptionist along with the rest of the mail and put into my in-tray. The receptionist isn't an "admin user" either but that invoice will get paid on time.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

David Farrer
Hi Bill, 
I'm sure they are genuine. We use these people every couple of weeks or so and they are very quick at sending in reminders. There's been no attempt at getting bank details.

31 January 2009, 16:18:24 GMT
– Like – Reply

"I'm not recognised as an "admin user" of their system." 
That's pretty sad really.

31 January 2009, 16:13:17 GMT
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Bill (Scotland)
Are you sure these calls/letters were really from the organisations you thought they were? Could it be chancers trying to get your firm's bank details? 
Probably not, but just wondering ...

30 January 2009, 09:54:14 GMT