Industry sector: Leisure

Caravan site: Cash from debtors

'Cash from debtors' means any income you receive from account customers that you send an invoice to, usually at the end of the month. After they have been sent an invoice but before they pay, they are your debtors. When they pay you, the payment is referred to as Cash from debtors.

Pitch fees - touring holidaymakers

Because pitch fees and holiday rental charges are commonly paid in advance, on the day of check-in or when checking out, you may not have any account customers. However it is possible that you will be prepared to offer account facilities in certain circumstances, for example to large groups - like the Scouts - who regularly book pitches.

Pitch fees - static holiday caravan owners and park home residents

Holiday caravan owners and park home residents pay a pitch fee in weekly, monthly or annual instalments. Depending on how you decide to operate, you may allow them a certain amount of time in which to pay you after you have invoiced them. If you have a clubhouse, you might hire this out to businesses such as wedding organisers and party planners to whom you may decide to offer account terms.

Payment terms

It's a good idea to agree payment terms with your account customers so that there is no confusion as to when invoices should be settled. You might, for example, require all accounts to be settled every month, perhaps by a particular day of the month. Alternatively, you might state on your invoice that payment must be made within, say, 28 days of the invoice date.

Make an estimate of the amount of income you are likely to receive from account customers each month, including VAT. Enter the amount in your cash flow in the month in which the money is due to be received.

Consider what steps you will take to recover any overdue amounts and whether interest will be charged on these.

Your business stationery

Have some invoices printed for your account customers. A good printer will be able to advise you on layout, style and even content. If you are registered for VAT you must include your VAT registration number on your invoices.