Industry sector: Retail and wholesale

Office goods supplier: 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.

Decide whether you will offer account facilities, and if so who will be eligible.

It is likely that businesses who make purchases from you on a regular basis or who make large orders will expect to be offered account terms. Before allowing a potential customer extended credit you might consider checking their credit rating. This will help you decide if they're likely to pay promptly and whether they're likely to be in a position to pay for the goods they order.

Most of your customers are likely to be business customers, so the majority of your income may well be Cash from debtors.

Payment terms

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.

Checkpoints