We all know the feeling when clients or plan managers haven’t paid an invoice or a series of invoices. Sometimes the lack of cashflow can leave us feeling anxious, frustrated or upset, especially if they are repeat offenders. This article explains what you can do when an invoice is unpaid and some of the reasons this may happen.
What to do if an invoice hasn’t been paid
As plan managers, we regularly deal with different preferences from clients and providers about how they wish their invoices to be handled, approved and paid. Some clients wish to view and approve each provider’s invoice before they send to us to be paid. In some instances, clients are happy for providers to send their invoices directly to us for processing.
If an invoice hasn’t been paid, you can always contact your plan manager to check on its whereabouts. Often times the invoice may be with the client who hasn’t forwarded to us yet or they may have an issue with it or the invoice doesn’t meet the requirements of a legal tax invoice.
The invoice is awaiting approval from the client
Some participants wish to review and approve every invoice before it is sent to us for payment. While this is completely acceptable, participants should review and send to us as quickly as possible to avoid delays in payment. While sometimes delays are inevitable, it can lead to unnecessary concerns from the providers awaiting funds. If and when this happens, we will always follow up the participants to encourage their approval as soon as possible.
The client has an issue or concern with the invoice
If a participant has a concern with an invoice or they have asked for it be held, we recommend they liaise with their provider directly to chat about their issue or concern with the invoice. An open and honest conversation is encouraged to resolve the concern, avoid the issue from recurring and protect their working relationship.
Common concerns participants may have with an invoice that will delay payment include:
- Services provided don’t match what is listed in the invoice
- Transport fees for participant or provider
- Cancellation costs
- Non-face-to-face time
If a service agreement is in place, it helps both providers and clients when issues arise. The clear guidelines and expectations in this document make it easier to navigate misunderstandings between parties. We are not permitted to pay an invoice the participant has directed not to be paid.
The invoice doesn’t meet requirements
The NDIA and the ATO have minimum compulsory requirements for a tax invoice to be considered legal. An invoice with any errors, a missing ABN, line item, participant name or number and so on will cause delays in processing time until the errors are corrected and a new invoice issued. Read this article and download a template for ease.
What do I do when a participant can’t pay or won’t pay?
Sometimes a participant may be unable to pay an invoice because they don’t have sufficient funding remaining in a particular category. If they are plan managed, we will have a thorough knowledge of their plan funding and understand how it may be used flexibly. In some cases, a client may need to apply for a change of circumstances with the NDIA to address the level of funding.
If a participant won’t pay even with funds available, we encourage the two parties to have a productive conversation. Refer to your service agreement if you have one or work on a solution that works for both parties to ensure prompt payment and avoid future issues for arising.
As always, if you would like to discuss anything from this article or you find yourself in the situation, please contact us on 1300 MYPLAN.