The thought of what our value is as bookkeepers is very clear to me as I write off debt at the end of the year for clients that did not pay. In fact, I often admonish myself for letting any client get behind and not managing the account and writing off hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
However, as I search the social media posts, I begin to see other colleagues having the same issues.
So, I ask you, as you write off debt that will never be received, what is your value? The amount of time you worked for is still the same, but now with lower income.
Your “stated value” for service has diminished. Additionally, the collection process will take up more of your time and add to that devaluing cycle.
What’s more is the overwhelming majority of the accounting professionals I see burned are women, not men.
So, two questions come to mind:
- Do the men not talk about the loss of bad debt?
- Are the women more sympathetic and let their clients wrack up large sums of money before they finally call it quits?
But for all of us, I offer some tips that can help us all to avoid the bad debt and loss of our value:
Minimizing Bad Debt
- Make sure your engagement letter states the consequences for unpaid invoices (i.e., termination of work, collection proceedings).
- Make sure your terms are clearly stated on your invoice (due date).
- Get a credit card for ACH withdrawals for service.