Late or delayed payments are a pain for any business. For a care business delivering vital services on very thin margins they can be make or break. Having the tools and processes in place to ensure that accurate invoices can be produced efficiently and in sync with funders’ payment cycles is the foundation of well-managed cash flow.
In theory, public sector bodies such as local authorities are signed up to the Prompt Payment Code. All invoices should be paid within 30 days of receipt and interest should automatically be added to any late payments.
The experience of most care providers seems to be different. Payments are not always on time and the interest rarely gets added. And while the interest might offset any extra debt financing costs it won’t help when you have to pay staff and creditors on time.
Invoice Errors and Disputes
While it can be hard for a small or medium sized care provider to exert pressure on their major funder, there are certainly things you can do to eliminate any potential justification for holding up your payment. Typically this comes down to avoiding errors and disputes. Errors tend to come in when there is manual input needed for completing, checking or performing data entry on time sheets.
The best way to avoid this is to use a fully automated call monitoring system such as the CareFor mobile app. Details of every care visit are logged automatically and are processed by CareFor without anyone needing to intervene other than for a simple validation process.
The details on the invoice will always correspond with the care delivered and will be billed at the agreed rate that you set up in the management software.
The automated process also takes care of potential disputes as there is a full log of all the care visits carried out during the period under the contract. The level of detail that is easily available through CareFor’s reporting function also makes it much easier to deal with financial audits.
There are five pillars that support a sustainable and compliant care business. Three of these are Delivery, Monitoring and Payment. CareFor is designed to make these pain-free. There are more than enough issues to deal with as a care provider. Making sure that you can effortlessly collect accurate service delivery and billing data shouldn’t be one of them.