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The best time to escalate an invoice to debt collections services

Spending time running down late payments is an unfortunate, and all too regular, part of running and small or medium business (SME). According to Dun and Bradstreet’s research, the average SME is owed around £63,881 in late payments.

Non-payment of invoices resulted in 35 percent of the 500 companies surveyed experiencing cash flow difficulties, and 58 per cent reported that late payments put their business at risk of failure.

We’ve spoken before about the importance of debt collection software for digital debt collection and how and when to escalate credit control chasing.

In today’s article, we’ll be talking about the most challenging step in that escalation process, contracting a debt collection service to chase unpaid invoices.

Acting at the right time for the best results

While it might seem like escalating an unpaid invoice to a debt collector is a worst-case scenario, it’s more productive to think of it as just another tool in your toolbelt.

As with all tools, you need to know how, and when to best use them. Escalating to a debt recovery service too early can put a strain on the relationship you have built with your customer. But, using the tool correctly, and escalating the invoice at the right time is in many cases the difference between getting the invoice paid, and writing it off.

To help you understand when the best time to engage debt recovery services is, we’ve put together the below timeline for effective debt recovery.

- 1–3 days after invoicing

- 7 days after invoicing

- 21 days after invoicing

- More than 30 days after invoicing


Chaser Collections

Chaser Collections is a people-first cash collections service for small and medium businesses that speeds up debt recovery and protects your customer relationships. Using data and insights from our award-winning credit control software, we:

  • Personalise messages specific to the customer;
  • Optimise when to reach out;
  • Choose the right channel; and
  • Offer the best payment arrangements that works for everyone
  • Act as a mediator, enabling you to maintain positive relationships with your customers

Learn about Chaser Collections here:




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Sonia Dorais

Sonia Dorais

CEO & Automation Economy Expert. Former CMO & Marketer at heart leveraging 20 years in scaling B2B technology & SaaS businesses.