Billing a client

Chris Jack chris_jack at
Mon Feb 11 12:50:23 GMT 2013

A few other points on this: you might like to agree some standard for agreeing when a piece of work has actually been done.Without this, it could get messy if the other company decides not to pay.

The most common method is probably getting time sheets completed and signed off. Alternatively (and I have never done this personally) - if you have entered into a fixed price contract to deliver something, agreeing ahead of time what the acceptance criteria for the deliverable is. This might imply having a well defined requirements/design document.

Aside: It used to be said of a well-known software consultancy (which I won't name) that they bid low to get the work - knowing the requirements document would always turn out to be inadequate. They would then make their money on the change requests.
 I have only once had to sue someone for non-payment. It was a short 4 week piece of work and there was a plethora of evidence that the work had been done, but the company was short on cash (not my problem). So I lawyered up. There's a procedure that then has to be followed. Don't take this as legal advice but some of the steps I recall were:
 I send a letter to the company requesting payment,
 time passes,
 my lawyer sends a letter to the company requesting payment,
 time passes,
 my lawyer sends a letter threatening to wind up the company,
 time passes,
 we issue winding up orders on the company. The first step of this is it has to be advertised in one of a few specific journals.

It was when we advertised the winding up petition that the company's bank (and I believe this is obligatory but don't quote me) froze their bank account. At this moment, the company suddenly paid attention to my request for payment, paid in full, and paid my solicitor's fee.


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