How to Get Your Outstanding Invoices Paid

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Daniel Brown
Daniel Brown

Starting the year off with outstanding invoices is a hassle for you, your accounting team, and your new year’s resolution to get paid on time.  What if we told you there was an easier way to automate your notices so you never have to worry about missing a deadline or sending payment demands again? 

At Levelset, we help construction companies get paid on time using our suite of tools and network of construction attorneys. Hear from our team of experts as they walk through tools that you can implement to automatically send reminders or notices of intent to lien or if needed, contact an attorney who specializes in your state to write a payment demand letter. 

Sign up for this webinar where you’ll learn:

  • How to implement new tools so invoices are never overdue 
  • How growing construction companies have successfully set up automation tools…and how you can too! 
  • A detailed breakdown of the different ways that you can escalate overdue invoices with Legal Guard

 

Speaker 1 (00:04):
All right now, I know we have a mix of current level set customers on this webinar, as well as some people who may have just heard the name level set for the first time. And last few days we’ll cover the basis of who we are and what we do, or for those of you who are new. But before moving forward, I just wanna see that we’re recording the us live session and you’ll receive a link to the recording in your email tomorrow. Feel free to share the recording with your team, your boss, or just if you wanna watch it again. Also you may have questions during the presentation, go ahead and enter them in the chat box and we’ll answer those questions throughout the webinar. We’ll also block off a few minutes at the end for any additional question that you may have.

Speaker 1 (00:46):
So, first off, who am I? My name is Dan brown. I am an account manager here at level set. That means I deal with our existing customers and I help align their service with the goals that they have as a business. So today we’re gonna talk up about utilizing processes within level set as part of a comprehensive collection effort that ties directly into lean rights management or LM, and leverages the threat of lean enforcement to help exploit payment and reduce your days outstanding. So there are three major components to an effective collections oriented LM process. First off is making sure your jobs are noticed. The, even if you’re not legally obligated to we’ll talk more on this later, automating the process and having an endgame of escalation and follow through. But first as promised a bit about level set.

Speaker 1 (01:40):
So for those of you who are new and still learning who we are quick summary is that level set exists to help contract and suppliers get paid, protect their lean rights and avoid potential payment problems in order to grow and thrive in construction industry. We know the industry presents all sorts of challenges when it comes to getting paid. So to solve those challenges, we provide free resources via website, like payment profiles, educational, lean log lock, guides, our blog. And today we’ll be focusing on tools and processes around getting invoices paid and reducing your days outstanding. So let’s start watching into that.

Speaker 1 (02:12):
So the first step for those of you who are level set users is getting your data in a level set because we can’t help jobs. We don’t know about the really the, the making a priority to get that information of the system as part process is the simplest way to start a collections oriented LM processes. And the simplest way to do this is with integration import some way that really gets your job data into your levels as surface. There’s a few different approaches we offer. One is a direct integration with quick books or Procore. That’s we import from that software into level set. The next is a spreadsheet customization. So whatever you have for your bookkeeping and job data can spit out a spreadsheet. We can set that up where all that data is sent into level set to set up your jobs and documentation, and then good old fashioned email.

Speaker 1 (03:03):
We can actually just take job sheet data, even your contracts. We’ve worked with spreadsheets of here’s all my outstanding AR here is my plans and specifications for the job put into the, into the system for you. So any of these can also track your accounts receivables, which will cover a bit on why that might be helpful later on. So this is the first step. Once we have a process in place to get your data in levels on a regular basis, the tallest hurdle has been cleared in terms of maximizing your returns of the service, because beyond making it similar to make sure you’re filing the necessary dot documents within the necessary timeframes to protect your projects. It also allows you to check your legal deadlines on your projects, whether or not you choose to send an preliminary notice on them, as well as all your current outstanding AR on job by job basis, to help you confront payment problems before they arise.

Speaker 1 (03:55):
All of our internal data shows that our customers that take advantage of our integrations imports and have a much higher success rate, reducing the day’s outstanding. And here’s why, because level set is more than just a system of manager lean rights. When your AR is linked level set through one of those integrations or imports, we can automate pay reminders as a series of steps that can escalate from friendly invoice reminder to an aggressive payment demand letter that threatens lean. There’s something about getting minors that go from really demanding that tend to help people find their checkbooks. Especially those reminders are linked directly to lean rights. So some form of integration or import we mentioned on previous slides necessary for these, but with that also opens with the possibility of automating lean waiver handling and invoicing, things that we know can be very time consuming. Actually, if you need to obtain downstream lean waivers to get paid level set, let’s collect and organize those in one place. So you’re never waiting on a check just because someone downstream from you hasn’t sent up a waiver yet.

Speaker 1 (04:57):
So your customer’s a big old jerk. You send in all your preliminary documents, para miners and demands, and monthly notices. You still have outstanding invoices. Now what there’s a few documents you can send either manually or automatically within level set to further escalate. A notice of intent to lean is a formal notice that you send to your customer and the project stakeholders about your intention to lean fi a project for nonpayment. It functions as a final demand for payment sort of a, sort of a shot across a bow that hopefully lets people know you’re serious. Finally file the lie. We aren’t necessarily in the business of selling leans, but if all us feels you do need to follow through this process for it to be effective and lean alone, isn’t the final step. There is one other sort of final final document call notice of intent to foreclose. The notice of intent to foreclose essentially says, okay, we’re gonna call a lawyer now to make good on our lean. So let’s say you did all those and you’re still not getting paid. What do we do now?

Speaker 1 (06:05):
Level set offers an add-on service called legal guard, legal guard hooks you up with a construction attorney in your state that we vetted who can advise on a lie you file or one in which you’re involved say a subcontractor of yours has filed a lien. They can write letters on that nice lawyerly letterhead with a really nice cotton content that only lawyers use. They can offer additional services as well, such as five 30 minute consultations a month, a monthly contract review, an annual bonding and assurance review, and one additional document review per year. No, sorry, per month. Right now it’s offered in 22 states. Plus the district of Columbia. It is not all inclusive. However, if you have to file a lie in court, your attorney will ask you for a retainer, but you get 10% off their usual rate going into with everything in order and a lawyer who knows you, your business and your case, if it should come to a court battle is really what this is all about. We created this service both as a, beyond the lean evolution to level set, but also to connect contractors with sound legal advice for their overall business health.

Speaker 1 (07:24):
So the goal isn’t really to replace inhouse collections efforts or whatever current collections relationships you may have, but to support them and to ensure all the necessary documentation is in order. L says nothing. If not tool can help you make sure you’re doing everything, you can protect your projects and equip you to win. Should you have to go to file and fight for what you’re we’re not here to file leads for you necessarily. We would rather not do hopefully everything else you do ahead of time. As far as those payment reminders sending in those escalation documents will work to get you paid. But we find that it does work best as part of an integrated strategy. Thanks thins beyond just filing the legally requiring documentation to using these additional documents to on a consistent basis to escalate as you are, as your invoices remain unpaid and everything we covered days and tend to be thought of as continual process from when you first win a job through protecting your rights on the project and to keep escalation options open for you. Should you need them?

Speaker 1 (08:36):
So we’re gonna talk about some some success, some success stories on some of the the things we’ve covered today. So for integrations and imports, Texas first rentals is a customer of ours. They use a custom spread to import to get their data into level set. Everything is bigger in Texas, including the complexity of the lie loss. So missing a monthly deadline can be fatal to project lie rights for the unpaid amount. Texas first use the use their import to track deadlines, automat processes. And they’ve sent something like 6,000 Texas monthly notices protecting up to 78 million and they do all this with a small team using level set. And I harp on deadlines a lot because the absolute worst part of my job is telling customer that they’re outta luck because they miss a deadline to file something. But integrations imports also open up the possibility besides just tracking your deadlines on your projects of using some level sets, other functionalities like job radar level set, payer waiver control things. We unfortunately have time to cover today, but stay tuned for future webinars to talk about more of those.

Speaker 1 (09:46):
So for automatic payment minors and escalation documents, dry patrol, essential Ohio, which is restoration company has reduced DSO from 90 to 17 days with an automated process for three documents, they pay on the project, send a notice of intent when the projects overdue and then send in the lie earlier, we talked about why you should prelim every project, even aren’t legally obligated too. And this is a good example of why that’s the case. Preliminary notices, put everyone on the same page, literally to provide transparency on who’s providing work and what they expect to get paid. It’s especially helpful for con how for contract for work covered by a property insurer and avoid those situations where the insurer pays the homeowner, but the homeowner doesn’t pay you. Putting information level set also helps you keep on tax of your deadlines to lean and foreclosure. Should you need to, if you aren’t required to send in a pre you lean our prelim notice and it begins the process for some of these automated functions to keep you rolling with consistent collections pressure in a serious professional and consistent manner.

Speaker 1 (10:56):
And just to touch again on our legal guard service, they say a good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows the judge. I to say that a really lawyer also needs to know you. As an example, Larry Corona construction had tough case in California needed help. They partner with us for the Leo guard service, and they were extremely happy with representation they received while their case works his way through court and wet webinar would be complete if we didn’t tutor our own horn a little bit, check island, trust, pilot, we very much Val you and appreciate customer feedback and build our service around the needs of the industry. And anytime you talk to something from level set, let them know what you think. We’re always, we’re always looking for new ideas and new ways to better support you.

Speaker 1 (11:50):
Okay. So we’ve opened up a bit for a few questions. First one we have is one are the next steps I can take after I sent all the appropriate documents and still have not gotten paid. So we touched a bit on some of those additional escalation documents that you can send in a nose of intent to foreclose. And then at that point it does become a legal battle in order to foreclose on a lie. That deadline really depends on what state you’re in. Some, it says short as 90 days, someone as long as a couple of years before you have to file suit. But we talked about a legal guard service with that you can be matched up with an attorney who can advise you on that process and inform you what your best next steps will be.

Speaker 1 (12:39):
And let’s see, we also have another question. I don’t wanna integrate my software with you. What are my options completely understandable? We know a lot of people are, are worried about their data security options beyond an integration that work really well, our custom spreadsheets. So the way that works is if you have a, a software that we can’t integrate with, for example, that can produce a spreadsheet of what your job information is. And also give us information on what your expected accounts receivables are. Then we can take that integration and get that put into level set. It’s a bit of a process in that we first have to, we have to set up at first, immediately, you know, once you want to wanna go this route and make sure that all the information aligns from we’re getting to what needs to be put into the system. But once it’s done, it’s really as simple as sending in that, that fresh spreadsheet every month or week or whatever your pace is of how you get new jobs and, and what your, our agent looks like.

Speaker 1 (13:53):
And another, there would be what we call do form data entry, which I find works really well for small contractors who may not have a lot of time send us a job sheet, send us your invoices, and we’ll get that into the system for you. It’s really that simple. See, another question is a good que idea to let you guys know. As soon as the job is date also, when is the right time to let your team know of when customers pay us? That’s a really good question. It is a good idea to let us know, especially if you have any kind of automation in place or desire to do so because the automations will work along as, without a notification that you know, you’ve been paid. Now there are some controls in place. Those automations don’t get sent out purely automatically where it can be something that sit in a queue and then you decide, give it a go or no go, right?

Speaker 1 (14:47):
So it can send in a queue for a given amount of time. You can say, okay, I wanna send out these and the rest we can forget about, or it’ll sit in a queue and then go after a given period of time, unless you pull it out of queue. And so there’s a few different ways we can set them up based on what your particular goals are, but it is a good idea to let know when a job is complete. So when is it the right time to let your team know of when customers pay us as soon as possible? Ideally if you’re not looking to send anything beyond a lie, then you’ll still get notifications in system. If the job is marked as unpaid of what your lean deadline is, <affirmative>, and once you mark the job as paid in the system, then you won’t get as notifications anymore.

Speaker 1 (15:37):
So it really, it’s a good idea to, to keep track of that stuff because all of our deadline tracking functions around when you start it, when you get paid let’s see what, as a current level set current customer was a cost. That’s a great question. It is 2160 per year. And that is something that, you know, call, talk to us about that. If you are looking to add multiple states, we do, we do work on that as well. So that is, is the the idea of it is that even if you have an existing attorney that you use some services offer on legal guard, you know, if you take advantage of them on a monthly basis, will ameliorate some of those costs of your legal of your overall legal services. Let’s see, as the level set, what’s the last one, we rule a thumb per state to be able to send those letters.

Speaker 1 (16:36):
Is there a timeframe legally? That’s a really good question that depends on the state. And this is a really good reason as to why it’s important to get all your projects in the level set. If you don’t intend to file any kind documentation on them, because if you’re especially working across multiple states and you don’t know what all the actual deadlines are per se, L will track that for you and give you notifications within the platform as far as, when is it time to say you know, when, when is my deadline attended preliminary notice? When is my deadline is sent in a monthly notice for on invoice? When is my deadline to, and the system, does it automatically for you based on whatever the statu requirements are on those individual states, what does it mean when it says invoices not protected? Odds are, that was a, that’s gonna depend on your project role.

Speaker 1 (17:33):
So if state where a subcontractor has a preen or preliminary nose requirement, and that was never filed, then any invoices that are put into the system from then on level have a flag as it has not been protected because no preliminary notice has been sent in for that project. Just because you haven’t followed a preliminary notice, doesn’t necessarily mean you are completely out of luck on your lean rights, however and that’s something that you can talk to your customer success manager or your account manager as a you know, as far as how that, how that pertains to your particular role on that job, in that state, what is the job retainage percentage? Can you explain? Job retainage is a percentage that is withheld from, for for work on a project is kind of a common practice in the industry.

Speaker 1 (18:41):
A lot of times people use it as a tool to make sure contractors fulfill any end of project. I guess you’ll call ’em punch lists are any final, final list that need to be accomplished to the satisfaction of the owner. As far as how that functions within level set retainage is tracked. If you’re tracking your AR in the system, and you should also receive deadlines within the system, as far as when you need to file where documentation protect that final retainage payment that you are owed. Now that’s tricky because, you know, I know how it goes where you might not have been on a job site for years and retainage isn’t due until in most days until a year after completion of the toll project. So that’s something that really does acquire a sound method and process to to make sure that it’s all being tracked well within the system.

Speaker 1 (19:52):
Okay. So we are tracking AR with our accountant as trying to understand. Yeah. So what the integrations allow and import allow is that you can track your accounts receivables on an invoice by invoice basis, job by job, and where this is really most helpful is especially in monthly notice states speak where you have to send in a monthly notice to protect your lean rights on unpaid invoice. And you have to send in a monthly notice, you know, like on the 50 month for every month, that that invoice goes unpaid. Having that kind of integration or data import with level set costs, you make sure that you don’t miss any deadlines because missing deadlines on monthly notices in some states can be a challenge to your lean rights for that amount of the unpaid invoice. So that’s really why it’s valuable to attract AR within level set is that you stay on top of all your deadlines as far as what, how, what, and how much you were, you were unpaid. Great. Are there any other questions? Okay. Well, if not, it’s been a pleasure presenting to all of you. Let’s get, my name is Dan brown. I’m an account manager here at level set. And yeah, if you have any other information, contact us level set.com/contact us. And as always, it is a pleasure to work with all of you. Hope you have a great day.