Guidance on supplier relief required as a result of Covid-19 has confirmed that local authorities should pay suppliers as soon as possible and should be paying invoices due to providers in shorter order than the standard 30 day requirement.
Of note within the guidance is the reference to the resolution of disputed invoices as a matter of urgency. Local authorities are to consider paying disputed invoices and undertake an exercise of reconciliation at a later date. Furthermore, local authorities are directed to encourage suppliers to invoice local authorities on a more frequent basis in order to help their cash flow. The guidance suggests that invoices should be changed from monthly to weekly to encourage this.
This guidance is of relevance to social care providers and it is hoped that local authorities are following the best practice principles contained within it. Providers should ensure that they are maintaining open channels with local authority funders and that they too adapt in order to ensure that costs are shared with local authorities in a timely manner in order to encourage prompt payment of fees, be they historic or current.
The guidance is relevant until the end of June 2020 so any such changes to invoicing and billing processes should be expedited to ensure that the benefits of the suggested measures on credit control are properly reflected within the adult social care sector.