The last few weeks have certainly reminded me how much I don't miss the 'people' and 'accounting' side of this business. These days I'm only doing a few I couldn't get out of easily. But I sure did get out of doing one more recently that was a headache in more ways than one. Everything was OK for a long time... all the way until they started to get me on the hook a little bit with owing for services already rendered (12 month contract). Then things started getting all stringy. Paying slow, paying late, paying odd amounts, etc. They ended the year with me still owing $850 in past due amounts... which is part of the reason I went ahead and held them over instead of transferring the account. Everything went well enough that I started going ahead and doing work for them again this year. Then just as soon as that threshold was passed again... back to porkchop on a string... I sat down and did a little accounting and figured out what was going on. By doing so, I also saw that things were past the threshold right now and going backwards rather than moving forward. So I sent an email about an odd payment amount I had received, just to stir the pot and confirm my thoughts. The contract was good for $15,600 and the account paid over $18,000 last year after extras... but I don't care... I nipped it in the bud..... It was either that or be strung along for a long time to a point where things would be closer to 'even'... which is exactly what they were hoping for... but didn't get. The moral of the story, coming from a veteran, is this.... Don't allow customers to get you on the hook for owed money, and don't allow them to use it as bait to keep you coming back. Trust me fellas... I've been around and seen it all. Really wealthy persons, associations of these, investors, businesses, and management companies are skilled masters at this art. Good examples are (in ABC order).... Banks, Bankers, Banker's Assoc, Mortgage Brokers/Brokerage Firms, Municipalities, Government, Lawyers, Law Firms, High-End HOA's, Real Estate Investors and of course Property Manangement companies. A great many of these 'play it to the wire' with every vendor they use. They get started at it because they strive at the practice of holding onto every penny as long as it is absolutely possible too. I mean I look for copper stains on their accountant's fingers... lol. Well, they have figured out that people will endure it to get paid... and in the process they have tested the water and found service providers will keep on coming if they get farther behind too and accept slow pay rather than risk no pay at all. They're crafty, and they bank on the fact. They will stretch you and string you along absolutely as far as you will go and get everything out of you they can, until they find the next fresh blood or you get fed up and quit.... and by then, they'll owe you a pile of money they don't intend to ever pay you.... because they figure you will never even really try to make them. As for me... well I nip it in the bud early... and on this one I will collect, even if it takes legal action... which it probably will... and even though it means I've cut an account that yeilded nicely financially in the end. I know most of you would put up with it on and on... but in my opinion it's not worth the headache and loss you will eventually be presented with trying to collect in the bitter end. So heed the moral of the story for your sanity and to do your part to put a stop to this 'common practice'.