Six month’s of development and a lot of coding, testing, breaking and fixing and we are ready to reveal Checklate. It is still in the very early stages of development, but the one thing we need to help us improve is more data. This means we now need to release it to the public.

Why did we build it?

The idea for Checklate came from the ever-increasing issue of invoices being paid late. As a small business owner, the lack of transparency, communication or empathy from clients meant there were a number of “challenging” months, which could have been avoided if we’d had more data.

I found that the standard company credit checks are great to determine a company’s ability to pay an invoice, but this ability did not always reflect their willingness to make the payment on time. I wanted to provide more transparency on the client’s payment history, allowing suppliers to provide a review on how well (or not) they work with their suppliers.

By integrating that real-time data with historical financial information direct from Companies House, we are able to provide a clearer picture, to help reduce the financial risk.

Is it a company credit check?

No, a company credit check is delivered through a credit referencing agency and uses a number of financial data points to score a website, these solutions are perfect to ascertain if a company can afford to pay your invoices.

Our data does use some financial information from Companies House, however, our ‘client score’ algorithm utilises real-time reviews to provide a score from 0 to 100. It is NOT a credit check, but additional information to help you establish if a client will pay their invoice on time.

Is it accurate?

As with anything that uses financial information from Companies House, it is reliant upon the accuracy and format of the data supplied to them. As there is no set format on how this data is presented, sometimes we have to manually “scrape” financial data directly from PDFs, this sometimes means that a company that has not been reviewed before may have no data available at the time. We will flag such instances and then manually input the data for you.

How will it help?

We don’t expect Checklate to have an overnight impact in getting your invoices paid on time, but we believe that our solution will help to deliver the following:

  • Transparency – the data is open to all, providing more transparency on whether a company has a history of paying their invoices on time. This will help all suppliers to reduce their financial risk
  • Data – up until now, we have never had any accurate data on the state of late payments and their impact on UK businesses. We have already compiled a massive data set and every review will help us to provide more. This information will be directly used to help develop our technology and offer more features to our customers
  • Reduced financial risk – if our reports highlight that a potential client pays late or has a challenging accounts payable system, then better terms can be negotiated

What is planned for the future?

More data = more features and that is our primary focus for the next 12 months. With the ability to track historical data plus real-world reviews we will provide a wealth of reports.

In the next few months we will be releasing a number of new features including a premium (one-time fee) solution which will provide the following benefits:

  • Weekly automated trackers – helping you to monitor your clients more frequently than a standard credit report
  • Historical data – allowing you to track certain times of the year where clients have issues or before they have them
  • Free help – by working with a hand-picked selection of agencies to provide customers with helpful support to get invoices paid and chase outstanding debts

This premium service will be available soon and will be based on a one-time fee which will provide unlimited access for life.

For now, we will be focusing on improving our data, analysing our algorithms to maximise efficiency and accuracy and working with others to help improve our technology.

We ultimately want to help UK businesses to get their invoices paid on time, something that shouldn’t be an issue, but one which directly impacts cash flow for millions of UK businesses each and every month.