It’s common for yards to look after a horse on behalf of the owner when the Vet, Farrier, Equine Dentist etc. comes to the yard. This is an essential service for owners who work full time and might not be able to get to the yard themselves.
When it comes to paying it’s simple when it’s a large business (like a veterinary practice) they just add it onto the owners account and have their finance department keep track. But when it’s a smaller supplier typically 1 of 3 things happens:
The supplier bills the yard and then the yard recharges it to the owner.
The supplier sends the bill to the owner (text/email/etc) and the owners pays them directly.
The supplier asks you to give the bill to the owner.
Option 1 ensures the supplier is paid in full and on time (which keeps them happy) but mean’s you’re having to use the yard’s money, not only tying up capital but should the owner decide not to pay making you the one out of pocket.
Secondly when you recharge the owner it’ll count as an income from an accounting point of view (even though there’ll be an equal expense to cancel it out). Whilst this shouldn’t increase your tax bill can push you towards the VAT registration threshold (we wrote a blog post around this subject last year - https://www.attheyard.co.uk/blog/2018/5/11/the-future-of-vat-and-livery-yards). Many yards wish to stay under this threshold and certainly wouldn’t want to be pushed into it based on ‘recharged’ services where there is no upside for them.
Option 2 takes all the burden off of you but comes with other issues. You can end up being in the middle of a supplier and owner who’s paid late or not at all. In the worst cases this can sour the relationship between the yard and the supplier - something nobody wants to happen.
All this whilst being out of the loop of what’s going on and unable to step in and defuse the issue before it becomes critical. It’s the simpler option but perhaps not the most effective…
Option 3 is a middle ground. The yard would act as an intermediate, receiving the requests for payment and passing them onto the owner, who can then pay the supplier directly.
You can keep informed whilst never being out of pocket, the only real downside is it means more admin work.
What At The Yard CAn Do To Help
After considering all the options, and talking to our customers, option 3 looks to be the best approach and so, today, we are introducing Third Party Payment Requests into At The Yard.
With Third Party Payment Requests in At The Yard you get all the benefits of acting as an intermediate with none of the downsides. We’ll help you keep track of everything and keep the admin to a minimum.
All you need to do is enter the requests from the supplier into At The Yard when they give them to you. Once done the owner gets a notification of the request and can go ahead and pay it (and let you know). This way you can stay on top of everything - with At The Yard automatically showing you who has outstanding bills so you can give them a friendly prompt and keep relations between the yard, owners and suppliers in tip top shape!
As always, all current subscribers to At The Yard have already received this update.
As a manager user go to the manager tab and click payment requests. From here you can start adding requests for payments on behalf of the suppliers.
P.S. If you've stumbled across this page and have your own livery yard we'd love to show you more of At The Yard. Please visit our contact page and get in touch.