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How to Audit Your Direct Debits

We recently heard from a guest speaker at our Knowledge series who advised on how to audit direct debits and save money.

A great cost cutting tip is to carry out a full audit of your Direct Debits and Standing Orders.

Put aside 2 hours, and get yourself a schedule of all the regular automated payments leaving your business current account.

I would wager that for every 10 Direct Debits, you could completely cancel one (and barely notice), and renegotiate 3 of them! Go on, take the challenge!

In many cases, Direct Debits continue month after month, quarter after quarter, and year after year, because suppliers rely on your inertia to challenge them.

The ‘Renewal Conversation’

Suppliers generally hate having the Renewal Conversation.

Some base their business plan on avoiding it! The combination of the under-the-radar Direct Debit and deadly ‘auto-renewal’ is a great way to do this. The onus is on YOU to challenge or terminate. But of course, you’re too busy with business development, customer care, employee care etc, so it keeps getting deferred.

Sticky Direct Debits – 8 areas to challenge:

Here are 8 easy cost areas to cancel or re-negotiate. Operation Cost Cut can help if you need specific advice.


Beware online subscriptions where you got 3 free months, gave bank details and forgot to cancel!

Also web subscriptions and social media platforms which were handy for a while but have outlived their usefulness. Use them or lose them.

Look out for Networking memberships where you clearly aren’t getting a return on your time and money.

Merchant Services

Never go out of contract or you will most likely be on assumptive rates. Use Cardswitcher. If you use Streamline look out for this below on your bill in ‘Miscellaneous Charges’, and get it taken off.


Never go out of contract. Re-visit this annually. People are falling over themselves to provide a better deal, and often a better service. Look into VOiP.

Look out specifically for rogue lines than no longer exist, such as old fax lines, premium 0845’s you no longer use, disconnected Redcare alarm lines.


Never go out of contract. Always use a broker, such as MakeitCheaper. (they’ll almost always get better prices than you going direct, and they manage the handovers).


If you have an office in Scotland, tender your water. Easy savings. Most people are now onto this. We can help.

HR Costs

Mentor and Peninsula and the like have their place, but is the cost/benefit ratio all it once was? Exit, or re-negotiate. See us for options.

Franking/Copier Rental and Postage Fees

Got a franking machine 5 years ago, but now emailing 50% of your post? Take a view and downgrade the machine, or lose it altogether. Have you got too many printers, or over-specified copiers? Are you paying more than 0.5p per copy? If you have less than 18 months to go, start a plan to get a better deal.

Maintenance Contracts

Waste Contracts and Washroom Services are very sticky Direct Debits to lose. Sometimes they require to be cancelled in 35th month, or you’re in for another year! Know your termination dates and cancel, and you’ll soon see what their Business Retention teams will offer. Again, we can help here with some great price opportunities.

What are you experiences? Please share any tips on your Direct Debit audit.

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