Background: I work for a small company that is struggling through an economic downturn. Due to this bills are consistently being paid 60-120 days past due. This has meant some of our vendors have discontinued services until we pay up to last billing cycle or pay in full.
In many cases as a manager I find out we haven't paid our bill when I call a vendor either inquiring why our services aren't working or when I am asking support questions for example.
Our owner pays our bills so this is not something I can control. Also, we do not have any policy around how to communicate to venders or otherwise. This is a more general management question looking for insight.
Question: Once a vendor says we are past due (either in email or on the phone), is it more professional to explain the situation or apologize and let them know you will contact your AP person? On a personal level it feels embarrassing and I am not sure if I should be apologizing on behalf of my company and/or myself? Does this speak negatively on my integrity in the eyes of the vendor or is this just a common enough issue in business that its understood implicitly?