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Late payments continuing to be a burden for small businesses

Late payments continuing to be a burden for small businesses

71% of small businesses have received at least one late payment over the past year according to a new study by NatWest.

They have discovered that the cumulative value of unpaid invoices currently stands at £62.87 billion of which £15.7 billion is for debts over 120 days old.

The NatWest study also showed that whilst 45% of SMEs have taken steps to protect their businesses only 11% have hired a credit controller to help chase debtors.

Although the problem has alleviated slightly since the end of the recession, fundamental difficulties are still apparent.

Steve Hughes, an economist at the BCC is urging businesses to run “clear and efficient” invoicing practices to minimise the risk of late payments. He stressed the need for companies to have agreed terms of payments with businesses that they supply.

The government had taken steps to address the problem and earlier this year pledged to pay public sector bills quicker. They have also enhanced and prompted the Prompt Payment Code.

Most of the leading contractor accountants already have web-based accounts receivable systems and processes set-up for their clients, to help keep track of outstanding invoices.

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Image: this morning i was expecting to be late, in fact… by manwithface

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