- 14 Dec
Costs Of Collecting Late Payments Rising According To New Research
New research from Bacs Payment Schemes Ltd (Bacs) shows that the cost of collecting late payments, due to SMEs, has more than doubled to £6.7 billion (£2.6 billion in 2017).
A huge 78% of SMEs are now forced to waiting 1 month or more, beyond their standard terms, to get paid by their customers. That is a huge amount of cash tied up in unpaid receivables.
40% of SMEs affected by late payments say that large businesses are the worst offenders. Whilst big companies may be of good standing, and expected to pay eventually, often slow payment processes, red tape or policies to maximise cash flow are the cause of longer payment terms. Also, as we have seen with cases such as Carillion, even large companies can fail.
Solutions To Late Payments
These are some potential solutions to help deal with the issues created by late customer payments.
Good Credit Control
Having good credit control procedures in place is essential to maximise the possibility of getting paid on time. Also, proper credit assessment of new prospective customers can help you avoid dealing with companies that have a history of paying slow.
See our free credit control guide for ideas about how to structure you own credit control system.
Outsourcing Your Credit Management
If you don't have the skills in-house to manage customer credit, you could look at outsourcing the function to a professional provider. We have successfully found external credit control services for clients which can help improve debt turn (the speed with which customers pay).
If you are already using a service that is costing too much, we may be able to help reduce that cost by introducing you to cheaper providers.
Funding To Bridge The Credit Gap
If you are suffering cash flow problems, due to late payments from customers, receivables funding is a possible solution. It works by immediately releasing a large proportion of the value of debts that are owed to your company, with the balance paid (less a fee) when you are eventually paid by your customer. This bridges the credit gap between invoicing and getting paid.
You can put that cash to any use within your business. If you have a sales ledger of say £100,000 of unpaid invoices, you could release up to £85,000 immediately (with the balance paid as described previously).
That funding can be provided on a standalone basis (called invoice finance or invoice discounting), or in conjunction with a credit control service (called factoring). There are also options that will provide just temporary cash flow support (selective) or bad debt protection in case your customer becomes insolvent and doesn't pay at all. We describe the various options and how the facilities work in our free guide to invoice finance.
- 18 Jan
Late Payment Problem?
Battling with a late payment problem? You might feel like you are all alone by recent research from Close Brothers Invoice Finance suggests that is not the case. It suggests that many other UK SMEs are being affected by slow payments, and this has been highlighted by several sources of independent research.Their poll found that 42.8% of SMEs say that late payments are a problem for their...
- 15 Jan
Solutions To Late Payments From Customers
Late payments are still causing cash flow problems for UK SMEs.An email just received from one of our new funding partners, My Muse, was headed "48% of SMEs impacted by late payments". It goes on to quote some recent Dun & Bradstreet research that has revealed that the average amount owed in late payments has increased by almost 25% over the last year to an average of over £80K. Within this...
- 18 Jun
Why Do Large Companies Pay Late?
I've just answered a question posed online about "why do large companies pay late?".Firstly its worth mentioning that this does not apply to all large companies. We deal with numerous financial services companies who tend to pay very quickly.There are a couple of key reasons for some large companies paying late, which are explained below. Despite there having been a tightening up on large...
- 30 May
Collect Invoices Faster As An Alternative To Borrowing
There is a huge cash flow benefit to be acheived from collecting in your sales invoices faster, in a timely manner.The quicker you get paid by your customers, the more cash and hence working capital you will have available to your business, and therefore the less you will have to source e.g. by borrowing.If you have an outstanding sales ledger of £100,000, and a debt turn of say 60 days (the...
- 07 Apr
Do You Know The Standard Payment Terms Your Customers Can Take?
Did you know that the standard payment terms in the UK are 30 days from the date of your invoice?Many will not be aware that if you did not specify payment terms within the contract with your customer, there are default standard credit terms that will apply to your invoice. At the current time, those are payment within 30 days of the invoice date. You can check this for yourself on the government...
- 20 Feb
Chasing Invoices Via Social Media
I noticed an interest in chasing unpaid sales invoices via social media and I thought it would be good to add something about this to our existing comprehensive credit control guide.The first question is whether this is the right channel to use or not?I think the truth is that if you have resorted to using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ to chase your invoices, you...
- 17 Nov
Need Help Chasing Invoices?
Do you need help chasing your unpaid sales invoices? Our focus is often on sourcing finance for our customers, but in some cases it is a credit control service that they need, and we have plenty of options available.We have a number of providers that can offer these types of services, and using them can both speed up your debt turn, get your invoices paid and remove the need to employ your own...
- 02 Aug
Credit Control Agency
One of the credit control agencies that we work with have been able to provide some first class credit control support to one of our clients, who needed help getting their unpaid invoices collected in. The agency took over the collection of the invoices from customers and they have improved the speed with with they are paid, reducing our client's debt turn. So they have a good track record of...