Feeds

Small biz battered by late payments

Billions owed to struggling firms

Build a business case: developing custom apps

British small and medium businesses are still struggling with late payments despite government promises to sort the issue out.

Small and medium enterprises(SMEs) in the UK are owed a total of £30.4bn. That figure has jumped £11bn in the last two years.

The average figure owed to small firms has actually fallen, but the number of firms suffering from late payments is up from 684,000 in 2008 to 1.085m this year.

The average firm is owed £28,000 this year compared to £38,000 last year, figures from Bacs reveal.

As pressure on credit continues the problem is only likely to get worse - almost a third of firms say cashflow problems are used as the most common excuse. Six per cent of firms are still relying on the old chestnut - "the cheque's in the post", which given the intermittent state of our postal service could be true for ever.

Just over half - 52 per cent - of firms said they would have to pay their invoices later if they were left waiting for payments.

Michael Chambers, managing director of Bacs said: "While many businesses which owe money to others do undoubtedly have problems in paying bills quickly, there is a question mark over those who may be ‘playing’ the system and delaying payment for as long as they can.”

Changes were made to encourage government departments to pay promptly in October last year. The Federation of Small Businesses has also waged a long war on the issue. In April it called for increased powers for Companies House which could name and shame repeat offenders.

Researchers for Bacs spoke to owners, MDs or FDs of 453 small and medium-sized firms. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.