UK: 62 percent of SME invoices were paid late in 2017

Thursday 21 December 2017 10:14 CET | News

According to MarketInvoice, 62% of invoices issued by SMEs this year, worth a little over GBP 21 billion, weren’t settled on time.

That was an increase from the 60% late payment rate recorded in 2016. The average value of an invoice settled late this year was GBP 51,826, the company says; some three in 10 invoices paid late were still outstanding two weeks after the agreed settlement date, with some bills taking as long as six months to be paid.

MarketInvoice warned that many larger organisations were exploiting their size to take advantage of SMEs, but he also urged smaller companies to be more proactive.

The figures are likely to disappoint ministers with the Government having made several attempts to crack down on late payments. The Prompt Payment Code, for example, has seen many large businesses sign up to a voluntary code of best conduct on settling invoices, but this appears to have had little impact on behaviours. Earlier this year, ministers introduced new measures requiring large businesses to publicly report on their payment performance, but these appear to have had little impact so far.

In the latest attempt to tackle the problem, the Government has recently appointed a Small Business Commissioner – effectively an ombudsman with powers to intervene in disputes on SMEs’ behalf. Late payments are expected to be a major focus for the service.

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

Keywords: MarketInvoice, invoice, UK, late payment, research, SMEs
Categories: Banking & Fintech | E-invoicing, SCF & E-procurement
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech