The Date Isn’t Just a Number
Recent research has shown that UK businesses are not feeling particularly good about the current situation regarding invoicing, or more specifically how quickly said invoices are settled…
The UK doesn’t measure up very well at the moment with the rest of Western Europe, when it comes to things like the percentage of ‘on time’ payments, or the number of days allowed before an invoice becomes overdue.
This apparent decrease, or complete breakdown of trust can be partially attributed to recent uncertainties over issues such as Brexit, but is there more to it than that?
In a hectic business environment, there can be a great number of reasons as to why an invoice might not get settled on time.
Sheer volume of workload could be up there, as could a lack of staff time, but perhaps a partial failure of workplace systems could also be to blame.
Whatever the reason, delayed payments on B2B invoices in particular can cause issues for everyone involved.
Issues like these…
Trust is a priceless commodity in the business world and beyond.
Usually, once it’s gone it’s gone, and so businesses are playing with fire (albeit usually unknowingly) when it comes to missing their invoice due dates. A loss of trust swiftly leads to a loss of business.
One other issue that late payments can raise is cash flow or payment problems for the invoicing party. Beyond the initial inconvenience of a late payment could be the knock-on effects felt for the expectant recipient further down the chain. One late payment can result in another late payment, and so on.
It just isn’t good for business.
Business relationships, business continuity, business sustainability…
They all suffer.
The reduction of standard invoice settlement days (from 24 to 20) is as clear a sign as any that businesses want to see a response.
On the positive side of things, it is true that the percentage of invoices settled ‘on time’ actually increased in the last 12 months, and so perhaps a change is already coming…
A cynic might say that this is merely down to the highly professional operators who are already leading the way, and that it will always be the same old culprits dragging their feet and letting the side down, but not everyone’s a cynic, right?
So, what happens when an invoice isn’t paid, or when ‘late’ becomes never?
Court Enforcement Specialists are always on hand to retrieve late or unpaid invoices for our clients.
With a high success rate in the collection of debts and the retrieval of assets, the businesses we work with don’t tend to reflect the national attitude for any longer than is absolutely necessary.
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