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E-invoicing, SCF & E-procurement

Late payments force UK SMB owners to use emergency finance

Wednesday 7 November 2018 | 11:28 AM CET

New research from GoCardless, the payments company, has revealed that 56% of UK business owners have had to use personal or emergency finance to pay for business expenses due to late payments.

Findings from the study also report that delayed payments are directly impacting businesses with the added consequence of producing a negative ripple effect from one business to another.

Responses show that late payments are an ongoing battle for SMB owners, with 80% stating that they “couldn’t be sure they’ll be able to pay their bills on time” due to unpaid invoices negatively impacting cash flow. Findings also affirm that 41% of SMB owners are more concerned with late payments having a negative effect on their business than Brexit. Further to this, managing cash flow and certainty on payments are very important for them.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses’ report, GBP 6,142 is the average value of late payments, and on-time payments would generate GBP 2.5 billion for the UK economy. The same report shows a boost in finances from on-time payments would have saved 50,000 UK businesses from failing.

This research also reveals that:

  • 91% of SMB owners confirm having certainty on payments is an essential component to their business

  • More than 80% of small business owners say that uncertainty means that they can’t grow their businesses in the way that they want, and that certainty would allow them to grow their business faster

  • 89% of business owners say uncertainty around when payments will come in make them more stressed and anxious

  • 67% have to make sacrifices such as salary, holiday or hiring due to late payment.

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