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Why am I constantly faced with late payment of invoices?

23 Jun

Why am I constantly faced with late payment of invoices?

  • Posted by vividano

One of the biggest problems owners of small businesses have to cope with is late payment of invoices. Why is it that terms agreed, supposedly, in advance of supply are not met or simply ignored? And it’s not just the bigger customers that take longer to settle payment, although they are usually the main culprits. Smaller firms too can play the “cheques in the post” scam.

And where’s the Government when you need it? The so called “Grossly Unfair Contract” action that was promised to protect suppliers from abuse by large organisations has failed to materialise as yet, notwithstanding the existence of late payment regulations. The Public Sector at least has been instructed by HMG in the 2010 Budget to meet payment obligations with a goal of payment within 5 days of receipt of an accurate invoice delivered to the correct address. It was stated that about 80% of invoices would be paid within this period – what about the other 20%?!

Well there are initiatives you can take to protect your business or enterprise against this frustrating behaviour. Here are just three

1 ensure your invoices are prompt, accurate, sent to the right person at the correct address, and clearly state the agreed terms of payment

2 try to ensure payments are made electronically bank to bank. No more cheques…..

3 always chase payment on the due date. Not a day later!

We’re all in business to make a living and realise our ambitions. We should simply not accept that late payment of invoices is the accepted norm.

Tony Wightman is Director of Wellwood Consulting, the business and marketing consultancy serving SMEs in London, Essex and Suffolk.

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