SMEs in Manchester are least affected by late paymentsLynne Manners
Overdue invoices or late payments are a bug bear most small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have to encounter. However, according to research from the cloud accounting platform FreeAgent, Manchester is the least affected region to be plagued by late payments compared to the rest of the UK. FreeAgent revealed that more than three-quarters of the invoices (79%) sent in Manchester last year were paid on time, placing the city well above the UK average.
The issue of late payment has become so prevalent that the UK government announced last year that a special business commissioner will be appointed to specifically deal with the problem. However, to date, the position has still yet to be filled.
Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent, said: “Late payments are still a huge issue for the UK economy, but our research shows just how widespread it is for the freelance and micro-business community.”
“We found that just over half of the invoices sent by micro-businesses in the UK get paid late, and there are certain hotspots where the issue is considerably even worse. Even in Manchester, where late payment is least prevalent, there are still many businesses who aren’t being paid on time. And we’re not just talking about clients taking an extra week or two to pay, this included chronic late payers who sit on invoices for months, as well as those who just don’t pay at all.
“It’s certainly good news that the government recognises the late payment problem and is recruiting a small business commissioner or tackle the issue. However this process has dragged on for a considerable amount of time and I fear that whoever is appointed will have limited power to actually punish companies who routinely pay late, aside from just naming and shaming.
“Micro-business owners need to get paid promptly to keep their cash flow healthy and most don’t have the luxury of being able to absorb a late or non-payment in their accounts.
“We really need to see a complete cultural shift when it comes to paying invoices for services, so that these types of smaller businesses are not put in risk.”
If your business is experiencing late payments, then please call us on 0161 832 5000 or complete the inquiry form, we will assess your debts for free and advise you on the best course of action for recovery.