Late payments are significantly affecting SMEs

Late payments have nearly doubled from 12 days in 2018 to 23 days in 2019, says the latest MarketFinance Business Insights. Some 39% of invoices were paid late in 2019, which is a marginal improvement from the 43% in 2018. On average, £34,286 was owed in late invoices, which means businesses waiting on £34bn in late payments.

The research shows larger businesses take longer to settle bills than their smaller counterparts. MarketFinance’s Bilal Mahmood said:

“It’s great to see that fewer invoices were paid late in 2019 but worryingly, those that were paid late took twice as long.”

He revealed that separate research highlights that 87% of businesses are prevented from taking on more orders because of cashflow constraints owing to late payments. Mahmood said government measures such as the Prompt Payment Code and Duty to Report have helped create awareness but need ‘more bite’.