Businesses still worried about cash flow and late payments

Late payment and cash flow remain two of the key problems faced by businesses in the UK, according to a recent survey carried out by credit card company American Express.

The survey revealed that 95% of business owners and managers continue to prioritise efficient cash flow practices, and consider it a key factor towards long-term success.

More than 90% of businesses admitted that they often have to wait longer than they would like for invoices to be paid by their clients.

Karen Penney, of American Express, said: “For UK companies, working capital still has a major role to play in giving businesses an advantage.

“Clearly, better management of working capital can free up much-needed liquidity, which can in turn be re-invested into growth initiatives, enabling UK companies to benefit from the upturn in the economy.

“Companies and their suppliers are inextricably linked, and as the global supply chain gets ever more complex, a balance must be sought for both to prosper. It is critical companies consider their working capital options fully.”

The problem of late payment in business has been much discussed in the last few years. It is considered to be one of the biggest threats to small-to-medium-sized enterprises in the current economy.

The government has encouraged larger companies to sign up to the Prompt Payment Code, to try and address the issue.

If you are left waiting for excessive periods for payment from a client, then you should seek professional advice as soon as possible. A letter from a solicitor is often enough to prompt a payment. Failing that, there are several other steps that can be taken, including court action.

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