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   SMEs struggle to collect past-due bills

New Research Shows Small Businesses Suffering from Late Payment

March 25 2015

A new poll conducted by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) highlights the extent to which small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are suffering from overdue debts.

Over half of the 4,000 UK SMEs quizzed admitted that they had experienced significant problems with late payment of invoices, and 70% said that they thought that behavioural late payment is a problem.

The study also highlights a devastating lack of trust in the ethics of large business.  Particularly singled out for criticism were utility companies and banks with 79% and 69% respectively of small and medium sized business owners saying that these companies were unlikely to take responsibility for their actions.

Many SMEs also feel that large companies are abusing their supply chains by imposing long credit terms on smaller suppliers, even if they do pay on time.  52% of SME business owners said that they were being forced to seek new customers to improve their cash position.

Public anger at tax avoidance is, if anything even more fierce among SME business owners.  A feeling that there’s one rule for large multinationals and another for striving SMEs is evident. 76% of respondents called for businesses that engage in excessive or abusive tax avoidance to be punished.

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