2 in 5 businesses see increase in late payments

Approximately 40 per cent of small and medium sized businesses in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK have seen an increase in the number of customers paying their invoices late.

In the wholesale and distribution sectors 50 per cent of businesses report a growing number of late paying customers. While most businesses have some internal form of debt chasing, 20 per cent of the firms surveyed said that lack of success in recovering customer debts was impacting their cash flow. SMEs spend on average three weeks a year on internal debt chasing, and an increasing number of firms are now turning to third party debt recovery companies, such as solicitor firms.

A previous report by BACS estimated that one million SMEs in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK were affected by late paying customers. On average SMEs will have to wait 43.4 days more than the period agreed in their terms and conditions to receive payment. More and more SMEs are introducing invoice discounting to encourage prompt payment by customers.

If you own or manage a company in Northern Ireland and would like to receive information about a solicitor debt recovery service, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9291. To read a guide to debt recovery click here.