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UK small businesses awaiting over £10,000 in late payments

Almost two thirds of small firms haven’t checked their financial health in over a month despite believing cashflow to be essential to future growth

The UK’s small and medium business community is becoming the victim of a late payments culture that restricts cash flow and inhibits growth, according to the latest research by accounting software firm Sage out today.

The report revealed that more than half (52%) of Britain’s small and medium-sized businesses are owed at least £10,000 each in late payments, with 43% of business owners claiming to be owed more than £20,000 in outstanding invoices.

When it comes to monitoring financial health, 63% of respondents admitted it had been at least a month since they last ran a check on their company’s finances even though 51% said they believed identifying early signs of cash flow problems was a key factor to ensure future growth.

A recent study by Intuit painted a similar picture as it found that Britain’s micro-businesses – companies with less than 10 employees – are owed £16.9bn in unpaid invoices.

In July, the government announced the appointment of a small business commissioner to help smaller firms settle late payments disputes with larger companies.

Robin Moore, 50 accounts product manager for Sage UK and Ireland, commented:

“Maintaining healthy cash flow is vital for small and medium sized businesses to succeed… we want to empower Britain’s small and medium sized businesses to take better control of their money movements, keep cash flowing into their business and boost their financial health.”

Henry Williams
Henry Williams

Henry has been writing for since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also contributed to many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Young Guns, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides. Before joining the team, he reviewed films for a culture website, and still harbours ambitions of being a screenwriter.


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