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92% of UK financial decision makers admit to paying suppliers late

Bottomline Technologies’s 2019 Business Payments Barometer surveyed some 400 financial decision makers in the UK, see full write up here, and reported on the Future of Payments in the UK. In the payments insights, they found that “92% of UK financial decision makers admit to paying suppliers late”. The reasons for paying late varied as the chart below shows:

Source & Copyright©2019 - Bottomline Technologies 

These results make it clear that Duty to Report (DTR) regulation introduced in 2017, requiring businesses to report on payment practices, is doing little to curb late payment behaviour.

Solving the late payment problem

Bottomline Technologies point out that:

  • Accounts Receivable cloud-based solutions “for distributing and tracking invoices electronically introduces the need to manage data in real-time, and improves the likelihood of getting paid without undue delay.”
  • Accounts Payable automation solutions “make it easier to process and approve invoices quickly and flexibly. Efficient and timely invoice approval then opens-up opportunities for businesses to partner with finance providers to put in place early payment programs.”

CTMfile take: Paying late intentionally is destructive, particularly for SMEs.

This item appears in the following sections:
Accounts Receivable Management
Accounts Payable Management
Paying Suppliers

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By Brian Shanahan on 24th Jun 2019:

While I’m sure the results of this survey are completely accurate, my feeling is that there are certain key questions that have not been asked. For example, how many suppliers got paid early? And can these companies measure how often they are paying early and why they are paying early? When I share these analyses with my clients they are always surprised. But in the same way that most companies pay late, most are also paying early at the same time. But that wouldn’t be such a negative headline.

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