Late payments put a quarter of UK SMEs at risk of insolvency

A survey by invoicing specialist Tungsten Corporation has revealed that nearly a quarter of UK SMEs are facing financial crisis due to late payment of invoices.

Of the 1,000 SMEs surveyed, the average SME was owed £40,857 in unpaid invoices, with £20,937 of that total overdue.

The issue was most acute in the technology sector, where almost a third of all businesses had been impacted financially by late payments from customers.

Although 33% of businesses surveyed said that there was no clear pattern regarding the size of business and late payments:

  • 22% said most late payments were from large businesses
  • 11% said most late payments were from medium-sized firms
  • 8% identified the public sector as being responsible for late payments

Richard Hurwitz, CEO at Tungsten, said:  “There are many reasons for late payment. Sometimes buyers will wait until the last day before the invoice is due only to tell their supplier that it is missing vital information. This creates unnecessary delays. Advances in technology mean that many payments can now be processed electronically, which ensures invoices have all the necessary information, but e-invoicing was only used by a quarter of the small businesses we spoke to.”

Read more: