UK SMEs are currently owed a record £33.6 billion in late payments, according to the latest research by Bacs.
The year has flown by and once again we find ourselves fast approaching the next! At Hilton-Baird we encourage businesses to regularly review their plans to ensure they are best placed to ride any future challenges the economy is likely to present. Therefore, as 2012 creeps up on us and with the threat of a second recession a real possibility, here are our top tips!
It's encouraging to see that our latest biannual SME Trends Index found that the financial health of UK businesses improved during the six months to October. This encouraging news comes in the midst of constant negativity in the press, with matters not helped by Mervyn King's recent statement on the severity of the ongoing financial crisis.
With corporate insolvencies on the rise in the UK, late payment continues to blight many businesses leaving owner managers spending many hours of their working day chasing debts.
UK business owners have revealed frequent customer late payments have been placing unnecessary strain on their daily lives, according to Hilton–Baird Collection Services' Late Payment Survey in conjunction with Credit Today magazine.
Whilst the small business community has had to contend with a whole host of challenges over the past few years, arguably the biggest issue has been the impact of late payment – a problem which our most recent Late Payment Survey suggests is showing no signs of subsiding.
More UK businesses are discovering the benefits of invoice finance given traditional forms of funding such as overdrafts and bank loans remain difficult to access, recent research has found.
In March’s Budget, the coalition government confirmed an agreement with some of the country’s leading banks in an attempt to improve SMEs’ access to finance. The initiative, which has become known as Project Merlin, commits HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and Santander to making close to £200 billion worth of credit available to SMEs this year – up 15% on 2010.
The economy received a welcome boost last month as the Office for National Statistics reported a second successive quarterly fall in UK unemployment during the three months to the end of March.
The shock contraction in GDP during the final quarter of 2010 has become a distant memory for two of the UK’s key industries, which look to be beginning to bounce back from the doom and gloom surrounding the economy.