Businesses fail to pay their bills on time

'But the post box really did explode' you say...
Written by Julian Goldsmith, Contributor

'But the post box really did explode' you say...

Almost 90 per cent of company bills are paid later than 30 days, even though legislation to control late payment has been in force for over a year. Over 60 per cent of the respondents of new research into the matter think that setting up e-billing systems could help them avoid some of the more bizarre excuses companies use to explain late payments. One of the more inventive excuse came from one customer who informed his creditors that his late payment was due to the death of his mother, the only hitch being he had used the same excuse three times Others include the old favourite, the dog ate the chequebook and the post box caught fire. A piece of charred envelope was sent with the latter excuse to prove it was no lie. More usually, late payment is just accepted as the norm, with lost invoices cited as the most common cause. David Sherriff, group managing director of the survey's sponsor, Microgen said: "Many factors contribute to late payment, but to attribute the trend largely to economic conditions and cultural acceptability of late payment would be to overlook some basic pre-requisites such as reliable, timely delivery of invoices. This research suggests that UK companies are looking for ways to make it as easy as possible for the customer to transact business with them."
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