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Late payment woes persist for small firms.

LATE payment victims among UK firms saw almost one in six of their invoices paid late in the last six months, a survey has revealed.

LATE payment victims among UK firms saw almost one in six of their invoices paid late in the last six months, a survey has revealed.

But figures for Yorkshire and the Humber showed companies hit by late payment below the national average at 8%.

But figures for Yorkshire and the Humber showed companies hit by late payment below the national average at 8%.

The research comes from insolvency body R3 - which had earlier found that late payment is a primary or major factor in onein-five corporate insolvencies.

The research comes from insolvency body R3 - which had earlier found that late payment is a primary or major factor in onein-five corporate insolvencies.

The research also found that half of businesses Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East had invoices paid late by customers in the last six months - slightly higher than the national average of 49%.

The research also found that half of businesses Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East had invoices paid late by customers in the last six months - slightly higher than the national average of 49%.

Chris Wood, Yorkshire R3 committee member and partner at Clough Corporate Solutions in Cleckheaton, said: "Late payment puts unnecessary strain on a business' cash flow, increasing the risk of insolvency.

Chris Wood, Yorkshire R3 committee member and partner at Clough Corporate Solutions in Cleckheaton, said: "Late payment puts unnecessary strain on a business' cash flow, increasing the risk of insolvency.

"Despite government guidelines and business campaigns, late payment still remains all too common.

"Despite government guidelines and business campaigns, late payment still remains all too common.

"Businesses know how much it costs others to chase down debts and feel they can still get away with it.

"Businesses know how much it costs others to chase down debts and feel they can still get away with it.

"When a business enters insolvency, customers can see this as an opportunity to further delay payments or avoid payment altogether.

"When a business enters insolvency, customers can see this as an opportunity to further delay payments or avoid payment altogether.

"Doubts over cash flow caused by late payment can make it impossible to continue to trade a business in administration until a buyer is found."

"Doubts over cash flow caused by late payment can make it impossible to continue to trade a business in administration until a buyer is found."

John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "The weight of evidence showing the damage poor payment practices are having on the UK economy grows greater each day with the amount owed in late payments now at PS41.5bn.

John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "The weight of evidence showing the damage poor payment practices are having on the UK economy grows greater each day with the amount owed in late payments now at PS41.5bn.

"Once again, we find it is sole traders and smaller firms which are facing the brunt of late payments and this is putting viable businesses at risk of closure.

"Once again, we find it is sole traders and smaller firms which are facing the brunt of late payments and this is putting viable businesses at risk of closure.

"Addressing the UK's poor payment culture - particularly among large companies towards their smaller suppliers - must be a "Addressing the UK's poor payment culture - particularly among large companies towards their smaller suppliers - must be a top priority for any new government.

top priority for any new government.

"Small businesses see progress on payment practices as a key benchmark of success for the new administration." R3's study showed that sole trader late payment victims are most likely to have most invoices paid late, seeing an average of 17.3% invoices being paid late in the last six months.

"Small businesses see progress on payment practices as a key benchmark of success for the new administration." R3's study showed that sole trader late payment victims are most likely to have most invoices paid late, seeing an average of 17.3% invoices being paid late in the last six months.

"Late payment victims employing more than 250 people only had an average 12.3% of invoices paid late.

"Late payment victims employing more than 250 people only had an average 12.3% of invoices paid late.

Some 7% of sole traders said that between 41% and 50% of their invoices had been paid late, compared to just 1% of companies employing more than 250 people.

Some 7% of sole traders said that between 41% and 50% of their invoices had been paid late, compared to just 1% of companies employing more than 250 people.

Mr Wood said: "It's the smallest companies that bear the brunt of late payment. "The consequences of late payments are magnified for smaller companies too - one invoice being paid late will have a disproportionate impact on a very small company compared to a larger counterpart."

Mr Wood said: "It's the smallest companies that bear the brunt of late payment. "The consequences of late payments are magnified for smaller companies too - one invoice being paid late will have a disproportionate impact on a very small company compared to a larger counterpart."
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 26, 2015
Words:894
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