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Payment times report register reveals extent of late payments to small business

- December 2, 2021 2 MIN READ
late payments are crippling small business

The launch of the Payment Times Reports Register has revealed three in ten big businesses are paying their small business suppliers late.

The new online Payment Times Reports Register publishes information about the payment policies of businesses with a turnover of more than $100 million.

Australian Small Business and  Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson welcomed the launch of the register which he says will provide greater transparency on how long it is taking the big end of town to pay small business suppliers.

What is the Payment Times Reports Register?

“We welcome the Payment Times Reports Register, which reveals the payment policies of more than 6,000 businesses. It’s an important first step in addressing late payments, which continues to be a huge issue for small businesses,” Billson said.

“While it’s still early days, the register reveals that more than 30 per cent of invoices are being paid late by big business for what has already been earned by small business. That’s incredibly disappointing.”

The register reveals most small business owners are waiting weeks for invoices to be paid.

Late payments remain an issue

“According to the register, average payment terms are sitting at 37 days – when 30 days is the maximum time any small business should be waiting for their invoice to be paid and some leading larger businesses are committing to pay small business suppliers within a week,” said Billson.

“The manufacturing industry has the most work to do in terms of lifting its average standard payment terms of 50 days, while media and telecoms industry is among the best performers, pledging to pay their suppliers within 25 days on average.”

“My office will be keeping an eye on future reports to gauge trends and do what we can to ensure big businesses are living up to the information provided on the register.

“In the meantime, I encourage small businesses to engage with the register and make informed choices about who they do business with.

Fast payment times essential to small business survival

The ombudsman suggests that prompt payment is critical for the survival of small business post COVID.

“Big business has a role to play in the nation’s recovery and that starts with paying their small business suppliers on time. Adopting e-invoicing is a great way to ensure suppliers are paid promptly. Good business pays.

“Ultimately, cash flow is king for small and family businesses and if they are paid on time, the whole economy benefits.”

The Payment Times Reports Register is available at paymenttimes.gov.au

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