By Daniel Hunter
The CEO of Sage UK and Ireland, Brendan Flattery, has called for every FTSE-listed company to publicly commit to tackle late payments and move towards 30 day payment terms in an open letter to minsters and business leaders.
A recent Sage study found nearly two thirds of the UK’s small firms (60%) having to wait for more than 60 days for late payment, a situation which Mr Flattery describes as a “clearly unacceptable”. He said by making this pledge, “FTSE companies can give our small businesses the room to grow and thrive and do their part in growing the economy of this country”.
Business software company Sage is the first FTSE company to publicly call for greater action on late payments, with Mr Flattery adding: “Without prompt payment this cashflow suffers, employees may not get paid and the livelihoods of many are put at risk.”
"The health and vitality of the UK’s SME sector is crucial to the economic future of this country. Of the 5.2 million private sector businesses in the UK, 99.9% are SMEs. They account for 60% of private sector employment, have a combined turnover of more than £1.6 trillion (47% of the private sector) and play a crucial role in the well-being of society and the development of communities in our cities, towns, villages and rural areas.
Cash is the fuel of growth for these businesses and is crucial to their well-being. Without prompt payment cash flow suffers, employees may not get paid and the livelihoods of many are put at risk.
Sage, as the voice for millions of SME customers around the world and more than 800,000 businesses in the UK, is consistently told by our customers that late payments is one of their biggest business challenges. Our recent annual late payment study has shown that British businesses continue to be blighted by late payments, with nearly two thirds of firms (60%) having to wait for 60 days or more for payment.
This is clearly an unacceptable situation and we wholeheartedly support proposals that address this very real issue of late payment. We call for all FTSE companies to publicly commit to move towards 30 day payment terms for SME suppliers.
By making this commitment, FTSE companies can give our small businesses the room to grow and thrive and do their part in growing the economy of this country. Ultimately that’s a win-win situation for all of us.
Brendan Flattery, CEO Sage UK and Ireland"
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