More than half of the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are currently owed more than £10,000 in outstanding invoices, according to Sage UK.

In addition, 43% of British businesses are in fact owed over £20,000 in late payments.

Sage said that Britain’s "shocking late payments culture accentuates the critical issue of financial health for businesses".

The latest statistics reinforce that when it comes to maintaining their financial health, UK businesses are struggling. For instance, 63% of small business owners report that it’s been over a month since they last ran a health check on their business’s finances, despite the fact that the majority (51%) of firms believe that identifying the warning signs on a cash flow issue early on is a key factor when it comes to ensuring business growth.

Robin Moore, 50 Accounts Product Manager for Sage UK and Ireland, said: “Maintaining healthy cash flow is vital for small and medium sized businesses to succeed."