By Daniel Hunter
FTSE 100 firm Sage has committed to pay all of its suppliers within 30 days to help eradicate late payments.
According to research carried out by Sage earlier in the year, more than two thirds of firms (68%) have to wait for 60 days or more for payment in 2015 and more than half are having to wait for over 90 days to receive the money they are owed.
Sage said it hopes its commitment and the petition will serve as a rallying call to business owners and give a voice to the millions of firms that are impacted by late payments each year. At the heart of Sage’s campaign is a deeply held belief that all people and businesses should adhere to 30 day payment terms — something the company has introduced for all suppliers in the UK. The sentiment is echoed by small business owners with 89% stating that big businesses should commit to 30 day payment terms.
“Late payments is the scourge of British business today. For smaller businesses in particular, it can at best cause cash flow issues, and at worst prove fatal. It is disgraceful how some of the larger firms have historically behaved. We believe all businesses have a right to be paid quickly and on time. That is why we are calling for all businesses — big and small - to commit to 30 day payment terms,” said Brendan Flattery, President Europe, Sage.
For two out of three business owners (67%) larger firms are the worst offenders when it comes to late payments versus 15% of SMEs. Furthermore, 70% of owners believe making big businesses commit to 30 days payment terms would have a positive impact upon their business with more than 1 in 4 of those (28%) stating that impact would be significant.
Mr Flattery added: “If you own or work for a small business, or know a family member of friend that does, we want you to show your support by sharing our manifesto and signing our online petition. Things have gone on long enough and we are in a position to drive change. We want to show the strength of feeling and create an avalanche of signatures that no-one can ignore. It is time to make a stand against late payments and say enough is enough.”