Businesses paid bills on average a day later than last year during the Q2 2013, at 24.58 days beyond terms from April to June, compared to 23.46 days for the same period in 2012, according to Experian.
When compared to Q2 2012, the UK’s largest companies – those with 501 or more employees – experienced the highest annual increase of over three days, from 30.91 up to 34.19 in Q2 2013.
However, the quarterly analysis shows a more stable picture with businesses paying their bills between April and June 2013 marginally faster than the last two consecutive quarters. This was led by the UK’s smallest businesses, those with between one and five employees.
In Q2 2013, UK firms were paying their overdue invoices 24.58 days after agreed terms, compared to 24.65 days in Q1 and 25.63 days in Q4 last year.
Max Firth, UK Managing Director for Experian’s Business Information Services Division, says between March 2009 and June 2012, the UK’s largest firms saw the biggest improvements in their payment performance – falling by 12 days over this period: “No other size of business saw such levels of improvement.
“Although these firms are still paying their suppliers faster than they were in 2009, the slowdown in payment over the past 12 months will be felt by the wider supply chain.
“These firms deal with hundreds of suppliers across multiple sites, numerous departments and hundreds of employees, so bringing their payment performance in line with smaller firms is a real challenge. Smaller businesses should consider spending time and resources to ensure they get paid on time.”