ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
It's encouraging that in their statement the Government and the Small Business Economic Forum are putting their weight behind electronic invoicing - the UK is far from a leader in Europe in this regard. While e-invoicing can't protect suppliers from the most unscrupulous customers, it does help ensure prompt payment in most cases. But it needs to be driven by major customers first, and cascaded throughout their supply chains. This is where the influence of Government can be crucial
—Manos Schizas, senior economic analyst, ACCA

Prompt payment vital for ensuring the survival of small and medium sized businesses, says ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is one of the main signatories to the Government’s Prompt Payment statement, issued today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and signed by the members of the Small Business Economic Forum.

Along with other key business and industry bodies, ACCA is committed to helping getting businesses paid on time.

Manos Schizas, ACCA’s senior economic analyst, says: 'This is a timely reminder that prompt payment is vital for ensuring the survival of small and medium sized businesses. Some late payment is inevitable in hard times, but most cases can be avoided without pushing customers over the edge by following good practice. 

'We congratulate the Small Business Economic Forum for driving this agenda and are proud to be able to help them with our own guidance.'

 Earlier this year, ACCA along with Experian, the Forum of Private Business, and the Institute of Credit Management (ICM) jointly published a guide called Get Paid! A guide for owners and managers of small businesses. This was taken from more detailed research findings commissioned by ACCA.

This guide is aimed at businesses who are trying to avoid or manage late payment and includes eight headline tips for SMEs:

  1. Don’t make credit management subordinate to sales
  2. Treat credit management as an enabler of sales, not an obstacle
  3. Develop a well-defined credit policy and stick to it
  4. See the big picture
  5. Be organised about invoicing and collections 
  6. Know your customer
  7. Know your rights
  8. Invest in professional credit management.

Manos Schizas added: 'It's encouraging that in their statement the Government and the Small Business Economic Forum are putting their weight behind electronic invoicing - the UK is far from a leader in Europe in this regard. While e-invoicing can't protect suppliers from the most unscrupulous customers, it does help ensure prompt payment in most cases. But it needs to be driven by major customers first, and cascaded throughout their supply chains. This is where the influence of Government can be crucial.'

- ends - 

For more information, please contact:

Helen Thompson, ACCA Newsroom
+44 (0)20 7059 5759
+44 (0)7725 498654
helen.thompson@accaglobal.com 

Notes to Editors

  1. ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. 
  2. We support our 154,000 members and 432,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and more than 8,400 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence. 
  3. Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.
  4. The Small Business Economic Forum consists of business representative bodies and individual entrepreneurs. It is chaired by Mark Prisk and meets up to four times a year. Banks are invited to attend when finance matters are on the agenda. Its regular members are:
  • Mark Prisk – Minister for Business and Enterprise, BIS (Chair)
  • Lord Sassoon – Commercial Secretary to the Treasury
  • ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
  • British Chamber of Commerce
  • Confederation of British Industry
  • Social Enterprise Coalition
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
  • Institute of Credit Managers
  • Forum of Private Business
  • EEF
  • Institute of Directors
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • Individual entrepreneurs/small businesses

     5.  The Forum is a high-level platform for discussion. ACCA is               represented on the Forum through its Chief Executive,                 Helen Brand.
     6.  ACCA is a member of the UK E-invoicing Advocacy Group,               acknowledged by Government as the UK's Multistakeholder           Forum for E-invoicing. Every EU member state is expected             by the Commission to have a Multistakeholder Forum, and               the UK has been a strong driver of the European agenda on           e-invoicing by leading pan-European stakeholder                           engagement on good practice in the adoption of
          e-invoicing.