Forums International Managing Director Laurie Beagle conducts a Credit Forums Q&A
The Forums run by Forums International are widely recognised in the industry as great value with our members attaining a great deal of professional development by attending. Forums International Managing Director Laurie Beagle asks and answers the question, ‘Is the credit & collections culture changing in the UK?’
Is the Credit & Collections culture changing in the UK?
“Are businesses being influenced by trading cross border or is it the effects of the financial landscape at home and the uncertainty about the future? e.g. Brexit. From the front end. We are hearing that requests for extended terms are again on the increase. Disputed invoices are also on the increase, whether the dispute is real or not it increases the internal administration to check them out and slows payments down which could be the objective.”
Will late payments become a feature of this culture change?
“Cash is King but getting your customers to pay on time is a continuing challenge. Some of the feedback we are getting is that customers are slowing down payments. Could be that they usually pay on time but then payment start to slip a few days and this starts to become the new norm. Do you accept this and concentrate on the really late payers?
I realise this is not the same with every industry and a lot of your customers I am sure will be paying you on time. However, I do have a concern for small businesses or those who rely heavily on a good cash flow. Yes, they can charge interest but how many actually do?
There is always the concern that it will upset the customer and they will go elsewhere so them paying you late is all part of doing business with them. In my view it shouldn’t be like that and the culture needs to change. I know that the CICM are working with Government to give “prompt payment” more focus and impact. I am very much in support of this. Relationships are perhaps key to addressing these issues directly with the customer.
In summary, late payments and any negative change in the Credit and Collections culture must not take hold. We as a profession can make a difference and still protect our businesses; Cash, Margins and Future. There’s more information here about the late payment culture”
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