Late payments by UK companies at highest rate since March

Sidetrade, an AI-powered Order-to-Cash platform, has today revealed that the proportion of invoices left unpaid** by UK businesses rose for the first time in September since March 2021, according to its Unpaid Invoice Tracker.

As of 25 September 2021, the average percentage of unpaid invoices by UK companies across all sectors stood at 22.5%, compared to 18.9% in August, and 19.6% on average throughout April-August this year.

The proportion of late payments by UK companies had been gradually improving each month since March this year when overall figures stood at 22.4%.

Looking at the different sectors, Financial Services & Real Estate companies took top spot for the highest percentage of payment delays, with 33% of invoices left unpaid in September.

At companies in the Retail sector, 17% of invoices were deemed overdue in September, compared to a monthly average of 9.5% throughout April-August. The sector had not experienced highs of this proportion since June 2020 (17%).

Rob Harvey, Chief Product Officer of Sidetrade commented: “This rise in delayed invoices that we’re seeing in our data could be attributed to a number of factors, including the increasing business costs from the global supply chain shortage, anxiety of rising inflation, and the end of the Government furlough scheme this month. All of these factors have a knock-on effect on overall working capital management and industry cash flow.”

Today’s data is revealed following recent reports that the UK’s economic growth slowed at the end of the third quarter for the first time since it began to reopen in March 2021.