ISME calls on large firms to pay their bills more quickly
SMALL firms are still waiting more than two months to get paid on average, but the delay is now the shortest since 2008, a new survey has found.
The Credit Watch Survey for the second quarter of the year from small firms group ISME found that its members have to wait for an average of 66 days to get paid in full. That's little changed on previous reports, when the average wait-time was 67 days.
The 66-day wait is now the shortest since autumn 2008, but more than a third of companies have to sit tight for more than three months before customers pay them what they owe, while 10pc of firms are stuck waiting for their cash for more than four months, up from only 8pc at the end of March.
ISME boss Mark Fielding welcomed the slight improvement in waiting, but warned there was still much more to be done and called on the Government to do more to force big businesses in particular to pay quickly.
"These results are encouraging and the upcoming code of conduct on prompt payments from the Government should have a positive effect on cash flow for small and medium enterprises.
"However, the fact that IBEC has refused to be involved in this code initiative is a challenge to Government, as big businesses are the main culprits in late payments.
"Government must therefore bypass IBEC and exert pressure on the multinationals, large businesses and state agencies through the IDA and Enterprise Ireland," he claimed.
ISME wants the Government to bring in laws to force companies to pay their bills within 30 days of receiving an invoice. The plan could be phased in over three years, it added.
About 82pc of ISME members favour such a scheme, but business groups are known to oppose such a plan.