US Firms Battle Late Invoices

According to the "Atradius Payment Practices Barometer" survey (http://www.atradius.com) cash flow management remains critical for businesses. 

Key U.S. survey findings:

  • Approximately 39 percent of American invoices were paid "late"
  • Fifty-two percent of U.S. respondents reported customers had asked for extended payment terms over the last six months. Forty-eight percent had delayed payment without prior agreement.
  • U.S. respondents' main criteria for selling on credit terms are: "credit check," "track record" and "reputation"
  • Average domestic payment term: 28 days Average domestic payment duration: 28 days Average foreign payment term: 36 days Average foreign payment duration: 32 days
  • The most likely impact of overdue invoices was the need to "take specific measures to correct cash flow" (43 percent of respondents)
  • Thirty-five percent of U.S. respondents who changed their credit management practices during the past year increased their "down/advance payments"
  • Average Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) in the U.S. was 61 days.  Fifty-nine percent of American respondents experienced no change in DSO during the past year, whereas 12 percent experienced an increase in DSO over the past year

Businesses employing accounts receivable best practices including credit scoring and payment policies that move certain invoices to card payments can remove credit risk and increase cash flow.

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