The European Payment Report, the 2019 edition, made by Intrum Romania, analyzes the causes and the consequences of the late payments in the business environment; 389 Romanian companies and 11,856 European companies participated in this survey.
The most important conclusions of the report:
- In Romania, the payment term of an invoice in the B2B sector is 32.5 days. The European average is 34 days.
- 63% of the companies are saying that reducing the liquidity is the most serious consequence of the late payments, along with reducing the revenues (51%) and preventing the company’s growth (45%).
- The most frequent method to prevent late payments in the B2B field is the advance payment. 58% of the Romanian companies requested advance payment at least once. The European average is 32%.
Financial blockages faced by the companies are more and more obvious every day. The unpaid invoices, the insufficient financial resources and the increase in operational costs are the main reasons that hinder their activity.
“Late payments are a stringent and delicate subject in any company’s activity, either we are talking about SMEs or corporations. Late payments, particularly those from the key customers, who, in the light of their relationship, benefit from generous payment terms, can fully affect the activity of a SME. There are many consequences: the decrease of the cash flow, the cessation of the employment, additional expenses with interests and other consequences that are not always obvious when a payment is delayed even by 15 to 30 days after the due date”, stated Catalin Neagu, Managing Director of Intrum Romania.
Even if the average payment term of an invoice in the B2B sector is 32.5 days in Romania and 34 days at European level, 26% of the interviewed Romanian companies are saying that late payments are a threat to the current staff of the company, on reducing the revenues and the liquidity, sometimes forcing them to waive part of the team or to postpone new employments, even if the company is theoretically growing.
The payment terms requested by companies, namely an average of 54 days for the big companies and 45 days for SMEs, are counteracted by alternatives such as: discounts for quicker payments (13%), additional fees (24%) or payment in installments (23%). Thus, companies are trying to take safety measures, so that their proper operation is not affected.
Although in 2019 the number of the late payment of the invoices in the B2B sector decreased by 11 percent (from 18% to 7%), 48% of the interviewed companies believe that in 2 years, we will witness an economic fall. For this reason, precautionary measures such as reducing costs (59%), new loans and debts (56%), sales growth (35%) or identifying the business segments with a high exposure (41%) are much more frequent in 2019 than in 2018.