The slowest paying industries in Australia have been revealed by leading financial services company OptiPay with some businesses waiting up to 60 days after the end of the month to be paid for invoices.
“The holiday period can be a difficult time for businesses to maintain cashflow especially when creditors delay paying invoices,” says OptiPay CEO Angus Sedgwick.
“It’s vital that business owners have a cash flow management plan in place to prepare for disruptions and also look at financing solutions to help them navigate periods of growth or when access to capital becomes tight,” he says.
OptiPay data shows the industries which are taking the longest to pay –
Commercial property services 60 days EOM
Mining services 45 days EOM
Labour hire 30 days EOM (end of month)
Manufacturing 30 days EOM
Transport and Logistics 30 days EOM
“We find that with all these industries, invoice financing can really help when it comes to maintaining cash flow,” says Mr Sedgwick.
“Instead of waiting for customers to pay their invoices, business owners can unlock cash tied up in the money owed to them from their customers by assigning the invoices to a third-party finance provider and receive 70-90% upfront with the remaining 30%-10% paid when the customer makes payment less a small fee which is retained by the financier.”
Commercial Property Services
Commercial property services such as contract cleaning companies often have expenses they need to meet in order to keep their business running such as cleaning equipment and wages. Invoices issued to the owner of a building or a body corporate often have payments terms of 30 days from the end of that month.
“In many cases owners won’t see a revenue for up to 60 days so we’ve seen invoice financing becoming a popular option for those businesses that don’t want to rely on overdrafts and want access to funds generated by invoices immediately,” says Mr Sedgwick.
“Contractors tend to wait on average 56 days for payment with shorter invoice terms generally difficult to negotiate with big mining companies,” says Mr Sedgwick.
“This can be hard for small businesses that perhaps deliver for one mine as they’re waiting a long time to get paid,” he says.
Contract Labour Hire
Companies that outsource labour hire often find a large gap between paying their contractors and the payment terms of their customers. They’re often required to pay their contractors every week but the businesses using their contract labour force don’t pay invoice for up to 60 days after the end of the month.
“Companies can find themselves suddenly in need of working capital to meet the contractor payroll,” says Mr Sedgwick.
“When your business is people, you need to ensure they are paid on time every time so having a cash flow plan in place is essential.”
A key cash flow issue for manufacturers is the cost/payment lag – the time between when the costs associated with manufacturing a product are incurred and when payment from customers is received.
“Often a large proportion of a manufacturer’s working capital is tied up in materials, stock and debtors which leaves an inadequate sum of working capital to pursue growth opportunities,” says Mr Sedgwick.
Transport and Logistics
Transport businesses that are either sub-contracting to larger carriers or dealing directly with their end customer have to pay drivers, fuel, repairs and maintenance weekly but generally don’t get paid until at least monthly but sometimes on 45 day terms.
“We often see cash flow problems created in the transport industry which is why invoice finance has become very popular,” says Mr Sedgwick.