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A Duty to Report – from the Veritas Frontline

From April 2017, the new ‘duty to report’ regime will require large businesses and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) to publish their payment practices and performance twice yearly, including the average time taken to pay supplier invoices.

This is part of a package of measures to tackle late payment, which will also include the appointment of a small business commissioner.

Jenny Oldfield, Chief Executive of credit management specialists, Veritas Commercial Services, welcomed the move but warns that there are obstacles to its success:

“As an organisation dedicated to best practice in credit management, it is heartening to see the Government focusing on the scourge of late payment by introducing additional scrutiny on payment performance.”

“That said, over the past 15 years, we have seen measures come and go. The Prompt Payment Code is still viewed by many business leaders as toothless. The power imbalance between large buyers and smaller suppliers also appears to be widening. Indeed, the FSB recently cited a chilling statistic that 50,000 business deaths could be avoided every year, if only payments were made promptly – adding £2.5bn to the UK economy.”

“The reality is that the late payment issue is inherently cultural and therefore the real change that needs to happen is in British boardrooms. As the figures suggest, the time for rhetoric is over. It will be interesting to monitor the results of this new initiative.”

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