Business late payment in Northern Ireland is spiralling out of control. For the third month in a row the number of overdue invoices has grown say Insolvency Trade body R3.
Latest research, which is based on an analysis of data provided by Creditsafe, shows that there were 94,930 invoices on Northern Irish companies’ books in May that had gone past their payment deadline – 1,638 more than in April (93,292) and more than 3,000 more than March’s total of 91,796.
Highlighting the significant inflationary pressures in the form of fuel and energy cost increases, R3 in Northern Ireland chair James Neill, explained: “The increase in the number of overdue invoices in Northern Ireland is likely to be a reflection of the effect wider economic issues are having on the country’s businesses.
“Over the last few months we have witnessed significant inflationary pressures in the form of fuel and energy cost increases, and these have occurred just as Covid restrictions have lifted, so businesses have had little time to draw breath, let alone recover.”
Addressing business owners who are experiencing financial problems, James, director and head of business advisory services at Belfast’s HNH Group, urged them to ‘seek advice early rather than waiting till the problem spirals’.
He continued: “I would urge anyone who owns or runs a business in Northern Ireland to keep a keen eye on their finances over the next few months and seek advice if they are worried.
“Seeking advice as soon as you become concerned about your business typically gives you more options for improving its situation than if you’d waited till the problem worsened.
“And businesses in financial distress can be turned around – but there are more options for doing so if you seek advice early rather than waiting till the problem spirals into something bigger.”
Businesses in Northern Ireland are being urged to act on unpaid invoices.