Get Paid: Roehampton research helps small businesses

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Experian, the Forum of Private Business and the Institute of Credit Management (ICM), have jointly published a new guide to ensuring prompt payment, aimed at owners and managers of small businesses.

The guide, Get Paid!, is based entirely on research conducted by the University’s Professor of Critical Management Rebecca Boden and Dr Salima Paul of Bristol Business School, and was funded by ACCA. The guide will form a key feature of the Government’s Getting Paid on Time Day, which will see government and business support stakeholders launch a co-ordinated set of announcements aimed at small businesses and their advisers.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said: "It is hugely important that all businesses, particularly small firms, establish clear payment terms to ensure they get paid on time and successfully manage their cashflow. There is practical information available for businesses on getting paid that we are promoting to small firms through our Finance Fitness campaign, and this new guide published by the ACCA contains clear, helpful advice. I want small businesses to use this information and set up appropriate payment terms."

Late payment by businesses for goods and services they purchase can cause extreme financial distress for small and medium-sized enterprises, and the problem has escalated during the current financial crisis. Get Paid! complements previous publications such as the ICM’s government-endorsed Managing Cashflow guides, the Forum’s Credit Control guide or Experian’s series of small business guides, by focusing on how businesses can achieve prompt payment.

Rebecca Boden’s and Salima Paul’s research, which will be published in full in March 2012 by ACCA, is the first major study of these payment issues which involved talking to smaller firms and their larger suppliers in order to understand the nature of their business relationships around payment.

Professor Boden said: "The work, which has already had a direct impact on the business community, demonstrates that regulatory devices such as prompt payment codes or statutory interest charges for late payment have only limited impact. What really helps firms to get paid on time is suppliers’ getting their internal organisation right and then building sound and effective business relationships with business customers."