Wednesday, 01 July 2015 10:15

Too Prompt for the Prompt Payment Code?

As a debt recovery company tasked with chasing down overdue payments, it makes sense for us to be a signatory of the Prompt Payment Code, the voluntary code of conduct for all businesses when it comes to paying suppliers.

We recently signed up to the PPC and, as part of the process, were asked to provide the names and contact details of 'referees' - satisfied former suppliers who could vouch for us as regular prompt payers - and these were, in turn, contacted by the Chartered Institute of Credit Management, who act as administrators of the PPC.

Acting as a referee is not difficult, but the CICM asks referees to fill in a short survey, basically asking about the nature of the supplier's relationship with us, if we regularly pay on time, and how long, on average, it takes us to settle our invoices.

That's where one referee had a problem - because the lowest number of days you can specify in the 'days taken to pay' question is 1, and we have always paid him faster than that.

In fact, this particular supplier has worked with us for several years on a payment upfront basis - we pay, then the work is done, then the invoice is sent over retrospectively.

We're proud of our commitment to paying not just promptly, but even before the work is done where it is appropriate to do so (and where it helps to support our smaller suppliers whose cash flow is particularly vulnerable).

About the Prompt Payment Code

Signing up to the Prompt Payment Code is our pledge to treat all suppliers fairly when it comes to time for us to pay our invoices.

It involves a commitment to three broad areas, with several specific promises made in each area:

1.Pay suppliers on time

  • In accordance with agreed terms

  • Without retrospectively changing payment terms

  • Without treating smaller suppliers unreasonably

Content continues below

PLC Payment Practices and the Small Business Act 2015

The payment practices of the UK's biggest companies have been under scrutiny for a while now, with voluntary efforts such as the Prompt Payment Code attracting criticism for being 'toothless' in…

Pirelli prompt payment policy leaves Lotus lagging

Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli took a hard line in Hungary by invoking a prompt payment policy that left Lotus with no tyres as the first practice session approached on the Friday. Payments are due…

CVAs on the Rise as High Street Brands Battle for Survival

It seems that no news is good news when it comes to tales of insolvency and corporate debt across the UK economy at the moment. Maternity and baby specialist Mothercare is the latest name to join the…

Small Business Commissioner: I’d Sort Unpaid Invoices Myself

The Government’s flagship initiative for helping small businesses when they face unpaid invoices has been dealt something of a PR blow - by the man they appointed to lead the scheme. Speaking to The…

2.Give suppliers clear guidance

  • Including clear guidance on payment procedures

  • With a system to deal with suppliers' complaints

  • With prompt notification if an invoice will not be paid within agreed terms

3.Encourage good practice

  • By asking lead suppliers to adopt the Code too

The three tiers of the Code each serve a slightly different purpose: at its best, the first section of the pledge calls for all suppliers to be treated fairly and equally, payment terms agreed upfront to be honoured later, and all payments to be made on time, all of which should be (but sadly isn't always) a basic expectation.

In the second area of the Code, the commitment is to information rather than action - making sure suppliers know your payment terms and procedures, what to do if they want to raise a dispute, and simply the courtesy of letting them know if you're going to fail to pay on time (again, hardly an excessive expectation).

Finally, signatories of the PPC are asked to encourage others to follow suit - and in the UK's current and much maligned 'late payment culture', it is good to see the efforts of others have a knock-on effect throughout supply chains, encouraging all firms to pay promptly and in full, and to take appropriate action when they are unable to do so.

We would encourage every business, irrespective of size, to join us in signalling their commitment to prompt payment by signing up to the code and displaying the banner proudly.

Over 150 Years Of Industry Experience

Our modest but highly skilled team has a combined total of over 150 years of experience in commercial credit management and B2B debt collection. From independent IT contractors to major film and TV publishers, Safe Collections has the knowledge and experience you need to get paid quickly and cost effectively.

8:00 - 20:00

8:00 - 20:00

Our Opening Hours Mon. - Fri.

+44 (0) 1772 454505

+44 (0) 1772 454505

Got questions? Call us today. No hard sell, guaranteeed. 

© Safe Collections is a trading name of Safe Collections Limited. Incorporated 1984. Company Number: 01815264. VAT Number: GB407358159. All Rights Reserved.