Take one technology, media and politics website. Add a 28-year-old online entrepreneur who used to be called Milo Wagner, but is now called Milo Yiannopoulos. Don't add any paid invoices to freelance contributors - these could leave a sour taste in the mouth. Finish with an unpaid editor and a legal claim for £16,853.

You've got The Kernel's secret recipe, and it's one that's been stewing for some time. Contributors have reportedly been disputing payments for several months, and an estimated £10,000 or more is still owed to past writers and in copyright claims to photographers whose works were allegedly used without permission.

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The Daily and Sunday Telegraph have launched a series of articles reporting on late payments - and on the battle lines being drawn by those affected by and involved in settling overdue invoices.

In a Daily Telegraph report, for instance, Steve Sutherland - owner of architectural glazing specialist Dortech - is described as "putting his tin hat on" amid fears of a backlash from customers after he called time on a 13-year relationship with construction brand Balfour Beatty.

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Insolvency turns £4.7bn of non-payers into never-payers

Each year, £4.7 billion of unpaid invoices in the UK are simply wiped away by insolvency and winding-up procedures, according to an Experian report.

From the smallest 'micro firms' to the biggest brands, when a company leaves the market completely by going out of business, the rest of the supply chain is likely to feel at least some impact not just in terms of lost custom, but by going unpaid for work already done.

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A Christmas Collection

The payment was late: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of this story I am going to relate.

Once upon a time - of all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve - old Scrooge sat busy counting his unpaid invoices.

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The Prompt Payment Code and the Supply Chain Finance Scheme - what's going on?

The current economy is turbulent enough, without seemingly conflicting schemes being launched to help businesses with credit control and late payment.

But in recent weeks, both the Prompt Payment Code and the Supply Chain Finance Scheme have been making headlines for companies with slow-to-pay clients.

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If you're a small-business owner and you've never heard of the Supply Chain Finance Scheme, announced today, sit down and put anything breakable well out of reach, because you're going to want to smash something pretty soon.

The SCFS is one of those initiatives that you hear about, think "how the hell did they come up with that?", and then realise it was a government idea.

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The videogames industry is a key contributor to the post-industrial UK economy, at a time when the creative industries and services sector are steadily growing in importance.

But safeguarding this contribution means ensuring the continued health of companies working in the industry - and the sector's representative body TIGA (The Independent Games Developers Association) is doing just that by encouraging all those working in the videogames sector to sign up to the Prompt Payment Code and avoid late payment.

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Recast Late Payment Directive Consultation

Businesses that have been surviving at the edge of affordability - commonly called 'zombie businesses' for their inability to survive any further change in the health of their cashflow - could be particularly keen to see the Late Payments Directive introduced as planned.

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills is running a consultation until October 19th on the Late Payments Directive (or European Directive 2011/7/EU, to use its proper name), which should help many small businesses to receive full payment of their invoices within 30 days - and to charge interest on top of any debts that go unpaid for longer.

 

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Following on from our mock interview with Dodgy Dave the Debt Collector below you can find an infographic containing Nine Top Tips to avoid dodgy B2B Debt Collectors.

The tips are from the pen of our MD Sid Home.  Sid is a former British Transport Police officer and has been the Managing Director of Safe Collections since the company was incorporated in 1984.

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When you've been left out of pocket by a non-paying client, it's only natural that you should want to claim back what is rightfully yours.

So how do you know who to trust? We spoke to Dodgy Dave the Debt Collector - a prime example of the kind of person you probably don't want to trust with your money.

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