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Late payments benchmark: Small businesses

Brad Ewin
Written by

Last editedApr 20221 min read

What’s causing your late payments? How much time do you spend chasing and reconciling them? Ever wondered how your business compares to the benchmark?

Read on.

We surveyed 1,700+ small businesses about late payments and payments admin

In June and July 2021, we surveyed a variety of small businesses across the UK, US, France, Spain, Germany, and Australia. Both existing GoCardless users, and non-users.

We wanted to learn more about how much time they spend on payments admin – both chasing up late payments they’re owed, and reconciling payments once they are paid. Here’s what we learned.

(Note: Some numbers represent an estimated median. All percentages are rounded to the nearest whole percent.)

How much time is spent chasing late payments each month? Breakdown by country

We asked small businesses how many hours they spend chasing late payments each month. Here’s what they said.

 

Small businesses (not using GoCardless)

GoCardless users

Australia

8.8 hours

3.1 hours (65% less)

France

4.5 hours

3.0 hours (33% less)

Germany

5.9 hours

3.2 hours (46% less)

Spain

6.9 hours

3.9 hours (43% less)

UK

6.7 hours

3.5 hours (48% less)

US

3.9 hours

3.0 hours (23% less)

Global

5.8 hours

3.3 hours (43% less)

How much time is spent reconciling payments each month? Breakdown by country

We asked small businesses how many hours they spend reconciling late payments each month. Here’s what they said.

 

Small businesses (not using GoCardless)

GoCardless users

Australia

6.3 hours

2.2 hours (65% less)

France

3.7 hours

1.6 hours (57% less)

Germany

5.4 hours

2.0 hours (63% less)

Spain

5.9 hours

3.0 hours (49% less)

UK

5.6 hours

2.8 hours (50% less)

US

3.5 hours

2.4 hours (31% less)

Global

4.9 hours

2.3 hours (53% less)

Get paid without chasing your customer up. Less stress, less time wasted.

Collecting payments can be painful. Late payments, awkward conversations, all that admin. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With GoCardless, you can invoice your customers as normal and have payment collected automatically on the due date. No more chasing, no more headaches, no more stress.

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How many payments are on time and correct? Breakdown by country

We asked small businesses what percentage of payments are made to them on time and correct, without any follow up required. Here’s what they said.

 

Small businesses (not using GoCardless)

GoCardless users

Australia

52%

79% (52% improvement)

France

64%

84% (31% improvement)

Germany

71%

81% (14% improvement)

Spain

65%

85% (31% improvement)

UK

61%

84% (38% improvement)

US

79%

85% (8% improvement)

Global

65%

83% (28% improvement)

How many FTEs are required for collecting payments? Breakdown by country

We asked small businesses how many FTEs they have for collecting payments. Here’s what they said.

 

Small businesses (not using GoCardless)

GoCardless users

Australia

2.6

1.5 (42% reduction)

France

2.4

1.3 (46% reduction)

Germany

2.4

1.6 (33% reduction)

Spain

2.3

1.4 (39% reduction)

UK

2.7

1.6 (41% reduction)

US

2.3

1.5 (35% reduction)

Global

2.4

1.5 (38% reduction)

Why are payments late? Top reasons by country

We asked small businesses why their customers pay late. Here’s what they said.

Australia

  • 56% - Complicated accounts payable processes

  • 25% - Payer forgets to pay

  • 19% - Payer has cash flow problems

France

  • 42% - Complicated accounts payable processes

  • 34% - Payer forgets to pay

  • 24% - Payer has cash flow problems

Germany

  • 41% - Payer forgets to pay

  • 35% - Complicated accounts payable processes

  • 24% - Payer has cash flow problems

Spain

  • 47% - Complicated accounts payable processes

  • 32% - Payer has cash flow problems

  • 17% - Payer forgets to pay

UK

  • 40% - Complicated accounts payable processes

  • 34% - Payer forgets to pay

  • 26% - Payer has cash flow problems

US

  • 39% - Payer has cash flow problems

  • 32% - Complicated accounts payable processes

  • 30% - Payer forgets to pay

Global

  • 43% - Complicated accounts payable processes

  • 28% - Payer forgets to pay

  • 27% - Payer has cash flow problems

Over 70,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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