Australia is listed as the world’s 13th largest economy and a country with the 9th highest per capita income by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). From the inside looking out, this wealthy country has a big issue we need to talk about.
It seems that every other day, our inboxes fill with industry news, but one that has come increasingly familiar with the news headlines is the solvency (or more specifically the insolvency) of many medium sized IT Service Providers.
Understanding what tips a business over the edge is not simple, and as my wise brother Andrew (an Insolvency Accountant at Sellers Muldoon Benton) once told me, businesses don't go bust overnight, it's a series of cascading decisions made by the business owner that eventually bleeds the business dry of it's operating cash flow. With this loss of cashflow further compunding where either poor decisions are continued to be made (I.e. To continue to trade on unsustainable borrowings - I.e. Debtor Funding, or other less moral means like not paying your creditors) that end up in the eventual demise of a businesses viability. So whether its a court order for the wind up of a company or voluntary liquidation, in the end the business ran out of oxygen.
The only salient point in all of these stories is the loss of business cash flow to continue to function. In our eBook, 6 Ways to increase the value of your growing MSP, we explore just that, as one of the hallmarks of business health is it's cashflow.
In a recent survey by Atradius Payment Practices Barometer, B2B customers in the ICT industry take the longest to pay overdue receivables (averaging within 30 days after the invoice due date).
Another shocking fact is that the ICT industry generated the largest proportion of overdue invoices -about 55% of the total value of B2B invoices issued by Australian suppliers to B2B customers in this industry were paid late.
CRN published an article on this report, quoting Darren Adams, ANZ vice president and general manager of global distributor Avnet, who mentions that, “As we move into the world of next-generation technologies it will become even more important that organisations understand the changing nature of credit and the up- and down-stream effects that this has on our industry,”
In the article he also says, “Our focus will remain on the business fundamentals to ensure that we are generating returns for all of our stakeholders; customers, suppliers, employees and investors.”
It's not rocket science to see the writing on the wall. To remove the risk of being paid late, you need to move to requesting upfront or offer very short terms to customers that engage your services. One of the key factors that we built into the very culture of our Managed Services Business (Virage IT).
Regardless of the reasons customers pay invoices late, nothing good can come out of it. When a customer delays payment, you delay paying your suppliers. This ripple effect is a pain especially as we get closer to the end of the financial year.
It does reveal that the only way forward is working through getting paid on time. At Wise-Sync built the solution with our MSP in mind, and it needed to be flexible and easy-to-use. Wise-Pay is a payment solution that fully integrates with your Accounting Cloud and reduces your Accounts Receivable cycle. So whether you are accepting credit card payments or not should no longer be the debate, as the systems now simplifies the vast majority of the pain points suffered by a modern MSP, moving the discussion to how much of your business is paid on zero day tersm.
In 2011 with a DSO of 47.5, Virage IT made a commitment to move all customers to Recurring Automatic Debits. Today we're proud to attest that 95% of our monthly MRR is received on the 1st of the Month, with an average DSO of 2.
This doesn't come by accident, rather by planning and having multiple payment options for your customers, not only gives you the control you need to having your invoices paid on time, but it also gives the customer a sense of peace knowing that they can pay in a way that is convenient for them, whether it’s with automatic payments using a credit card or bank account. Whether they are receiving an electronic invoice with a click to “Pay Now” button, Wise-Pay makes the management and payment processes simple and easy for both the payer and the business being paid.
Isn’t it time that you stopped being your clients bank. Click here to learn more about Wise-Pay.
Source – Atradius report "Payment Practices Barometer Australia 2016"
Source – CRN Article "Enterprise IT Customers Worst in Australia for paying invoices late: report