Research by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) has revealed that consultants with fewer than 50 staff have an average wait of 90 days for their invoices to be paid.
The latest ACE Benchmarking survey of 55 firms found average time for payment extend from 78 days last year to 90 days this year. ACE warned that firms risk being driven out of business or raising debt levels to cope with the delay.
“These figures show there is a long way to go to ensure clients pay promptly for the work our industry does, even at a time when financial constraints have hit small companies hard,” said ACE chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin.
The wait is less for larger firms who typically have a 70 day wait for payment - down from 80 days last year - but the wait is significantly longer than the government’s stated desire to see bills paid within ten days.