Cloud software provider, Xero, has published a new study that reveals that the average small British business is owed around £25,000 in late payments.
Of those small business surveyed, more than three quarters (78 per cent) said they were owed money outside of their pre-agreed payment terms.
Based upon its research, Xero estimates that the SME economy is effectively being forced to deal with an average deficit of £141 billion.
In its research, the software group discovered that on average, small businesses were being forced to wait 39.67 days for invoices to be paid, with the average SME owed approximately £24,841. However, some businesses were being forced to wait as long as 64 days to receive payment.
It also found that certain small business sectors were more likely to encounter problems with unpaid invoices than others, with figures indicated that firms in the wholesale sector were typically owed the most, at £42,989.
This was followed closely by administration and support businesses (£40,662), transport, postal and warehouse firms (£31,555) and public sector and safety businesses (£31,541).