Brits ‘too polite’ to challenge late and non-payment
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Photo Credit: nataliej via Compfight cc

If a shopper tried to walk out of a store without paying, or simply said “I’ll pay you later”, they would find it difficult to get past security.


However, it seems like the notion of a ‘stiff upper lip’ is leading many managers in other sectors to allow their customers to do the equivalent, without any reprisals.

According to research from webexpenses, an online expenses management provider, many managers fail to challenge clients over payment, and their own staff over lateness, lengthy lunch breaks and suspicious expenses claims.

The company’s research found that one in four firms have failed to take any action at all on at least one instance of late payment, and one in five have “avoided having difficult conversations about doing work they are not being paid for”.

Internally, 22% of managers failed to question a too-long lunch break; 21% took no action over employee lateness; and 20% had allowed a potentially fraudulent expenses claim to be processed.

Overall, nearly two thirds (63.6%) of those surveyed said they are simply too polite to speak out; 20% feel uncomfortable having such conversations, 20% don’t want to cause any upset, and 17% just don’t want to sound rude.

Adam Reynolds, webexpenses’ CEO, said: “The findings of our research clearly show that stereotypical British politeness is having an increasingly detrimental effect on the nation’s businesses.

“We’d strongly encourage all UK businesses to make the most of the tools now available to them to help boost their company’s bottom line.”

One way to directly boost your bottom line is simply to make sure your customers pay you for the goods you supply or the work you do – it simply does not make business sense to let them get away with not paying.

Effective credit control feeds directly into your overall cash flow, and outsourcing that entire process can relieve your admin burden substantially, leaving you free to focus on internal issues like staff behaviour, performance and any suspicious expenses claims.

Read our blog for more benefits of outsourcing your company’s credit control, alternatively you can talk to one of the team about our services by calling 0808 274 6305.

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