Graydon s Credit Industry Surveys.

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1 Graydon s Credit Industry Surveys.

2 At Graydon we are dedicated to helping businesses manage their exposure to credit risk and commercial fraud. In order for us to deliver the most appropriate products and services to you, it s vital to have an understanding of industry issues and challenges which may have an impact on your business. Over the years Graydon have undertaken a series of surveys, for example, how companies protect themselves against bad debt and commercial fraud, the government s commitment to help small businesses and reduce the country s large debt and how the European Union pledged to crack down on late paying businesses. Our surveys are broadcast to around 25,000 credit professionals and all participants receive the results in order to compare their views with the industry in general. This is your chance to review the latest survey results in one place Surveys Are you insured against bad debt? Page 3 The public sector 10 day payment pledge will it make a difference? Page 6 How useful are up-to-date validated management accounts in improving the Page 8 credit rating of SMEs Did the 10 day payment pledge make a difference to public sector business? Page Surveys Are you insured against bad debt? Page 12 Government public spending cuts - how will this directly effect private Page 14 sector businesses What is your experience of commercial and corporate fraud? Page 17 Will the new EU directive on Late Payment change anything? Page Surveys What effect is the current economic climate having on your business? Page 21 How do you manage bad debt? Page 24 Will Companies House filing exemption benefit small businesses? Page 27 Are you protected against bad debt? Page 29 Are government plans really helping companies obtain funding? Page 32 Late payment of trade invoices Page 35 2

3 2009 Are you insured against bad debt? Organisations that share credit information help protect each other against the risks of bad debt, commercial fraud and slow payments. Graydon is an established intermediary that assists the anonymous sharing of business risk information for industry groups. Results are proven avoiding credit risks saves thousands of pounds of revenue. Our survey helped to build up a clear picture of precautions taken to protect against bad debt. 411 unique respondents took part in the survey. Are you credit insured? 51% 49% What percentage of your business is credit insured? 50% 7% 16% 27% 0% to 25% 25% to 50% 50% to 75% 75% to 3

4 Are you insured against bad debt? 2009 Compared to a year ago is this percentage higher, lower or the same? 77% 6% 17% Higher the same Lower Have you recently dropped credit insurance as a service? 96% 4% What other methods are you using to protect yourself against bad debt? 65% 25% 6% 9% Credit Referencing Agencies Factoring, Invoice Discounting Debt Collection Other 4

5 Are you insured against bad debt? 2009 In the current difficult economic climate, do you think that the commercial (B2B) fraud is on the rise? 52% 48% Have you seen and increase in potentially fraudulent applications (compared to the same period last year)? 84% 14% <1% 2% Change Small Decrease (Better) Small Increase (Worse) Big Increase (Much Worse) The respondents represented the following professional categories: Accountant 10% Accounts Assistant 2% Accounts Manager 2% Chief Accountant 0% Credit Control Supervisor 6% Credit Controller 14% Credit Manager 22% Credit Risk Analyst 1% Financial Controller 6% Financial Director 12% Financial Manager 3% Group Credit Manager 2% Head of Finance 1% Management Accountant 1% Operations Manager 2% Risk Manager 1% Sales Ledger Manager 1% Other 13% Please note: Percentages have been rounded up. 5

6 2009 The public sector 10 day payment pledge will it make a difference? In September 2008, our survey revealed that just 34% of businesses consider the government to be a prompt payer, and 66% described their current payment practices as slow or average, with payment taking over 30 days. In October 2008, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson announced that suppliers to the public sector would be paid within 10 days, in a bid to help out struggling SMEs. In March 2009, Graydon investigated whether that pledge made any difference. 403 unique respondents took part in the survey. Do you supply Government agencies, local government bodies or central government departments? 63% 37% If yes, - What is your recent experience? Do you get paid within: 56% 34% 2% 8% 10 Days 10 to 30 Days 30 to 60 Days > 60 Days 6

7 The public sector 10 day payment pledge will it make a difference? 2009 Are you a small or medium company based on the following definition 34% 34% 32% Small Company Medium Company Other The respondents represented the following professional categories: Accountant 10% Accounts Assistant 2% Accounts Manager 2% Chief Accountant 0% Credit Control Supervisor 6% Credit Controller 19% Credit Manager 22% Credit Risk Analyst 1% Financial Controller 6% Financial Director 12% Financial Manager 3% Group Credit Manager 2% Head of Finance 1% Management Accountant 1% Operations Manager 2% Risk Manager 1% Sales Ledger Manager 1% Other 13% Please note: Percentages have been rounded up. 7

8 2009 How useful are up-to-date validated management accounts in improving the credit rating for SMEs? In the fast-moving and challenging economic downturn some credit experts say that the statutory accounts information at Companies House is too out-of-date. In response to this Graydon, are enhancing the credit information service with up-to-the minute validated management accounts. This survey investigated how useful it would be to have this real-time validated data included as part of our credit reports. 236 unique respondents took part in the survey. How valuable do you think validated up-to-date management accounts are in order to make a reliable credit decision? 63% 28% 8% 1% Very Valuable Valuable Somewhat useful t important If you are presented with the choice of A) Standard Level 3 credit report, or B) Enhanced Level 3 including validated management accounts information would you choose B rather than A : 46% 28% 19% 7% Always Frequent Sometimes Rarely 8

9 How useful are up-to-date validated management accounts in improving the credit rating for SMEs? 2009 If the validated management accounts enabled Graydon to provide you with a new/ revised credit recommendation would you find this: 62% 29% 8% 1% Very valuable Valuable Somewhat useful t important The respondents represented the following professional categories: Accountant 8% Accounts Assistant 3% Accounts Manager 4% Chief Accountant 0% Credit Control Supervisor 5% Credit Controller 19% Credit Manager 27% Credit Risk Analyst 1% Financial Controller 6% Financial Director 8% Financial Manager 4% Group Credit Manager 2% Head of Finance 0% Management Accountant 0% Operations Manager 2% Risk Manager 1% Sales Ledger Manager 1% Other 10% Please note: Percentages have been rounded up. 9

10 2009 Did the 10 day payment pledge make a difference to public sector businesses? The earlier survey in 2009 revealed that just 36% of businesses consider the government to be a prompt payer, and 64% described their current payment practices as slow or average, with payment taking over 30 days. In October 2008, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson announced that suppliers to the public sector would be paid within 10 days, in a bid to help out struggling SMEs. In this survey, Graydon investigated whether that pledge made any difference. 403 unique respondents took part in the survey. Do you supply government agencies, local government bodies or central government departments? 63% 37% If yes, - What is your recent experience? Do you get paid within: 56% 34% 2% 10 Days 10 to 30 Days 8% 30 to 60 Days > 60 Days 10

11 Did the 10 day payment pledge make a difference to public sector businesses? 2009 Are you a small or medium company based on the following definition 33% 34% 33% Small Company Medium Company Other The respondents represented the following professional categories: Accountant 10% Accounts Assistant 2% Accounts Manager 2% Chief Accountant 0% Credit Control Supervisor 6% Credit Controller 14% Credit Manager 22% Credit Risk Analyst 1% Financial Controller 6% Financial Director 12% Financial Manager 3% Group Credit Manager 2% Head of Finance 1% Management Accountant 1% Operations Manager 2% Risk Manager 1% Sales Ledger Manager 1% Other 13% Please note: Percentages have been rounded up. 11

12 2010 Are you insured against bad debt? In volatile economic environments organisations need to protect themselves against the risks of bad debt, commercial fraud and slow payments. Graydon researched the service provided by the credit insurance industry to build up an understanding of the level of customer satisfaction within the credit insurance industry. 495 unique respondents took part in the survey. Are you credit insured? 47% 53% Have you remained with the same credit insurer this year? 43% 4% 12

13 Are you insured against bad debt? 2010 If YES how satisfied are you with your credit insurer? 7% 18% 12% 4% 0% Very satisfied Satisfied Somewhat satisfied Dissatisfied t Applicable If have you: 3% 1% Moved to an alternative insurer Decided against credit insurance Decided to self insure Taken other action t applicable The respondents represented the following professional categories: Accountant 10% Accounts Assistant 3% Accounts Manager 3% Chief Accountant 0% Credit Control Supervisor 5% Credit Controller 15% Credit Manager 24% Credit Risk Analyst 1% Financial Controller 9% Financial Director 11% Financial Manager 3% Group Credit Manager 2% Head of Finance 1% Management Accountant 1% Operations Manager 1% Risk Manager 1% Sales Ledger Manager 0% Other 12% Please note: Percentages have been rounded up. 13

14 2010 Government public spending cuts - how will this directly effect private sector businesses? The Government has revealed plans for stringent public spending cuts in order to reduce the country s large debt; which could have a direct result on businesses in the private sector. This survey investigated industry opinion on the possible effects of these cuts. 419 unique respondents took part in the survey. Do you believe public spending cutbacks will trigger a rise in insolvencies? By how much? 51% 36% 13% By more than By between 10 - By less than 10% 14

15 Government public spending cuts - how will this directly effect private sector businesses? 2010 Do you believe that HMRC s rejection of a growing proportion of applications under the Time to Pay Scheme will trigger a rise in insolvencies? 79% 21% By how much? 46% 14% By more than By between 10 - By less than 10% 15

16 Government public spending cuts - how will this directly effect private sector businesses? 2010 Do you agree that any increase in corporate insolvencies created as a result of Government cuts in public spending would be a price worth paying in order to restore economic stability in the UK? 39% 30% 10% 11% 10% Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don t agree Do you proactively monitor your customers exposure to and levels of dependence upon public sector contracts as a source of revenue as part of your existing supply chain risk management process? 56% 33% 11% Don t know 16

17 2010 What is your experience of commercial and corporate fraud? At Graydon UK we are dedicated to helping businesses minimize risk and prevent fraud. As part of these continuous efforts we asked credit managers about their experience of any attempted B2B / commercial / corporate fraud. 373 unique respondents took part in the survey. Have you experienced any instances of commercial / corporate fraud so far this year or last year? 69% 31% If yes, in what form did the fraud take? 5% 4% 14% 8% Internet Fraud Corporate Hijacking Fraudulent Credit Applications Other 17

18 What is your experience of commercial and corporate fraud? 2010 In your experience, is this problem getting worse this year compared to last year? 48% 22% 30% Same The respondents represented the following professional categories: Accountant 3% Accounts Assistant 2% Accounts Manager 6% Chief Accountant 1% Credit Control Supervisor 6% Credit Controller 15% Credit Manager 21% Credit Risk Analyst 2% Financial Controller 6% Financial Director 9% Financial Manager 2% Group Credit Manager 2% Head Of Finance 1% Management Accountant 1% Operations Manager 2% Risk Manager 0% Sales Ledger Manager 1% Other, please state 17% Unspecified 3% Please note: Percentages have been rounded up. 18

19 2010 Will the new EU directive on late payment change anything? The European Parliament on the 20th October 2010 approved new rules to crack down on late paying businesses and public sector organisations. The Europe-wide directive is aimed at reducing the estimated 25bn that companies spend each year chasing late payers, but has received a mixed response. Under the directive, which will be phased in over two years, companies and public institutions will be required to pay bills within 30 days and may be charged an eight percent interest charge on overdue invoices. Small firms will also be handed the power to charge 40 to cover expenses for late bills. This survey investigated whether the credit industry believes this will change anything. 331 unique respondents took part in the survey. In response to the EU directive do you think this new law will have any impact on the problem of late payments within the EU? 50% 37% 10% 3%, this will lead to a considerable fall in the number of late payers, this will lead to a modest fall in the number of late payers, the number of late payers will remain the same, this will lead to a rise in the number of late payers 19

20 Will the new EU directive on late payment change anything? 2010 Have any of your suppliers unilaterally changed their payment terms over the last 12 months? 34% 46%, more than once Have any of your customers asked for a discount based on prompt payment in the last 12 months? 50% 25% 25%, more than once The respondents represented the following professional categories: Accountant 3% Accounts Assistant 2% Accounts Manager 6% Chief Accountant 1% Credit Control Supervisor 6% Credit Controller 15% Credit Manager 21% Credit Risk Analyst 2% Financial Controller 6% Financial Director 9% Financial Manager 2% Group Credit Manager 2% Head Of Finance 1% Management Accountant 1% Operations Manager 2% Risk Manager 0% Sales Ledger Manager 1% Other, please state 17% Unspecified 3% Please note: Percentages have been rounded up. 20

21 2011 What effect is the current economic climate having on your business? This survey investigates the views and experiences of those in the credit industry to understand the effect the current economic situation is having on bad debts and late payment. Are these remaining static, improving or taking a turn for the worse? A total of 180 unique respondents took part in the survey. Do you think that the threat posed to business stability by bad debts will worsen, stay the same or improve during 2011? Worsen Stay the same Improve 21

22 What effect is the current economic climate having on your business? Do you expect HMRC s reported tougher line on applicants to the Time to Pay scheme to have an impact on the late and non payment of invoices? Do you intend to expand headcount in your credit management department during 2011? 22

23 What effect is the current economic climate having on your business? Are you expecting a second quarter of negative growth (of GDP) in the UK which would mean Britain going back into recession? Are committed revenue levels up or down so far this year in 2011(January-Feb-2011 compared to January-Feb-2010)? Up Down Who took part in the survey? Accountant: 2% Accounts Assistant: 1% Accounts Manager: 3% Chief Accountant: 1% Credit Control Supervisor: 6% Credit Controller: 14% Credit Manager: 26% Credit Risk Analyst: 3% Financial Controller: 6% Financial Director: 9% Financial Manager: 3% Group Credit Manager: 2% Head Of Finance: 1% Management Accountant: 2% Operations Manager: 1% Risk Manager: 1% Sales Ledger Manager: 1% Other, please state: 11% Unspecified: 3% Please note: Percentages have been rounded up. 23

24 2011 How do you manage bad debt? HMRC is responsible for a growing percentage of petitions to wind up companies (58% of total winding up orders in 2010). However, the overall number is going down. The conclusion is that unsecured creditors are not filing for a winding up petition when faced with unpaid debts. Many organisations choose to live with the outstanding debt hoping the financial strength of the debtor will improve. We wanted to hear of the methods employed for dealing with debtors. 407 unique respondents took part in the survey. In your organisation, how does the number of petitions to wind up debtor companies compare to the previous year? More The same Fewer 24

25 How do you manage bad debt? Has your organisation used other methods to retrieve debt rather than issuing a winding up petition? If so, what other methods have you used? (Please select all that apply) Setting up a formal voluntary arrangement/ rescheduling of debt repayment Issuing a County Court Judgement against the debtor Continuing with the outstanding debt in the hope that the debtor will be able to fulfil their commitment at a later date Contracting a third party debt collector Writing off the debt 25

26 How do you manage bad debt? During the economic downturn of the past two and a half years how would you describe your attitude towards debtors? More conciliatory The same as in benign economic conditions More robust/tougher Who took part in the survey? Accountant: 3% Accounts Assistant: 3% Accounts Manager: 3% Chief Accountant: 1% Credit Control Supervisor: 6% Credit Controller: 17% Credit Manager: 23% Credit Risk Analyst: 2% Financial Controller: 5% Financial Director: 9% Financial Manager: 5% Group Credit Manager: 4% Head Of Finance: 1% Management Accountant: 1% Operations Manager: 1% Risk Manager: 2% Sales Ledger Manager: 0% Other, please state: 14% Unspecified: 3% Please note: Percentages have been rounded up. 26

27 2011 Will Companies House filing exemption benefit small businesses? Vince Cable announced that the government is supporting European Union parliament initiatives to exempt micro businesses with an annual turnover of under 1 million euro a year (around 80 per cent of the incorporated business population) from filing accounts at Companies House. What do credit professionals feel about this initiative and whether it will stimulate the lending of more credit and in turn benefit small businesses? 430 unique respondents took part in the survey. Do you think that this exemption will help small businesses access credit and finance from your company? 27

28 Will Companies House filing exemption benefit small businesses? Do you think that the Government s proposal to exempt micro businesses from filing accounts will help to drive business growth in the UK? If statutory accounts were no longer available from Companies House and credit reference agencies, would you: Make credit decisions without financials Ask customers directly for copies of year end accounts Ask customers directly for monthly management accounts Ask customers for both copies of year end accounts and monthly management accounts The respondents represented the following professional categories: Accountant: 3% Accounts Assistant: 1% Accounts Manager: 4% Chief Accountant: 1% Credit Control Supervisor: 4% Credit Controller: 9% Credit Manager: 27% Credit Risk Analyst: 4% Financial Controller: 7% Financial Director: 8% Financial Manager: 2% Group Credit Manager: 3% Head Of Finance: 1% Management Accountant: 1% Operations Manager: 1% Risk Manager: 3% Sales Ledger Manager: 0% Other, please state: 19% Unspecified: 3% Please note: Percentages have been rounded up. 28

29 2011 Are you protected against bad debt? In today s volatile environment it is important to protect against the risks of bad debt, commercial fraud and slow payments. How do you protect your company against these risks? 118 unique respondents took part in the survey. Which of the following factors do you see as the biggest threat to your customers cash flow? (select a maximum of two) The availability of credit The scaling down of HMRC s Time to Pay Scheme The fall in consumer spend An increase in business rates Higher utility prices Increasing petrol prices Lack of credit management procedures Are you credit insured? 29

30 Are you protected against bad debt? What percentage of your business is credit insured? 0 to 25% 26 to 50% 51 to 75% 76 to Compared to a year ago is this percentage higher, lower or the same? Higher The Same Lower Why have you not used credit insurance? Select up to a maximum of two most important factors that influenced your decision. Too expensive / not value for money t available in our industry sector t our policy to have credit insurance Don t know Other 30

31 Are you protected against bad debt? What other methods are you using to protect yourself against bad debts? Credit referencing agencies Factoring, invoice discounting Debt collection Other Location England Scotland Wales Other The respondents represented the following professional categories: Accountant: 2% Accounts Assistant: 2% Accounts Manager: 3% Chief Accountant: 0% Credit Control Supervisor: 7% Credit Controller: 15% Credit Manager: 34% Credit Risk Analyst: 4% Financial Controller: 2% Financial Director: 3% Financial Manager: 3% Group Credit Manager: 2% Head Of Finance: 0% Management Accountant: 4% Operations Manager: 0% Risk Manager: 2% Sales Ledger Manager: 0% Other, please state: 16% Unspecified: 3% Please note: Percentages have been rounded up. 31

32 2011 Are Government plans really helping companies obtain funding? Do the government s credit easing plans really help businesses obtain funding and create real accessibility to finance? With the sensitive economic climate, could the government do more to protect against re-entry into recession? 208 unique respondents took part in the survey. Do you think the Government s plans to establish a small and medium sized business bond market will help businesses to access funding?, it will help a lot, it will help a little, it will not have an impact, it will make the funding situation worse for SMEs Don t know 32

33 Are Government plans really helping companies obtain funding? Do you believe that the Government s latest credit easing plans will be more or less effective in terms of improving access to finance for small firms than the Government s Enterprise Finance Guarantee or HMRC s Time to Pay Scheme? More effective As effective Less effective Should the Government do more to encourage the banks to increase lending to small and medium sized businesses? 33

34 Are Government plans really helping companies obtain funding? Do you believe that the economy will re-enter recession during 2011/12? Who took part in the survey? Accountant: 3% Accounts Assistant: 2% Accounts Manager: 4% Chief Accountant: 0% Credit Control Supervisor: 5% Credit Controller: 15% Credit Manager: Credit Risk Analyst: 5% Financial Controller: 3% Financial Director: 4% Financial Manager: 3% Group Credit Manager: 4% Head Of Finance: 0% Management Accountant: 0% Operations Manager: 1% Risk Manager: 1% Sales Ledger Manager: 0% Other, please state: 25% Unspecified: 3% Please note: Percentages have been rounded up. 34

35 2011 Late payment of trade invoices Is the government doing enough to protect UK businesses from late payment of trade invoices by their customers? Have things worsened in the last 12 months? 266 unique respondents took part in the survey. Compared with 12 months ago, do you believe that the issue of late payment of trade invoices issued by your business is: More frequent About the same Less frequent Don t know 35

36 Late payment of trade invoices During the last 12 months, have any of your suppliers unilaterally changed their payment terms? Don t know In which area of the UK economy do you believe the late payment of trade invoices is most widespread? Private sector businesses with turnovers of up to 50m per annum Private sector businesses with turnovers exceeding 50m per annum Government and Public Sector organisations Don t know 36

37 Late payment of trade invoices During 2012, which of the following statements do you believe most closely describes the projected impact of the late payment of trade invoices upon your business? A threat to the financial stability of the business which could inhibit its ability to continue trading A threat to the financial stability of the business which could inhibit its ability to invest in people and products / services threat to the financial stability of the business Don t know 37

38 Late payment of trade invoices Do you agree that the current Government is doing enough to protect UK businesses from the late payment of trade invoices by customers?, strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree Don t know Who took part in the survey? Accountant: 4% Accounts Assistant: 1% Accounts Manager: 4% Chief Accountant: 0% Credit Control Supervisor: 5% Credit Controller: 12% Credit Manager: 23% Credit Risk Analyst: 2% Financial Controller: 3% Financial Director: 12% Financial Manager: 4% Group Credit Manager: 3% Head of Finance: 0% Management Accountant: 1% Operations Manager: 1% Risk Manager: 1% Sales Ledger Manager: 1% Other, please state: 17% Unspecified: 3% Please note: Percentages have been rounded up. 38

39 Graydon UK is one of the leading European business information providers specialising in credit information and credit management solutions. UK Credit Reports International Credit Reports Ledger Management Risk Monitoring Services Credit Scoring Decisioning Solutions Risk Prevention Graydon UK Limited, Hygeia Building, 66 College Road, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 1BE Tel +44 (0) Fax +44 (0) Graydon 2011

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