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Economic caution: Higher than average bad debt claims

The outlook for Australia’s economy might be improving, but there appears to be no end in sight to the cash flow pressures hitting most SMEs, with a higher than average number of debtors defaulting on what they owe due to insolvency, said cash flow finance specialist, Oxford Funding.

Bad DebtsAccording to the National Credit Insurance (Brokers) P/L, claims received against bad debts remain higher than the February average by 38%*. However, fewer claims were received than the same time last year, which was the biggest February on record. In February 2010, a total of 86 claims were made through NCI against debtors who had defaulted. Worst hit was the building and hardware industry where $945,712 worth of debts was defaulted on, followed by advertising ($638,158) and timber ($433,249).

“Liquidity and access to cash are absolutely critical in an upturn, however these figures indicate that some industries are still feeling the pains from the GFC and are defaulting on what they owe,” said Rob Lamers, CEO of Oxford Funding.

“Depending on which sector of the economy they operate in, it’s still becoming increasingly important for businesses to keep a careful watch on their customer’s ability to pay.” Lamers said.

“Failure rate for firms with negative cash flow is 213 percent higher** than for those operating with a positive cash position, so if there’s doubt, it’s time to consider implementing strategies that can protect cash flow.”

“There are several strategies businesses can turn to to protect their operations from bad debtors and defaults,” he said. “Product such as debtor finance, which provides up to 80% of an invoice’s face value within 24 hours, as well as debtor insurance where businesses can insure against defaulting debtors for a premium, are two ways businesses can gain more certainty over their cash flow.

If your debtors aren’t paying on time, sign up to CreditorWatch to expose bad debtors and be alerted when the businesses you trade with fail to pay.

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David Olsen

David Olsen

An undercover economist and a not so undercover geek. Politics, business and psychology nerd and anti-bandwagon jumper. Can be found on Twitter: <a href="http://www.twitter.com/DDsD">David Olsen - DDsD</a>

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