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Call for big firms to pay bills on time

AAP logoAAP 26/10/2016 Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent

More than three quarters of small and medium sized business operators have suffered the headache of customers not paying their bills on time.

The effects of this tardy cash flow hits the personal finances of business owners and their own ability to pay expenses, such as rent and power, while more than half admitted they had suffered stress and anxiety because of it.

A survey by software provider MYOB found 72 per cent back a voluntary code to encourage businesses to pay more promptly.

"It's unfair that many small business owners are being subjected to late payments on top of the day to day challenges of running their own business," MYOB boss Tim Reed says.

"Improving this situation to ensure all businesses are being paid on time should be a shared responsibility across federal government and businesses of all sizes."

The Council of Small Business Australia wants a national prompt payment protocol.

"Some big businesses are taking more than 90 days to pay an SME despite agreed payment terms being 30 days ... this can be the difference between insolvency and a healthy business continuing to operate," CEO Peter Strong said.

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