Towards the end of May, back when the World Cup was drawing ever closer, it was revealed that managers would do well to ensure staff have access to matches if they want to ensure job satisfaction throughout the month-long tournament.
But just imagine for a second that the global football contest were reimagined for finances. That’s exactly what was done by Creditsafe, the business intelligence firm, which assessed the performance of nations based on the ability of businesses nationally paying suppliers on time. And sadly England performed about as well as it usually does in these international football line-ups.
According to the company’s findings, Brazil would take the trophy home as businesses in the country pay up just 4.3 days beyond terms agreed on average. It was followed by Iceland with 6.4 days late and Sweden at 6.7 days, rounding off the top three places.So where does that leave England? Could the Three Lions do us proud in the world of finances? It seems not as the country ranked 17th with a shocking 16 days beyond terms – almost exactly four times later than Brazil. However, England can be considered relatively speedy to the likes of Morocco where the payments are twice as late at 31.2 days beyond terms and Saudi Arabia, which came in last place with 48 days beyond terms. And England looks even more impressive still when you consider the average days beyond terms is 19.4 days.
Commenting on the scores, Cato Syversen, CEO of Creditsafe, said: “It’s interesting to see that not only are Brazil on top of their sporting game, they are also on top when it comes to paying their suppliers. With England, I’m sure some would argue that reaching the last sixteen in the Late Payments tournament is a fair reflection of how the team is expected to perform on the pitch. However, it also indicates that there is much more that English businesses should be doing to ensure they are paying their suppliers on time.”
While England’s performance is still nothing to write home about, UK SMEs can perhaps breathe a sigh of relief that the late payments culture isn’t just national but international – and in no way as bad as Saudi Arabia. Maybe it’s time to look at the likes of Brazil to find out just how companies over there manage to operate at such pace.