Small business overwhelmingly paid on-time by Government

THE Australian Government continues to lead the way in on-time payments to business, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack says.

Releasing the Government's Pay On-Time Survey today, Mr McCormack said the survey measures agency performance against a 90 per cent benchmark, in terms of the number of invoices under $1 million paid within 30 days.

"As I have travelled around Australia on my small business roadshow, I hear how important payment times are for small businesses," Mr McCormack said.

"As a former small business owner, I know you can't pay on a promise. Cash flow is king. That's why I am pleased to see the Federal Government leading the way in paying on-time."

Results from 2014-15 and 2015-16 show Government agencies in the survey paid 97 per cent of their invoices within 30 days. A similar survey of on-time payments to small businesses, conducted between 2002 and 2013-14, showed a significant improvement in the proportion of small business invoices paid within 30 days.

"In 2002, only 82 per cent of invoices were paid on time, but by 2013-14 Government agencies were paying over 97 per cent of small business invoices valued up to $5 million on-time," Mr McCormack said.

"No matter whether a small business is new or established, in the city or a regional area, cash flow in and out of the business is essential. The Government knows small business is not a bank, which is why paying our bills on-time is such a high priority."

This is the first survey which measures the Government's current Pay On-Time policy, reporting how quickly businesses are being paid irrespective of the size of the business.

The 2016 Survey is available here.

Cristy Houghton