Survey Cites the Effect of Cash Flow on Business Growth

It may sound obvious but apparently, businesses around the world would be in better shape if everybody paid their bills on time. According to Colin Sharp, senior vice president at a company called C2FO, “There is a significant opportunity for businesses to optimize working capital through better relationships with customers and better use of accounts receivables.”

C2FO is a global company headquartered in Fairway, Kansas, and specializing in facilitating faster cash transfers between customers and suppliers. Their annual Working Capital Outlook Survey, released today. Asks financial outlook questions 1,800-plus small and medium sized businesses in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy. Here are some their findings:

  • 60-plus percent are concerned about financing long-term growth
  • 55 percent see cash flow as the biggest obstacle to growth
  • 29 percent have no or limited ability to borrow; those who can borrow face high costs

According to the study, most of the businesses surveyed see outstanding invoices as a key strategy to achieving working capital; late payment on invoices averages 19 percent overall with companies in Italy reporting late payments at 50 percent.

What about geopolitical question about the effects of the United States presidential election and Britain’s exit from the European Union? According to the study, those take a back seat to concerns over higher interest rates and competition from emerging markets.