Accounts departments must chase down unpaid invoices during coronavirus crisis

ICSM: alarm bells ringing in accounts departments as customers delay paying invoices during the coronavirus crisis

Across a raft of industries members of ICSM Credit have seen red lights flashing and alarm bells ringing as their clients plead ‘coronavirus’ as an excuse not to pay invoices.

Ian Carrotte of the credit intelligence organisation said: “Printers, sign-makers, couriers, hauliers, paper merchants, wholesalers, office suppliers and many more are contacting us over clients who have put the squeeze on payments.”

He said the news from industry and commerce has grown more depressing every day during the crisis as many firms cannot survive two or three months without cash flow. “The damage has already been done,” he said, “with companies across the spectrum of business in trouble. My advice is to end credit to any firm that appears to have shut down and chase up all unpaid accounts because the louder you shout the more likely you’ll get paid sooner.”


Pubs and clubs, cafes and bars have been shut nationwide with workers in many cases such as Wetherspoons with the staff laid off without pay. Some cafes like the Old Almshouse Tea Shop in Axbridge turning themselves into food stores to survive. Hotels in particular are finding business difficult with most of London’s big names closed such as Jurys, Rosewood and Resorts Hotels while Travelodge has also closed most of its hotels.

Printing and allied trades

Orders have fallen for the industry as retailers, offices, house builders and educational establishments - as the lockdown takes effect. However because they have existing orders for ongoing publications many printers are maintaining a reduced level of production. The main issue is not only the decline in orders but also cash flow as overheads don’t go away such as utility bills and wages.


The situation with air and rail firms has been well charted in the media in the last few weeks. With rail company franchises suspended and in effect nationalised that sector has been given Government protection. Haulage firms are having a mixed time with Morrisons and Tuffnells both recruiting hundreds of drivers while Advanced Supply Chain Group are laying off workers, Don-Bur is closing trailer manufacturing during the crisis and Laura Ashley and Premier Logistics have gone into administration.

ICSM Credit

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website or email Ian at on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

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