STA, 11 November 2019 - Slovenian companies wait to get paid by their business clients for 81 days on average, shows a study by the EOS international organisation for claims management, highlighting that this period is the longest among 17 participating countries. Nonetheless, the companies do not consider this predicament a threat to their business.
On average, payment deadlines for consumers and business clients have been somewhat shortened in the past few years and currently stand at 33 days - 30 days in the participating western European countries and 34 days in participating eastern European countries.
In Slovenia, approved payment deadlines are set at 14 days on average for consumers and at 43 days for business clients, with the latter deadline being one of the most generous among the participating countries - longer deadlines for companies are found only in Greece (51 days) and Spain (44 days).
Meanwhile, the shortest deadlines for companies are in Germany (26 days) and in Denmark (28 days).
Average delays in payments have been stabilised in the participating countries in the recent years. In Slovenia, they stand at 32 days on average - 38 days for companies and 20 days for consumers.
According to Natalija Zupan of the EOS KSI group, the Slovenian branch of EOS, Slovenian companies waiting to get paid for such a long time means that the cycle of settling claims in the country is much slower, which has a negative impact on business productivity and efficiency.
On the other hand, Slovenia has a large share of invoices which are settled due date - 89%, higher than the study's average, which is mainly a result of consumers' payment discipline.
However, the case is different for companies, with only 74% of invoices being paid on time, five percentage points below the average.
Nevertheless, the companies appear calm in the face of these results since such a situation has been a constant in the Slovenian business arena. Apart from Germany and Denmark, where payment discipline is the highest, the Slovenian companies are the least worried when it comes to payment delays.
Only 8% of them believe that their existence is jeopardised due to such delays, while 17% think that because of that they have suffered loss of profit and 21% believe they have experienced liquidity problems.
A total of 6% raise their prices or limit their business due to such delays. Zupan believes that Slovenian companies are thus feeling safe in this environment.
They do implement certain measures to tackle the delays though, using ways of checking companies' ratings and their payment practices more than their European counterparts, swiftly issuing invoices and payment reminders; however, they hire professional claims recovery services considerably less than the European average.
The Germany-based organisation has conducted a phone poll about payment practices for the 12th consecutive year. The study included 17 countries and 3,400 companies with annual turnover above EUR 5 million and employing more than 20 people.
In the recent years, the annual study has involved 200 Slovenian companies as well.