How to Reduce the Impact of Late Payments on Small Business Owners

The last 18 months have presented challenges for many Canadians as we’ve battled through one of the most unprecedented times in history. Small businesses, in particular, have been among some of the hardest hit by Covid-19’s impacts, including revenue loss, pivoting product or service offerings, and reducing staff. However, one challenge that has remained consistently difficult to overcome is late payments. Many business owners have always had to deal with this to some degree, and the pandemic has only made matters worse.

CFIB reports that more than 80% of small businesses have not fully recovered from the pandemic. Sectors hit hardest include arts and recreation (95%) and hospitality (96%). Businesses that have not recovered say it will take them nearly two years to get back to normal.

In support of Small Business Month, Intuit QuickBooks Canada is sharing the results of a #SmallBizLessons pulse-check survey, capturing key findings from 583 small business owners across the product and service industries in Canada, with the goal of better understanding the top pain points and lessons learned over the past year and a half, and how we can best support their recovery.

Our survey found nearly 1 in 5 (17%) of Canadian small businesses had their revenue decrease by more than 20% during the pandemic. And approximately 61% of Canadian small businesses are experiencing up to $50,000 in late payments today, causing many to cut back on resources and supplies—or, worse—lay off employees. With these realities in mind, it’s plain to see how the marathon of recovery is not over for small businesses.

It’s been challenging to make and receive payments of any kind throughout the pandemic. But the domino effect on SMBs puts their ability to operate and provide jobs at risk. Entrepreneurs need intuitive tools to help them get paid more quickly and easily. In fact,  over 1 in 4 (27%) Canadian small business owners say technology that automates customer reminders, as well as technology that enables payment directly through their digital invoice, would make collecting payments easier and faster. QuickBooks can help you save time by making invoicing and cash flow tasks easier to accomplish, so you always know where you stand.

When it comes to late payments, QuickBooks has tools to help make the experience as seamless and stress-free as possible:

  1. Make invoices instantly payable: Add a button to your invoices to let customers pay online. Get paid 2x faster than with paper invoicing.
  2. Deposits that work as fast as you do: Have money on hand when you need it. Eligible payments are deposited next business day
  3. Set and forget those recurring invoices: Schedule invoices in advance and let your customers set up automatic online payments
  4. No runaround, just real-time tracking: Never get distracted wondering where your money is. You’ll get alerts the moment customers view and pay invoices

Keep an eye out for more survey findings and #SmallBizLessons from QuickBooks throughout Small Business Month.

About the Survey:

The study, conducted leveraging Pollfish on behalf of Intuit QuickBooks Canada, was completed by 583 Canadians. All 583 Canadians identified as small business owners. Of the total, 262 identified as having 1-15 employees and 321 identified as sole proprietors. The estimated margin of error for the total sample is +/- 5 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. The study took place online on September 22, 2021.

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