In addition to expensive energy and skyrocketing raw materials, companies also have to face delays in collecting invoices. The photograph was taken by the Irec group, a company specializing in the recovery of trade receivables.
The crisis is now certified by the numbers. A research by the Irec group, a company specializing in the recovery of trade receivables, inexorably highlights the suffering in which Italian companies pay, compared to the payments in the first half of 2022. 37% of the interviewees, out of a sample of 2,500 companies, declare that they have at least two invoices to be cashed and 30% have over four invoices at risk. A phenomenon that affects the entire Peninsula but in particular the South: if in the Northeast only 43% of payments are honored within 30 days, in the South the delays even reach 78%.
The pandemic first and the war in Ukraine then affected many sectors but above all transport and agri-food: 82% of companies operating in the latter sector report drops in margins of almost 20%. “In a scenario of extreme uncertainty and great difficulty for small and medium-sized enterprises and Italian traders – explains Victor Khaireddin, president of the Irec group – the insane increase in energy has given the coup de grace. The outgoing government finds itself having to to face various problems that are already, for many companies, a reason for closure “.
If for some companies, now exhausted by the long period of lockdown and restrictions, the enormous increase in energy has led to an inevitable closure, for the others, which can still continue their business, Khaireddin emphasizes, “it is absolutely necessary to adopt, immediately, all the possible tools to avoid incurring non-payments that could also lead to bankruptcy, generating an unstoppable circle in which every company that ceases to leave non-payments to supplier companies which, in turn, are also forced If on the one hand today the entrepreneur is required to use efficient business information and credit management tools, leaving aside the ‘do-it-yourself’, even the Italian political class is called to act immediately. On 25 September it might be too late ”.
This, it is emphasized, in consideration of the fact that the credit management methods of businesses and merchants have remained unchanged, thus exposing themselves to very high insolvency risks: as many as 55% of respondents declare that they do not make use of commercial information, even knowing that they are an indispensable tool for evaluating both new and historical customers. Only 19% of respondents admit to using them regularly on old and new customers. Therefore, in addition to the current situation of instability due to the pandemic, war and climate, Italian companies continue to not consider management and prevention processes to be strategic to combat the phenomenon of non-payments, putting their existence at serious risk. Yet, today, effective and efficient tools are available to prevent outstanding payments: business information, or commercial information.
“The situation is complex in itself – continues Khaireddin – but companies and traders must protect themselves, using everything in their power to defend themselves, relying on professionals specialized in the ‘bargaining’ of commercial credits, with the aim of making payments faster. Reducing risk while maintaining strong cash flow is essential for small businesses. This is why a smooth and rapid credit recovery process is needed, while maintaining high standards in business relationships. ”
Meanwhile, a similar research is being prepared to photograph the situation in which VAT numbers are paid, another category that, perhaps, is suffering from the economic crisis to an even greater extent: “These are – concludes Khaireddin – freelancers, from the architect to the accountant , from the surveyor to the graphic designer, from web consultants to lawyers. The middle-upper middle class that, if it does not collect, inevitably goes into difficulty and creates damage to the entire economic fabric of our country. From the first data we are analyzing, important delays emerge in the invoice payments with a percentage increase over the last six months. The hypothesis is that VAT numbers, already ‘bent’ by the pandemic, have received another blow from the war in Ukraine and, consequently, from the increase in materials raw materials such as gas and energy. The State is called to intervene immediately because the problems we have photographed are only the appetizer of the bitter account that we could ‘pa races in the coming months “.