Late invoice payments directly affect growing a business.
Late invoice payments have caused UK SMEs to miss out on over £250 billion worth of cash flow, every year. 
The £250 billion worth of negative cash flow also includes the costs of companies having to pursue customers’ payments, as well as long payment terms.
- Affect a business’s ability to trade
- Stifle appetite for growth and recruitment
- Lead to insolvencies
On the topic of ‘late payments leading to insolvency’, around 50,000 businesses fail each year and that leads to a £2.5bn shortfall of the UK economy. 
SMEs account for 47% of the UK’s private sector turnover. Leaving SMEs to cope with the problems of late payment could harm the UK’s economy. 
Apart from these measurable consequences, late payments also affect a business’s willingness to invest or hire. 
Research by the Telegraph, on 19th May 2015, relating to British SME’s, suggests that a typical small business spends around 130 hours a year chasing invoices.
Another study by, Plum, done on 13 September 2017, found that different countries spent a significant amount of time chasing late payments.
It varies with countries, for example, the average SME in South Africa would spend 20 days on the task, whereas, in Australia, it would only take 4 days. Regardless, the time taken on such tasks only hinders productivity. 
Aside from the lack of productivity, it also takes large sums to recover the invoice payments. Research done by Paul Davies, on 27 July 2015, found that SMEs in the UK spent, in total, £10.8 billion to recover overdue payments.
This translates to an average of almost £11,500 for every SME, which is a remarkable sum. 
A study of more than 3000 companies in 11 countries, conducted by Plum, on 7 December 2017, found that the 2 most common impacts of late payments on firms were: 
- Inability to invest in their company
- Difficulty in paying their suppliers
In addition, 40% of responders to the Plum surveys also reported that late payments caused impacts on an individual level, such as:
- Reduced pay reviews
- Reduced payrolls
- Smaller bonuses
This, too, can prove disastrous for growing a business as it diminishes morale and productivity.