Better working practices needed between manufacturers and their accountants, says Exact survey

invoicing300Almost a quarter (23%) of SME manufacturers admit to having forgotten to invoice for goods valued at anything from £1,000 to £10,000-plus.

The survey, carried out by the financial and business software supplier Exact, showed the biggest cause of stress for SME manufacturers is worries over finances (29%), such as cash-flow issues, debtors and business planning, with pressures related to winning new business (28%) and worries about workload (21%), second and third respectively. Not far off a third (29%) of business owners and leaders in manufacturing admitted that they didn’t feel fully in control of their accounts and business finances.

Exact says the ramifications of these shortcomings also appear to have a wider impact on businesses with over half (52%) saying that they had to defer payments of one kind or another due to cash-flow problems, including failing to pay their staff wages on time (13%).

“We don’t want to blow this issue out of proportion,” said Hartmut Wagner, Managing Director of Cloud Solution Exact, “but these findings do highlight that many SMEs working in the manufacturing sector who are eager to grow are not doing themselves any favours by losing out unnecessarily on millions in revenue income, particularly with so many expressing concern over their cash-flow.”

Mukesh Shah, of accountancy firm HW Fisher, said the findings of the research seemed to suggest that there was a need for better working practices and processes to be in place between accountants and their SME clients.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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