B2B payment practices trends, Australia 2023

Payment Practices Barometer

  • Australia
  • Agriculture,
  • Food,
  • Construction,
  • Steel,
  • Metals

Our survey found an average 12% increase in overdue invoices during the past year, and 47% of the total value of B2B sales on credit currently remains unpaid at the due date.

The 2023 Payment Practices Barometer survey for Australia was conducted between the end of Q1 and mid Q2 2023. Its findings should therefore be viewed with this in mind.

Key takeaways from the report for Australia 

Sharp downward trend in payment terms and selling on credit

  • Businesses polled in Australia responded to the worrying cashflow issues caused by soaring payment defaults from B2B customers with a range of measures. 53% of companies surveyed told us they spent extra time and resources on chasing overdue invoices amid setting up stronger credit control procedures. Almost as many companies delayed payments to their own suppliers, particularly in the agri-food sector.
  • 75% of businesses polled said they bridged cashflow shortages by resorting to bank loans, while many in the agri-food sector requested trade credit as a source of short-term finance. These actions had a positive impact on Days-Sales-Outstanding (DSO), with 55% of companies saying they were able to contain large swings of DSO.

Inflation anxiety among widespread range of concerns

  • The chief concern looking ahead for companies polled in Australia is the threat to business growth posed by persistently high inflation. This was expressed across all sectors, but particularly by the steel-metals sector, which has been affected by supply chain disruptions and geopolitical tensions. Another worry is that this could be exacerbated by further energy price shocks.
  • Our survey found that Australian businesses also have widespread anxiety about a potential continuation of the global economic downturn, which would impact on domestic demand. This was again most keenly felt among companies in the steel-metals sector. Anxiety about the impact of exchange rate fluctuations was another key concern reported by companies polled in Australia, who told us it could have a negative impact on their international competitiveness.

The Atradius Payment Practices Barometer is an annual survey of business-to-business (B2B) payment practices in markets across the world. Its findings can give valuable insights into the current dynamics of corporate payment behaviour in B2B trade. It can also help companies doing business, or planning to do so, in the markets polled to identify emerging future trends in the payment practices of B2B customers. 

Interested in finding out more?

For a complete overview of the 2023 survey results for Australia, please download the full report available in the related documents section below. 

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