January 27th, 2010 by Alex Coté
Good news, Nevada. You’re no longer the poster child for delinquent payments. While it’s a bit too soon to be popping the champagne – Nevada still ranks #1 in percentage of accounts 90+ days beyond term – Oregon businesses now own the dubious distinction of leading the nation in late payments. According to our latest Past Due by State report unveiled this morning, more than 20 percent of Oregon-based business accounts receivable are past due, the highest percentage of any of the 50 states. Alaska, in contrast, continues to enjoy the lowest percent of past due accounts, with just over 6 percent past due. The national average is hovering in a familiar range of just over 16 percent, which has been the norm over the past year.
Joining Oregon on the less-than-favorable top 10 list are Wisconsin (20.46 percent past due), New Mexico (19.79), Florida (19.72), Minnesota (19.64), Nevada (19.55), Michigan (19.15), New York (18.30), and Hawaii (18.05).
As the saying goes, “if I don’t get paid, you don’t get paid.” Timely payments are critical to ensuring fluid cash flow and therefore optimizing working capital. Unlike the larger credit story, where business owners can quickly point to banks and other lenders for their woes, we’re all in this one together. And at the risk of over simplifying, we all control our own interdependent destinies. Pick your suppliers, partners and even clients carefully, and make sure you take the time to assess and reassess risk when it comes to the payment behavior of those directly responsible for your cash flow. Or adopt a strategy of doing business exclusively with Alaskan companies.