The Business Council of Australia has launched the Australian Supplier Payment Code to speed up payment times and improve relationships between large and small companies.
The code is a voluntary, industry-led initiative that enshrines the importance of prompt and on-time payment for small business suppliers through compliance with a set of best-practice standards.
The code commits signatory companies to pay eligible Australian small business suppliers on-time and within 30 days of receiving a correct invoice, and to help suppliers implement new technologies and practices to speed up invoicing.
In some cases this will more than halve payment times and help improve the viability and vitality of small business and enhance the ability of business to create jobs.
The code is at the centre of a new age of co-operation and mutual respect between businesses – big and small.
It was launched earlier this week by Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott and has been endorsed by the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia.
Any business or government entity can sign up to the code at any time.
The code is not just about paying small business bills within 30 days of receiving a correct invoice.
It also obliges big businesses to give a helping hand to smaller ones to implement new technologies and practices to improve their systems to have more efficient and faster invoicing and payment.
The code also requires companies to pay on time and includes a clear and fair process for dealing with complaints and disputes about payment times.
The Business Council will work with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman and State-based Commissioners to regularly review the progress of the code.
Signatories to the Code commit to:
- Pay small business suppliers within 30 days (subject to conditions)
- Pay all suppliers on time
- Provide clear guidance about payment procedures to suppliers
- Work with suppliers to improve invoicing and payments practices
- A process for resolving payment disputes and complaints (see link to guidance note)
- Basic reporting on company policies and practices in place to comply with the Code
►Want more information? Download the Australian Supplier Payment Code flyer here.