Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What is a Prompt Payment Directory business rating?
    2. Why would I want to rate a business on the The Prompt Payment Directory?
    3. Isn’t the government doing something similar to this?
    4. What about the credit checking agencies?
    5. I’m worried that if I rate a business on The Prompt Payment Directory my customers may find out and it could damage my business relationship.
    6. What will my rating look like?
    7. Can I see the business rating I’ve submitted when it goes live?
    8. Can I delete or amend a business rating that I have submitted?
    9. How long will the business ratings I’ve submitted stay up for?
    10. Can I submit more than one rating per business?

 

1. What is a Prompt Payment Directory business rating?

A business rating on The Prompt Payment Directory provides anonymised data relating to a business’ propensity to pay its invoices on time.

The the data is based on The Prompt Payment Directory’s proprietary eight point scoring system.

  • There is no cost for rating businesses on The Prompt Payment Directory.
  • Businesses are rated anonymously, only the debtor’s company name will show up. This is to protect the supplier’s business relationships.
  • Business ratings may range from the positive to the negative depending on how good the customer is at paying their invoices.

You can see an example of a late payment notice here.

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2. Why would I want to rate a business on The Prompt Payment Directory?

This is a very important question.

The Prompt Payment Directory was not set up with the intention of providing a platform to ‘name and shame’. It’s built on the premise that contextualised crowdsourced data is the best way to improve transparency around the opaque issue of late payment.

Research from the Institute of Directors showed that 47% of respondents cited onerous bureaucracy as an impediment to being paid on time, this is a bureaucratic issue and not necessarily an intentional effort to avoid paying invoices. As such The Prompt Payment Directory simply exists to provide a platform to help surface this context for the betterment of both suppliers and customers.

There are essentially two actions users of The Prompt Payment Directory can take and they are very much interdependent:

  1. Rate a business.
  2. Search the directory for prospective customers to see if they have a history of settling invoices late and the context surrounding them.

Sadly the first will not result in immediate payment of an overdue invoice but the second can help prevent the issue from ever occurring.

The more businesses that are rated on The Prompt Payment Directory the more effective and informative the directory becomes.

The more informed suppliers are the better able they are to ask the right questions and make the right decisions when entering into new contracts and the less likely they may be to face liquidity issues.

Prevention is better than cure.

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3. Isn’t the government doing something similar to this?

Not exactly.

Findings from a consultation published by the government in March 2015 indicated that businesses want greater transparency around the issue of late payment and payment practices in general.

As part of their solution from April 2017 the government will require all large LLPs, all quoted companies and all large companies as defined by the Companies Act to report twice a year on how their supplier invoices have been processed.

While this is a welcome step forward there are some shortcomings:

    1. It only applies to a comparatively small number of businesses in the UK. The issue of late payment has a trickle down effect which could cause companies that do not fall within the scope of this remit to also settle invoices late.
    2. The reporting requirement is only twice a year.
    3. Debtors are being asked to to provide information about their payment practices that will cast them in a bad light. For them this is counter intuitive and while we would like to see it act as the deterrent it is intended to be, there also exists the possibility that debtors will look for loopholes and ways around the system.

For a more detailed overview of the ramifications of the duty to report see our blog post.

The Prompt Payment Directory was set up to provide a platform from which suppliers can control the flow of information.

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4. What about the credit checking agencies.

Credit checking agencies provide information on businesses such as a credit score, background checks on company directors, the presence of CCJs (County Court Judgments), credit limit ratings and in some cases possibly even a payment history with a warning system.

The Prompt Payment Directory seeks to focus on the most crucial aspects of late payment – context and sentiment. Our database gathers data directly from suppliers, aggregates it and offers its subscribers context around why the payments were made late.

We understand that not all payments are intentionally made late. Research indicates that as much as one fifth of late payment could be due to the trickle down effect of late payment further up the supply chain. This kind of information can have a significant and positive impact on the approach to doing business with new customers.

Additionally, suppliers can also give their customers a positive rating if they pay on time. This is good for corporate governance of large customers and consequently also good for supplier / customer relations.

For more details on what The Prompt Payment Directory can offer, click here.

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5. I’m worried that if I rate a business on The Prompt Payment Directory my customers may find out and it could damage my business relationship.

The first thing to remember is that suppliers can give their customers positive ratings as well as poor ratings. A positive rating is good for corporate governance of large customers and consequently also good for supplier / customer relations.

However, as a supplier / creditor your details will not be visible to anybody who searches our database and sees any ratings you have submitted.

To see an example of a late payment notice click  here.

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6. What will my rating look like?

If you’d like to see an example of what a business rating looks when it’s live you can view a sample here.

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7. Can I see the business rating I’ve submitted when it goes live?

Yes. We will give you a 12 month free subscription in return for submitting your first business rating.

That means you will have full access to the directory and you will be able to go and view your notices and see them as other will.

You will also be able to view and update or delete your ratings on the ‘My Notices’ page in your Account area.

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8. Can I delete or amend a business rating that I have submitted?

Yes, of course. You can delete or amend ratings that you have submitted by navigating to your account area and clicking on the ‘My Ratings’ link, here you will see a table of all the business ratings you’ve made.

  • You can amend a rating by clicking on the company name in the summary table and this will take you through to the form where you can update the rating.
  • You can delete a rating by simply clicking on the delete link to the right of the summary table.

NB: For a limited period all new users of the service will automatically receive their first 12 months subscription for free when they submit a business rating for the first time.

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9. How long will the business ratings I’ve submitted stay up for?

Until you delete them. To delete a business rating that you have submitted see details above.

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10. Can I submit more than one rating per business?

No but you can amend ratings that you have submitted. To amend a rating you will need to subscribe to the service first.

Once a subscriber you can amend a rating by simply navigating to your Your Account > My Ratings and clicking on the company name in the summary table, this will take you through to the form where you can update the rating.

NB: For a limited period all new users of the service will automatically receive their first 12 months subscription for free when they submit a business rating for the first time.

 

 

Do you have any other questions? If so please contact us here and we’ll do our best to get back to you as quickly as possible.

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