Experian's latest Business Benchmark Report is encouraging.
Business performance in Q4 improved in most categories quarter over quarter, and even though certain metrics remain negative from a year-over-year perspective, it's clear many companies are working toward a more positive business profile.
Risk scores remained relatively stable over Q4 and the previous year. Interestingly, the largest businesses (those with more than 1,000 employees) showed the greatest quarter-over-quarter improvement (2.2 percent), but the largest decline (14.7 percent) year over year.
Days beyond terms (DBT) appears to be stabilizing quarter over quarter, as well. However, DBT remains significantly negative year over year, increasing by as much as 13.8 percent.
The percentage of dollars delinquent was relatively flat quarter over quarter, with the exception of larger businesses (those with 250 or more employees) which showed significant improvements, reducing their debt by as much as 11 percent. Experian found that the Communications sector showed the greatest decrease in delinquent dollars and the greatest decrease in percentage of dollars considered severely delinquent. Conversely, the Legal Services and Real Estate sectors were among those with the largest increases in percentage of dollars delinquent and percentage of dollars considered severely delinquent.
"The general stabilization and signs of improvement seen in Q4 are encouraging. No matter what the business size, industry or geographic region, having a strong risk score, paying bills on time and reducing delinquent debt are important elements to achieving a positive business profile," said Allen Anderson, president, Experian's Business Information Services. "Building and maintaining positive credit is critical to a business's success, because it helps them obtain more favorable payment terms or interest rates."
Many more insights from the Experian Business Benchmark Report are available in this press release.