In what small business (SMB) owners are calling a “disaster,” post office workers on the archipelago nation of The Bahamas are striking, causing major hiccups for local SMBs’ cash flow management and shedding light on the importance of electronic invoicing and payments.
According to news from Tribune 242, employees at the post office headquarters on The Bahamas are protesting over what they claim are poor working conditions.
It’s caused disruptions in several ways, but reports noted that local business owners in the private sector have been particularly impacted, as invoices and B2B payments are stuck in the mail, causing SMBs’ accounts receivables to build up.
One executive, Managing Director of Bahamas Waste, Francisco de Cardenas, told reporters the company has $2.374 million in accounts receivable as of the end of September.
“We’re having a bit of a challenge with our receivables, and I can’t believe not one word is being said about the post office,” he told the publication. “I think it’s a huge detriment to the economic mechanisms of this country.”
“People send bills and make payments through the post office, and it’s a disaster,” he continued. “No one is saying anything. I don’t understand it. I can only assume it’s affecting everyone in business. Not everyone banks by the internet; not everyone has a messenger. It’s been going on probably a good year.”
Another professional, Robert Myers, principal at Caribbean Landscaping, said the post office strike has certainly led to cash flow challenges for the firm.
“It’s creating a lot of difficulties for businesses as they cannot depend or rely on mailing out invoices and statements,” Myers told the publication, adding that many of the company’s customers are of an older generation who don’t use email and the internet to make payments and receive bills.
The debacle highlights both the importance and challenges of eInvoicing. While electronic invoicing and B2B payments may be able to surpass the post office, as businesses in The Bahamas note, not everyone is on board with such digital platforms.