Public sector

Bexley Council, Early Payment


The Challenge

Economic growth and sound financial management are central themes of Bexley Council’s three-year plan ‘#Brilliant Bexley: Shaping Our Future Together’. However, this growth must be delivered against a backdrop of unprecedented change in local government funding, which ultimately requires all councils to be self-sufficient and raise income locally to deliver services.

Between 2010/11 and 2015/16, Bexley’s core Government funding decreased by around 40% and the council faced complete withdrawal of its government grant by 2020. Despite this challenging financial environment, Bexley’s ambitions to create a prosperous local economy, supporting the local business community and creating an environment in which they can flourish, have never been greater.

Oxygen’s Solution

A dedicated team of process change experts from Oxygen Finance worked closely with Bexley’s in-house finance and IT teams to embed the new programme, which would make it possible to receive, match and pay supplier invoices ahead of contracted terms.

Working in partnership with Oxygen Finance, Bexley Council’s Supplier Incentive Programme offers the council’s suppliers early settlement of their invoices in exchange for a discount directly related to how quickly the payment is made. This was underpinned by Oxygen’s robust technology, ensuring seamless integration with the ERP, to automate transactions.

Bexley is now among the fastest paying councils in the country, settling invoices for suppliers who have joined the programme within an average of 5.6 days.

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Bexley Council, Early Payment Bexley Council, Early Payment

£160m annual spend on services

Bexley Council, Early Payment Bexley Council, Early Payment

10,000 invoices +

Bexley Council, Early Payment Bexley Council, Early Payment

5 day turnaround of payment for suppliers

Bexley Council, Early Payment Bexley Council, Early Payment

1m+ of liquidity injected back into the economy


London Borough of Bexley Council, Early Payment

The council believes the success to date is down to the effective collaboration of several teams, as well as the robust technology and on-the-ground support provided by Oxygen Finance to transform processes.

“This programme is a win-win. Businesses get paid quicker and the council generates an income stream that helps us protect the delivery of frontline services to residents. It is also part of our ongoing commitment to support small and medium sized enterprises and another way we get behind our local businesses. We’d encourage suppliers who haven’t signed up yet to get in touch to find out more. We chose to work with Oxygen Finance because there are no upfront costs for the Council – all of the implementation investment is made by them and they don’t get paid unless the programme succeeds. That kind of guarantee is essential when funding is so stretched.”

Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE

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