Business: Owning-Up Time

"Your check is in the mail"

With sales slow, interest rates high and money tight, businessmen are looking for any creative way to make their bottom lines look better. One sharp-pencil technique is euphemistically called "prudent cash management." But to its victims this is the old game of "Your check is in the mail." Says John Gordana, president of Equitable Adjustment Service, Inc., in New Jersey: "Normally responsible executives with good credit records are conjuring up ingenious techniques to stall or avoid bill payments."

Manufacturers took an average of 45 days to pay their...

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