If you own a business or are a high management employee concerned with the finances then this question may have already come to mind: How does one improve cash flows and increase capital without the option of debt and credit? The answer is through UK single invoice finance companies. What are they exactly and what are their services all about?
Now technically there is completely nothing wrong with credits but small and medium scale enterprises should remember to make use of careful balance and where possible avoid it. Even bigger and well established businesses should remember this too. A company with more liabilities than assets and who is funded by debt is not an attractive one in the eyes of investors.
This is where single invoice financing comes in. This financial option allows companies to acquire funds from a single customer invoice. What happens is the business advances the value of such receivable contained in the customer invoice even before the customer makes the payment. It is a one-time only process and is paid through the said discount. Let’s say that the invoice costs £100,000. The amount that you will receive is £97,500 where the difference of £2,500 is the service fee. Such amount does not compound in value like an interest. It is fixed and paid once. In fact in the event that the owing customer does not pay come the due date, the finance company bears the risk as in a non-recourse setting.
How exactly does single invoice financing improve cash flows? Below is a list to help you understand better:
- It allows for quick injection of funds into your cash stream and even in as fast as twenty four hours or less making it a good option for emergency needs and expenditures.
- It converts the receivables into money itself thereby increasing cash inflows. Sometimes even if the company is earning and has high sales such are not indicators of money inflows as part of sales are on credit. By factoring or discounting your invoice the conversion rate from receivable to cash is therefore improved.
- It only affects the asset portion of your balance sheet or statement of financial position. The accounts receivable account goes down as the cash and cash equivalents account goes up. It does not in any way affect your liabilities making it financial statement friendly.
When invoice financing is the topic at hand it is expected that factoring and discounting will likely be items up for discussion too. Speaking of factoring, do you actually know what it is? If not allow us to give you a brief explanation. It is a receivables financing option that allows companies to sell their customer invoices to a factor for a discount or fee in exchange for an advance of the value on the said invoices. Here, the receivables portion of the balance sheet is converted to cash even before the plotted sate for which they are to be collected form owing customers. In essence it is a sale of a company’s assets. Today, many businesses make use of such method to improve cash flows, increase capital and decrease doubtful expense to name a few. If you are one of them then it would be best to know the qualities of reputable factoring companies.
PUNCTUALITY is a must. One of the reasons why companies decide to factor their receivables is to hasten the recognition of cash. If the firm is unable to do so in a timely manner then the very purpose of your actions will be foregone. We all know that time is an important factor in business and those who cannot deliver on time are dead weight.
CUSTOMIZED SERVICES is another. Not all companies belong in the same industry. Not everyone has the same transactions. They don’t sell the exact same products and offer completely parallel services. Businesses differ in one way or another making it a must that your factors should be able to provide you with a service that is personalized and custom built for you. Sure, the policies and other standard procedures will hold steadfast but there will be items that should depend on the company being serviced.
COMPETENT STAFF are necessary. As they say, a company is only as good as the brains behind it. No one can continue walking the path to success with an incompetent team. Make sure that the people and the professionals are indeed skilled and qualified as they say they are. Check for qualifications, licenses and even ask for previous experiences and services.
REASONABLE PRICING is also something to consider when looking for factoring companies. You surely do not want anyone to charge you with a price so high that it becomes so much of a burden. Make sure that they are too are not cheap now but expensive later. Always consider things at the long run.
Every businessman and businesswoman knows that in order to put up a company, capital should be present. Without it one simply cannot function. Capital is used to acquire all other assets necessary for operations. This is why entrepreneurs take time to carefully study their options when it comes to raising financial resources. For many, this is achieved with the help of UK Single Invoice Finance Companies. But when exactly do you need their services? How do you know when to give them a ring?
- Restrictive and expensive bank loans are one. Not all companies can afford one and not to mention that it is pretty hard to apply for a loan and actually get approved. Many small to medium scale enterprise are skeptical regarding acquiring debt early on so invoice financing becomes a really good option instead.
- In a similar note most loans require some sort of collateral that will include business and even personal assets. Most owners do not like to risk their personal assets. Invoice finance does not need any collateral as it is not a loan in the first place.
- Untimely customer payments are another. Unless you sell your goods and services solely on cash then this shouldn’t be a problem. The thing, however, is that most businesses do so both in cash and in credit. There will always be a risk of non-collection and that is the very reason why there is something we call “doubtful accounts expense”. To help prevent this or lessen their unhealthy impact towards the company, you can sell the said receivables and advance their value instead where any risk of nonpayment is transferred to the finance company.
- A rising opportunity loss is another thing. With a lack of financial resources many businesses forego certain opportunities, projects and ventures which could have given them a breakthrough, a massive increase in sales and promising growth. To acquire more funds, invoice financing either through factoring or discounting allows them to generate funds from receivables that are yet to be paid by customers in the following months to come.
- By now many entrepreneurs already know the importance of cash flows. Just because your assets are growing doesn’t mean more cash for the company. Who knows much of them are locked up in customer invoices? This creates a negative impact on cash flows as more disbursements are made than actual inflow of cash. With UK invoice finance companies advancing the value of the said invoices, cash flows are bound to improve.
When it comes to raising funds and capital for businesses, a lot of options can come to mind. One of the popular options that many entrepreneurs consider is a receivables financing kind called discounting. Such is a method by which companies like Working Capital Partners get to receive in advance the value of their uncollected receivables before payment is actually made by the owing customer. In here, the transaction is closely akin to that of a loan in the sense that the customer invoices are used as collateral. This reason in particular is the cause why a lot of invoice discounting companies have come aboard the said industry.
Let’s explain the process a little further. Now although discounting is said to be akin to a loan it still does not provide the exact same effects. One notable difference is the absence of any interest. What happens when you subject your receivables as collateral is that you get to receive their value at an early point. The amount you get to receive is relatively proportionate or discounted towards the invoice amount. You then go on your usual business and collect from your owing customers. Once you have already collected from the said customers you will then have to repay the advance that the service provider plus any agreed upon fixed fee.
What are its perks?
- It provides a quick injection of cash. No more waiting as you do with bank loans. You can get the needed funds real quick!
- It also improves cash flows as it converts and frees up any locked up cash from your customer invoices.
- It does not affect the liabilities portion of the balance sheet making way for more attractive financial statements.
- It does not involve any compounded interests. The fees or discounts to be paid are fixed and agreed upon beforehand.
- With the above said, it is less costly when compared to other financing means such as loans.
Are there any downsides to it?
Well for one it can reduce the value of your receivables as opposed to when you choose to wait for your customers to pay. However, such decrease is relatively low and most companies will in fact forego such disadvantage since they find more benefits to it. After all, in business everything comes with a price. You just have to make sure that the benefits will always outweigh the costs.
So if you feel that this financing method is for you then better search for available invoice discounting companies. Inquire and study your options well.