Could account receivable financing help your firm? The dramatic rise of small business financing in accounts receivable ( by the way, Canada’s largest corporations use this tool also!) Is simply a factor of companies such as yours wanting to capitalize on the working capital and cash flow that is, in effect, locked up in receivables
It doesn’t take rocket science for any business owner of financial manager to figure out that if his or her firm has investments in receivables and inventory then those assets, typically called ‘ current assets’ requires financing in some form. Of course you can ‘ self finance ‘ – meaning simply wait for your inventory to turn into receivables, and then wait probably even longer for A/R to turn into cash. But, doing that forces you to give up on sales opportunities and challenges the very core of your financial health, given that we all agree cash flow is king.
If you are fortunate enough to be financing via a Canadian chartered bank you are of course familiar with ‘ collateral ‘- our banks do a great job of explaining that to you! Why don’t you use your own firm’s collateral, its assets, mainly accounts receivable, and monetize that asset into cash.
Clients are often fairly clear on the benefits of account receivable financing, which is also called invoice discounting or factoring. What they don’t seem to have the best handle on is how it works.
One you have such a facility set up it quite frankly is one of the easiest and quickest ways to unlock cash flow and working capital on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The power to choose your timeframes remains with yourself. And by the way, you only pay for the financing you are using. Let’s get back though, to how it works.
In Canada there are two types of factoring, we’ll focus on the most common one, which, by the way, isn’t exactly our favorite (there is a better one) but let’s keep it simple for now.
After your firm generates an invoice you submit it to your factor firm partner. That could be once invoice, several, or many or all. Funds for those invoices are wired, or sent to you, that same day into your account. Didn’t you just feel your cash flow being totally unlocked and flowing?! Approximately 10% is held back as a buffer, but as soon as your client pays you get those funds back also, less what is known as a discount fee, typically between 1 and 3% – 2% is pretty well the norm.
2% you say! Isn’t that expensive for small business financing. Absolutely, positively maybe, but we actually don’t think it is. That is because all in rates from your bank when you total up all the fees, services, standby fees etc often total in the 11-12% range, not the 6% or 7% you think you are getting. And furthermore, if you take the huge amount of cash you just receive and use it to purchase more efficiently, or takes discounts on supplier invoice payments you make your total cost of capital goes down. And, another point, if you are in a competitive environment, (who isn’t) does your ability to have unlimited cash flow put you steps ahead of your competition? We think it does.
There are a number of ways to finance your business. If your firm has A/R assets and you are challenged by the timing in which money flows through your business then consider the benefits of account receivable financing. Speak to a trusted, credible, and experienced business advisor on this popular financing tool for small business financing in Canada.