Most Canadian business owners and financing mangers often seek out factoring as a quick way to get out of a cash flow crunch when other more traditional methods of financing have been exhausted.
Typically clients tell us that sales or revenue generation is not the problem, with the bigger challenge simply being how to convert those sales into cash flow and working capital. Factoring comes at a higher price than traditional bank financing but most Canadian business owners recognize that other options are limited.
When you recognize that a cash flow crunch often comes as a result of your success it is often much easier to rationalize factoring as a solution.
Factoring in Canada is slowly catching on as a true financing option – many parts of the economy now view this financing method as a traditional method of financing the business – and the reality is that the big boys use it also , which many are not aware of .
When you utilize factoring you are in effect selling your receivables as you generate them (at your option of course) and receiving immediate cash for those funds. Don’t let the literature fool you though – you actually receive approve 75-90% of your invoices (depending on who you deal with) and the balance is held back and then remitted to you when your customer pays. Naturally from this final holdback amount there is a financing fee or a discount fee. Many business owners view this financing or discount fee as an interest rate, when in fact the factor finance firms always refer to this as a discount fee.
The prerequisites for factoring your receivables often revolve simply around the nature of your receivables and customers. Your final pricing or discount fee depends on several key factors. They are:
- Overall risk profile of your firm – i.e. how you are doing!
- The quality of your customer base
- The size of your receivables portfolio
- The geographical scope of your invoices - foreign, i.e. U.S. receivables can be financed also.
What do you need to know about factoring financing in Canada as it relates to the U.S. and U.K. approaches to this type of financing ? Well in Canada there are two types of invoice discounting/factoring. Under the most commonly used method the factor firm you engage works with you to invoice the customer, collect the payment, and monitor the overall credit quality of your customer.
If you view this overall business model and way of financing as somewhat intrusive and undesirable then seek out the services of a trusted, credible and experience advisor who can provide you with a factoring facility which allows you to bill and collect your own receivables.
Many business owners we meet are concerned with the perception that comes from suppliers and customers when they find out you are factoring. That comes out of the issue that in the past many firms that factoring generally was viewed as companies with financial problems. However, the new reality of financing a business in Canada in the year 2010 is that factoring is in fact a great way for healthy businesses to generate much needed cash flow and working capital.
In summary, consider the cash flow benefits of financing your receivables when you are unable to obtain the total amount of financing you need. Determine if you are eligible (most firms are) and seek out a facility that meets your business financing needs.