Thanks for dropping in for some hopefully great business info and on occasion some hopefully not too sarcastic comments on the state of Business Financing in Canada and what we are doing about it !

In 2004 I founded 7 PARK AVENUE FINANCIAL. At that time I had spent all my working life, at that time - Over 30 years in Commercial credit and lending and Canadian business financing. I believe the commercial lending landscape has drastically changed in Canada. I believe a void exists for business owners and finance managers for companies, large and small who want service, creativity, and alternatives.

Every day we strive to consistently deliver business financing that you feel meets the needs of your business. If you believe as we do that financing solutions and alternatives exist for your firm we want to talk to you. Our purpose is simple: we want to deliver the best business finance solutions for your company.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Worried About The Cost Of Business Accounts Receivable Factoring ? Problem Solved !

While many Canadian business owners and financial managers are accepting the significant benefits that come from business accounts receivable factoring what they continue to struggle with is the cost of this type of financing. Let's examine the proper method of looking at this cost of financing and ways to minimize the cost with the choice of an effective partner.

As a basic primer invoice financing is essentially the short term sale of your receivables, or ' AR’ that generates immediate cash flow and working capital for your company. Sounds good so far right? In certain cases it even eliminates all your credit and collections costs, although we must be frank and say that type of financing (turning over your credit decisions to another firm) isn’t our favorite, or recommended strategy. Clearly being able to obtain the benefits of this type of financing and being in total control of your own invoicing and collecting is the optimal solution.

The benefits of accounts receivable financing all come back to cash flow - business owners quickly realize that sales don’t equate to cash, and that can become an ongoing problem . Many entrepreneurs we meet advise they struggle with cash and working capital issues on a daily ( if not hourly !) basis, And given that they cannot obtain all, or the proper financing from their banks it seems logical that business accounts receivable financing is truly the only, and perhaps best, solution.

So, back to our main topic, which is understanding the cost of this type of financing! Canadian business needs to realize that if the lack of financing is stopping you from growing your business then the cost of new financing should probably not be your biggest worry.

Let's look at a real world type example. Take a look at your balance sheet. You probably have limited or minimal cash on hand and significant investment in receivables.

Let's use a firm with 1 million dollars in sales as an example. Lets assume you have some decent, or even great gross margins, or ' cost of sales '. Your overhead costs are fixed, and in control, and you are a profitable company. Since you haven’t any access to bank or traditional financing your net income is positive, but not growing.

If you can grow, or perhaps even double, your business by solving your cash flow problem then the business accounts receivable factoring cost is only associated with your additional growth that comes from accounts receivable financing .

Again, back to our example - your sales are 1 million, you have no financing, and factoring or invoice discounting will allow you to grow your sales to 2 million dollars. The cost of financing would probably be in the 40,000 to 50,000 dollar range - however, your overheads, or your fixed costs have stayed the same. Your profits, minus the factor cost can probably easily double.

Our example above focuses on the concept of opportunity cost, i.e. what you can do with capital by achieving more turnover and profits.

The actual financing cost of business accounts receivable factoring in Canada vary - they typically are between 1- 3% a month. 2% tends to be the norm. Better pricing can be achieved based on the size of your facility, the relative quality of your receivables, as well as the type of firm you deal with when you enter into a receivables financing arrangement. And don’t forget that confidential account receivable finance is also available in many cases - allowing you to totally control your customer base and cash flows.

Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor so you can truly understand the real cost, and the lost opportunity issues we have provided as an example. It may well be your ultimate cash flow revelations and solution!


Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -


Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Understanding Credit Securitization Loans

Securitization is a financing term that is not commonly used by the average finance person, let alone the average lay person who has no detailed knowledge of business financing and alternative financing. The term ' securitization' became increasingly well known during the financial and liquidity crisis that the world experienced in 2008/2009. We discovered that one of the main causes of the world wide financial collapse was, in effect, the securitization and marketing and sale of mortgages.
It is an alternate form of funding for corporations. When it works well it is an excellent source of funding for many organizations. Securitization is a form of structured finance.

Credit securitization loans allow you to remove assets from your balance sheet, obtain liquidity, and important to many firms, keep those borrowing ratios intact for your loan and ratio covenants .

How does it work? A company or organization takes certain assets that are desired by various investors. These assets are most typically receivables, contracts, car loans, credit cards, mortgages, etc. The quality of these assets is key in the entire securitization process. We watched the financial world fall apart when people discovered those securitized mortgages that were bundled in the United States had a very low credit quality.

One of the reasons investors like securitized assets is that the risk is spread among hundreds, probably thousands of different borrowers. This diversifies risk. We continually here how one needs to diversify to control risk, whether in business or in our personal financial affairs. The cash flows that come out of that pool of assets backs up the quality of the investment by the buyer of the securitized asset.

For a transaction to be properly securitized there has to be a strong level of predictability in the repayment of the loans, leases, mortgages, etc.

How are Securitizations structured? The assets become known as a' pool 'of assets. Financial analysts or the credit rating agencies ( Standard & Poors, etc ) assign a credit rating to this newly created SPV. ( Special Purpose Vehicle ). Investors buy this pool of assets because they theoretically understand the asset quality and the risk. There are many subsets to the risk which we won’t cover in our article - for example concentrations of assets or customers, etc

The pool of assets is usually ' serviced ' by the seller. He collects and maintains the portfolio - of course it has he who also created the portfolio of assets. The ongoing collection of the portfolio flows back to the investors who purchased it.

Securitization has become more and more popular because it has provided great liquidity to the financial markets.

In summary, the securitization flow chart is as follows:

A seller creates the assets

A SPV is formed around those assets

Investors purchase the SPV

A trustee monitors the flow of cash, collections, etc.

Of course as one can imagine all sorts of lawyers, accountants and financial analysts have a healthy hand in various aspects of the above process flow!

The benefits of securitization can be summed up as follows:

* It provides cash flow to many companies who would otherwise have to wait years for customer payments, etc

* Profits from the sale of the pool of assets allow a company to grow and create more assets

* When properly structured there are certain balance sheet enhancements - i.e. the company selling the pool gets cash but does not take on debt.

Securitization can be a complex financing arrangement if you don’t have the right team and information in place . When you do have that team it’s a very viable financing alternative in the refinancing of your firm on an ongoing basis . Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can assist you in credit securitization loans and financing .

Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -


Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Successful Lease Financing Approval in Canada

Are you having challenges in getting lease financing approvals in place in Canada for your assets and capital expenditures? The current difficult economic environment makes it more challenging than every for Canadian business owners to get the proper rate, terms, and structure that they deserve. Let’s share some expert tips on what you need to understand for solid equipment financing approval and success.

Success lease equipment financing requires a working knowledge of what the lessor is looking for in a transaction.

Owners can safely assume that the lender is doing significant work on financial statement analysis to satisfy them they are making a proper financing decision with you firm. Included in this analysis is strong emphasis on cash flow history and projections, operating efficiencies of your firm as measure by industry accepted ratios, and balance sheet analysis with respect to the amount of debt your firm is carrying, etc.

In our previous article we suggested that business owners should be aware of some key 'structuring options 'that lenders use when they are contemplating an approval that they are not 100% comfortable with. These options, previously discussed were:

- Utilizing higher rates to compensate for risk

- Use of Security Deposits

- Use of advance payments

- Structuring higher payments in the earlier years of the lease

- Shortening the lease term to offset long term risk

Business owners should be aware of some additional enhancements that can further a financing approval when your firm might not fully qualify for your desired amount of financing and overall structure.

Let's looks at some of those additional enhancements that compliment the 5 areas we have noted above.

Business owners who are not familiar with some of these financial nuances should employ the use of a trusted leasing advisor with credible experience, thereby significantly increasing their chances of getting a lease financing approved.

Business owners might not always be comfortable with providing a Personal Guarantee on the transaction; however personal guarantees are a clear fact of life in the Canadian business financing environment. The logic of the lender, in this case your equipment lessor, is that you are more motivated to make those payments if you are personally obligated in the matter also. Naturally companies incorporate to avoid personal liability but business owners are often called upon by lenders, lessor, etc to provide a guarantee. It goes without saying that the lender will also want to validate the quality of your personal guarantee.

In many cases you as a borrower, or the lender might request, additional collateral on the transaction. This would be collateral that is currently unencumbered, but in effect shores up the lessors overall position, allowing your transaction to be approved. In many cases you will be required to provide some form of documentation (usually an appraisal) of the additional asst.

In some circumstances effective additional collateral might be credit life insurance on the transaction - in a smaller of mediums sized Canadian firm the lender / lessor may rely on that insurance in the event something happens to the owner, that something being ' death ' of course!

Not all Canadian business owners know that in some cases the manufacturer that you may be purchasing and financing the equipment through is in some cases agreeable to providing a limited or partial guarantee on your transaction. They are making a sale, generate profits from the sale to your firm, and may be able to remarket the asset if the lessor requests assistance in this area.

Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor to ensure you have the ability to successfully meet your equipment leasing and financing needs.


Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -

Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Saturday, February 26, 2011

How To Get A Government Small Business Loan In Canada – SBL Business Financing

Most Canadian business owners and financial managers are not aware that if they have been 'refused 'a loan by a Canadian chartered bank that they can still apply, (to that same bank!) for a government guaranteed Small Business Loan.

We have observed this loan is called a number of things by a number of people -Borrowers refer to it as an 'SBL '(Small Business Loan), or a 'government small business loan. Bankers tend to refer to it by its more formal and legal names, the BIL loan, or the CSBFL.

Whatever you want to call it, the loan is a great part of the governments focus on assisting business with financing.

So how do you get the loan, and what's involved?

Although the loan is directly guaranteed (90%) by the government, the loan is actually administered by the Canadian chartered banks. The government emphasizes that they like the banks to participate in this program, and the government guarantees to the banks the 90% of the loan amount.

The biggest issue, we think, with the program, is the misconceptions that come with the program - business owners think they cal get a 'line of credit 'under the program. This is not the case. In certain instances the program tends to be confused with another program called the COMMUNITY FUTURES program. This is a separate program that is funded by certain economic regions to promote employment and business in that particular area or geography. It tends to be a bit more 'rural 'in focus. Again, we emphasize, the Community Futures program is not the government guaranteed Small Business Loan. (In the U.S. our government loan is called an 'SBA' loan, as it's administered by a separate organization set up by the government).

So, who qualifies? Hopefully your business! You must have revenues under five Million dollars per annum.

So when should you proceed - We would recommend right now, not when your venture is in desperate need, at which point your chances might be less than successful.

What is the 1 Million dollar issue on the program?! It's as follows - Dealing with banks and paperwork requires proper preparation, detail, and you need to allow for some reasonable time frames. That is your 1 Million dollars worth of advice!!

So what are those key next steps? Ensure you have a crisp financial package - balance sheets and income statements, your personal financial statement of net worth (more on that in a moment) and a clear business plan and summary of your business, the funds needed, and the purpose of the loan. A proper description of any assets being purchased (quotes / invoices, etc) helps also.

The application must re handled by a Canadian bank. Here is where we recommend that if you either don't have a banker, or if you don't have a strong relationship with a bank/banker that you used the resources of a business financing advisor /expert in this area. The nominal fee you might pay this person is worth its weight in gold if they have solid contacts and experience.

In our experience many government small business loans are not automatically approved on the first time - they are in fact reviewed and adjudicated by people at the bank that you will never meet. So be prepared to enter into healthy dialogue on any questions or issues that might come up! It is not unusual to go back and forth a bit clarifying any of your issues that might have come up in the application.

So whets the bottom line? It's as follows: this is a solid government financing program. Business owners should understand it's administered by the bank, but not run by the bank, so to speak. Prepare a good package, if you can't, enlist an expert by speaking to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor on the government small business loan ( SBL ) Be patient, and hopefully those government funds will be 'flowing 'into your firm shortly?

Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -

Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Software Leasing and Financing in Canada

Software Leasing? Is that possible? Absolutely! Many businesses, both small and large do not realize that software can be leased or financed. Although software financing is unique in some manner, in general it has many similarities to equipment leasing.

It is also proper to ensure that right finance firm is utilized, as many lenders are somewhat risk averse to financing this asset. However, many others are looking for business in this area!

Contrary to popular opinion software as an asset in many cases has more value that a depreciating hard asset. It has also been confusing for lenders when it comes to the registration of collateral under Canadian PPSA (PERSONAL PROPERTY SECURTY ACT) legislation.

In its broadest term the financing or leasing of software that can't be transferred to another user. The business owner does also of course not own any development rights in the software. Software financing is treated as a financing mechanism; it is not a true lease per se.

Some additional key points around the technicality of software leasing/finance are as follows:

The right of a customer to use the software gives the company no right in the intellectual property surrounding the developer’s rights in the software code. The best example of this is when we look at our EXCEL spreadsheets that we use in finance and home matters. We use the software, but Microsoft of course owns it.

The problem in the past around the financing of software revolved around the fact that lenders did not know how to collateralize and register their security. Under current PPSA legislation intangibles and software can be collateralized. Therefore the software financing lender/lessor can be very confident that the software can be collateralized.

At the heart of the software financing issue is the true value of the software to the business owner. He runs his business on it, i.e. CRM programs, office software, manufacturing software, etc. Software lease payments tend to be made since the asset is indispensable to the value and on going concern of the business. Unless companies are liquidated in total bankruptcy most lessors and finance firms recover fully on their software leasing - Source - Journal of Equipment Leasing
In many business bankruptcies the software lessor or lender is treated as a secured creditor.

Also key to the software financing issue is that many software firms offer maintenance, support, and updates around their product. This enhances the lenders asset as it is used for longer lengths of time, and often constantly upgraded. Quite frankly it becomes less obsolete than computer hardware!

Many software lessors and lenders also finance the service and maintenance contracts associated with their customer’s software acquisition.

We do acknowledge in this article that it is more difficult to finance customized software although it is possible based on the overall credit strength of the borrower. Many customized software deals are done with only investment grade borrowers where credit risk is minimal. Many smaller ticket lessors and lenders however do now lease software. In general these transactions are full payout capital leases.

In summary, software lease financing is available and should be considered by every business owner in the same context as a capital equipment finance transaction. The computer hardware industry has grown with leasing, and the software industry is doing that also. The same considerations an owner gives to lease vs. buy apply to a software finance acquisition.

Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who will help you ensure your software acquisitions can be adequately financed under the best rates, terms and structures that make sense for your company.

Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -

Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Friday, February 25, 2011

How To Finance A Franchise In Canada – Make Franchise Financing Work!

Is there a perfect, foolproof method on how to finance a franchise in Canada? Naturally there are no sure things in business, but financing a franchise has a 99% chance of success, if, and it’s a big if, you are prepared and have expert knowledge on how this type of business financing is done in Canada.

It’s not secret that franchise finance is hot! From the downsizing of companies in Canada and the U.S. to simple entrepreneur dreams thousands of would be ' business owners' are looking to explore the franchise dream for personal and business success.

Franchise financing pays off, as we said, if you are well prepared. You also have to be in a position to understand that the concept of OPM, or ' others peoples money ' doesn't work in any business, let alone a start up franchise. By that we simply mean that you have to have somewhat of an investment to make in the business. Those funds must be accessible and you have to be in a position to demonstrate the source of those funds.

Typically our clients make their equity deposits into a franchise business from savings, or friends and family type donations. In many cases they have either liquidated assets, i.e. savings, or perhaps collateralized their home via personal line of credit, etc. The bottom line is simply that you should generally be in a position to put 30-40% down as your own investment in the business.

You are now in a position of being able to find the remaining funds you need to both purchase, and of course run the business on an ongoing basis.

We will now show you have to finance that franchise. First of all, ensure you have a proper cost breakdown. That should be broken down into soft costs and hard costs. Soft costs are typically items such as the franchise fee, etc. The real hard costs are the assets and leaseholds and equipment you are purchasing, which should be broken into those three categories.

As much as clients hate to do it, you need a business plan that describes you, your experience, the business, its potential. When you address the key issue of how to finance a franchise you must demonstrate in the financial section how your loan or newly acquired debt will be repaid. If you don’t have experience in preparing such a plan an expert can prepare one fairly economically - we view it as a true investment in financing franchise businesses.

So who exactly is in the franchise financing business in Canada from a lender perspective? One guy is BILL. That's an attempt at humor, as the BIL program, formally known as the Business Improvement Loan program is by far the largest funder of franchise in Canada. That program, coupled with some specialty lending in the areas of equipment and working capital allow you an excellent chance to get your franchise financed.

In summary, when addressing how to finance a franchise in Canada know your costs, summarize your proposal in terms of yourself, the business, and its financial potential, and ensure you are in a position to present the transaction in a professional manner to an experienced franchise financing lender. Speak to a credible, experienced and trusted Canadian business financing advisor if you need assistance in your entrepreneurship financing goals in franchising.

Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -

Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Looking For Asset Financing ? Does Your Firm Have What It Takes For A ABL Facility With An Asset Based Lender

You're on the hunt, and the prey is business financing under an asset financing scenario you have heard so much about. Let’s examine what an ABL facility is, who is the asset based lender that offers this financing, and, oh yes, do you qualify?

To say that business credit financing is top of mind these days with Canadian business owners and financial managers is clearly an understatement. With the economic clouds clearing on the horizon after the 2008-2009 business credit meltdown business owners are looking for growth financing.

And the reality is that the type of operating facilities that you are looking for are getting tougher to secure from Canada's major chartered banks. We are of course referring in general to firms that have some sort of challenge, because medium sized and large Canadian firms with great balance sheets, profits, and solid cash flows can access great credit terms from the banks.

Unfortunately that isn’t the client profile we're talking to everyday - as owners we meet have challenges such as inability to secure the operating cash they need, the requirement to acquire additional assets, or even a full acquisition of a competitor. And that economic turbulence we mentioned earlier usually means that many firms are coming out of a turnaround type environment and are slowly getting their financials back in order. Therefore the ability to secure an ABL facility (abl = asset based lending) for inventory and receivables becomes the goal in asset financing.

So what is the real difference in asset financing under and abl facility compared to a bank line of credit, commonly called a ' revolver ' in business finance. The best way we explain it to clients is that the bank focus is on cash flow, the asset based lender focuses on assets. Big difference!

So, does your firm qualify for abl financing? In general, as we stated, any firm with assets of receivables, inventory, equipment and real estate qualifies. Where the challenge comes in is deterring the overall quality of those assets as well as the size of the facility. An ABL facility is generally available for any firm with over 250k in a combination of receivables, inventory, and equipment. In certain cases even tax credit receivables can be financed.

Where you as a business owner have to focus is the choice of a partner in this type of financing. If your facility requirements are in the millions of dollars and you have high quality business assets (i.e. collectible receivables, inventory that turns) you can access significantly more credit than under a normal bank facility - at rates commensurate with bank financing.

Small firms pay a premium for this type of facility, but when you consider you can access almost all the business credit you need under such a line of credit, coupled with the ability to grow profits and revenues and take on additional orders... well , we'll let you decide if that’s worth a premium .

If you want to comfortably walk the business financing minefield in ABL and feel you aren't 100% conversant with the players, requirements, and pricing then consider seeking a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor in this area .

P.S. If you found your access to business credit has just doubled, don’t say we didn’t tell you!


Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -


Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How To Review And Save Money on Commercial Equipment Financing and Business Leasing End Of Term Options

Billions of dollars of assets are financed via leases every year in Canada. Via the equipment financing and leasing industry. Lease financing is an absolute true method of commercial financing of your asset acquisitions.

What happens to these assets at the end of the lease, and how are some of the asset disposition and sales issues handled by your firm or the lessor? Let's examine some of the facts relative to the Canadian marketplace for equipment financing with a focus on saving you money.

Naturally a significant amount of time is spending at the inception of a leasing transaction in determining the new or used value of equipment to be leased. In cases where used equipment is being financed there is a need for appraisals and inspections, which are usually performed by independent third parties who have a strong sense and professional experience in valuing these assets.

In certain cases where a lessor has repossessed equipment and the asset is for sale then an appraisal is also a very valuable tool. It protects both the buyer and the seller. Many Canadian firms use business leasing to acquire used equipment when they feel the economic useful life of the asset will be valuable to their firm.

At the end of the lease, depending upon the structure and type of the lease, the business owner or financial manager must enter into negotiations to address the final disposition of the equipment.

We must remember that if your firm entered into what is known as an 'operating lease 'you have in fact opted to 'use' equipment, rather than 'own 'it. That of course infers equipment being returned to the lessor, or, per the terms of your contract, it can be purchased. Purchasing equipment at the end of a lease has significant implications for you around the value and use of that equipment. Naturally if you intend to simply return the equipment the lessor is chartered with disposing of that equipment.

We also note that it is a prudent business decision for Canadian business owners using commercial equipment financing to monitor the value of leased assets through the term of their lease, especially important as the lease approaches termination. As the lease approaches its end of term the lessor may also invoke its right to inspect the equipment, suggest return provisions, and, most importantly to the Canadian business owner, start to suggest the purchase price of the asset if in fact your firm wishes to keep the asset.

From the lessors perspective it wants of course to ensure a reasonable and proper value of the equipment. A major term in Canadian equipment financing and business leasing is a term called 'fair market value '. That term suggests that the asset under lease has a value to someone in the marketplace assuming there are a willing buyer and a willing seller.
The business owner or financial manager will want to look back at the asset and understand any upgrades or maintenance that was performed on the asset. Business owners are encouraged to look out into the marketplace and determine what current values are - the internet has become a fabulous asset to lenders and borrowers in assessing the true market value and availability of many asset types.

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of used equipment dealers, brokers, and remarketers who can provide solid input into the value of the asset. Naturally contact several sources rather than one is a prudent action for both the lessor and the Canadian business owner.

As information is gathered the true value of the asset will emerge.

In summary, as a general rule it is incumbent on the lessor or finance firm to ensure proper diligence and procedures around assets coming off lease. The lender want to ensure they are made whole on the transaction, as leases are a combination of interest charged and asset realization at tend of term.

For the Canadian business owner proper care, maintenance, and on going valuation of the leased assets is a valuable investment in time and cost. This investment becomes more important as the business owner evaluates disposition options at the end of term. Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor in leasing to ensure you understand the mechanics of end of lease options - it could save you thousands of dollars.

Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -


Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Working Capital Finance Loan Advice – What Business Credit Is Available For Your Firm

Have you checked the patient recently for oxygen and blood status? We're talking of course about your business, i.e. working capital finance which is a true key measure of business credit health. Does a working capital loan need seem like a necessity as your business grows? Let's examine the why and more importantly the ' how ' of cash flow financing in Canada.

It is not hard to determine why there is such a focus on working capital finance in Canadian business - its simply because your ability to both manage, and access cash flow alternatives become the ultimate measure of short term financial health . We say short term because your overall capital structure and debt / equity relationship are of course the other piece of the business finance puzzle. Today we're focusing on short term health!

You know you are in good shape from a business cash flow perspective when you are in a position to meet your short term obligations - typically those are payables and any loan payments becoming due on a monthly basis within the year. If your cash on hand, receivables and inventory turnover are unable to meet those obligations consistently ... well ... its clear you need a working capital solution.

The reality of course is that cash flow fluctuates, and there are times when you have what is known to bankers as a bulge requirement - it is those times you need that access to working capital we spoke of.

So how do you determine what type of business credit financing you need, and, as importantly, how much. Sophisticated larger firms use the capital budgeting process to determine asset needs and why type of investment is required. It’s essentially the mix in the financing of your company - i.e. owner equity, debt, and financing of current assets, which is our focus - ' working capital'!

The good news about working capital finance is that if it is done properly it doesn’t incur debt, or reduce your owner equity - it just increases cash flow and business credit access. To some extent the term ' loan ' in working capital actually reflects a line of credit scenario, not taking more debt on to your balance sheet.

It is possible though in Canada to get a working capital term loan, for larger and medium size companies this is known as sub debt. Payments are fixed and in general the loan is unsecured and based on your cash flow ability to repay, both historically and projected.

If that is not the solution for your firm, what is then? The other solutions are a true bank operating facility, if, and sometimes that’s a big if, you meet bank criteria for lending. Other real world and more probable solutions for working capital finance business credit are asset based lines of credit, working capital facilities of a non bank nature around your inventory and receivables, or simple receivable financing via an invoice discounting facility.

In summary, working capital cash flow financing is not necessarily a ' loan ' per se, but there are options available for business credit financing in Canada. As we have shown you need to determine when you need that capital and why it’s important to have stand by facilities available. Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor on sourcing your proper working capital and cash flow needs.

Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -

Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Where to Turn To For Equipment Leasing And Commercial Lease Finance In Canada

The leasing industry in Canada has historically been dominated by a number of different types of entities that provide equipment leasing and commercial lease finance to Canadian business.

The types of firms that are the key players in lease financing in Canada can be broken down into the following categories:

Life Insurance Companies

Credit Union leasing firms

Third party Independent Finance Companies - Canadian owner

Third party Independent Finance Companies - Subsidiaries of American firms

Captive Leasing Companies

Bank Leasing entities - Subsidiaries of divisions of Canadian banks

We would venture to say that probably 90% of Canadian business owners and financing managers think of ' Third Party Independent Finance Companies ' when they are looking to source lease financing for their equipment and capital expenditure needs.

Canadian chartered banks have moved in an out of the Canadian lease financing industry over the years. Currently only two the Big 6 Canadian banks have full fledged separate lease entities that actively market lease financing to their customers. In our opinion the reasons customers choose a bank lease financing entity are as follows;


Existence of a Current Banking Relationship

Dollar size of transaction

Let's elaborate a bit on those points. Because banks are in the position of having the lowest cost of capital in Canada for business financing rates on bank leasing deals tend to be excellent. On average we would observe that rates on larger deals tend to be 3-4% over the Canadian prime rate. This is excellent pricing, as independent firms tend to price at 4 to 5 to 6% over the Canadian prime rate. That is on average of course because every customer's credit quality and situation is unique.

Business customers have bank lines and term loan arrangements with their bank. So it is a natural logical extension that they would discuss their needs with their banker, who may, or may not be able to offer a lease financing solution. We indicated that only two of Canada's chartered banks have full fledged lease entities. Some of the other banks have leasing division, which are much smaller and more specialized in size, and some banks choose to ' partner ' with third party independent finance firms that are both Canadian and U.S.owned.

We also referenced dollar size as a key factor in a customer choosing a banking lease arrangement. Banks in Canada have virtually unlimited capital, so they certainly can choose to finance any amount they choose. We say unlimited capital, that is a bit of an exaggeration but Canadian banks are currently viewed as some of the strongest in the world re their own credit ratings and capital ratios.

Banks are traditionally a bit slower to enter into the lease financing area, and banks use the function in some respects to develop new corporate banking relationships. In fact we have observed that in the 2009 and 2010 banking environment in Canada the bank lessor in fact attempt to develop a full corporate banking relationship with customers who approach them for lease financing needs.

Leasing is a good source of profit for the banks - the banks tend to make solid credit decisions on assets and corporate credit quality, and lease pricing provides some nice yields compare to some other parts of their business.

Some banks in Canada have, in the past, purchased some of the private independent Canadian lease companies that were getting large and successful or had a specialized market or geographical niche... Banks are often quick to sell portfolios and eliminate leasing divisions when they feel that market conditions suggest that.

In summary, the Canadian equipment leasing and commercial lease finance landscape is made up of a number of market participants. Banks play a key role, but not a dominant role in the industry. Lease financing via a bank is often a relationship driven arrangement with the business customer's current incumbent bank. Banks who participate in equipment leasing finance f have excellent rates but higher credit and asset requirements.

Business owners looking for the best rates, terms and structures are cautioned to source the assistance of an experienced, trusted, and credible Canadian business financing advisor to determine which leasing arrangement (bank or non-bank) is best for their needs.


Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -


Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Monday, February 21, 2011

The Truth About Business Factoring And The Real Factor Cost Of AR Finance In Canada

You can't handle the truth! Or can you ? We think you will be able to once we review the basics around business factoring in Canada, what is the true factor cost of AR finance (ar = accounts receivable).

Your firms ability get financing around the most liquid and accessible business asset you have, your receivables, is what can make or break many small and medium sized businesses . The big corporations seems to have this down quite well already , as they have large sophisticated infrastructures for credit and collections, as well as access to corporate borrowing and securitization facilities that smaller companies just don’t have .

But you still have access to business factoring - all we can warn you about is that it’s important to understand your true cost - (it’s not what you think it is!) and, even as critical - picking your partner in this method of Canadian business financing.

Is your firm eligible for a business factor facility? If you can answer yes to one single question - ' Do you have accounts receivable?' then, you guessed it, you’re eligible! In many cases if you are working with the right firm you can blend in receivable and purchase order financing into the same facility - the names tend to change then, as we refer to that as asset based lines of credit and working capital facilities.

So, it’s always about cost, right? We don’t think so, but our client’s sure do, so let’s invest some time to discuss the real factor cost of ar financing in Canada. Part of the problem in addressing the cost issue is the perception by clients, totally understood of course, that factoring costs are viewed as interest rates by the borrowers.

That’s not how the industry views it; they are buying something you are selling, at a discount. That discount rate is often (99% of the time!) interpreted as an annual interest rate. So while the factor firm buys your receivables at a rate of between 1-3% (on a monthly basis) our clients gasp and view that as 12 - 36% annual percentage rates.

So, how do you assess the factor cost then? Here are the elements you should consider in assessing business factoring in Canada. First of all, if you don’t have some decent gross margins on your products or services then even bank financing or carrying your own receivables is expensive. So a solid gross margin is important.

To calculate your margins of course simply take your gross income and divide that number by your sales revenue and express it as a percentage. The number of course shows you how much you are making considering the costs you incur in actually producing that product. Naturally service companies have usually great margins, because there is no direct cost of sales.

Other issues to consider in understanding the true cost of factoring is how long it takes to collect your receivables, as well as the actual cost it is taking you to carry that investment . And don't forget the concept of lost opportunity - you can take you factoring cash and turn that into additional sales and profits, as opposed to waiting for a cheque to come in 60- 90 days later.

Our final point is that the cost of factoring can be significantly offset by your ability to take discounts and purchase in a smarter fashion, in quantity, etc.

In summary, the true factor cost of AR finance is probably not what you think it is. Thousands of firms that use and offer this service can’t be wrong. Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor for assistance in understand the real cost of business factoring in Canada. You might just be surprised, and find you can handle the truth!


2 Things You Need to Know About Business To Business Merchant Cash Advance Loans

Merchant cash advance loans fast becoming a mainstream financing strategy for Canadian business to business loan transactions.
However, in talking to clients they are concerned about two key issues around this innovative financing method.
Those two key issues are:
How do they work?
What are the Costs?
We firmly believe that if you understand those two critical points then your firm is in a position to benefit from merchant cash loans and Canadian B to B loan solutions. And those benefits are significant and quite clear. They include your peace of mind as it relates to business financing, since cash flow loans grow with your business and are unlike pre-set bank credit lines, etc . Also, many business owners confuse a business cash advance with other types of debt financing.

Time is money as the Canadian business owner well knows. Merchant cash advance loans in Canada work quickly and efficiently (When you have chosen the right partner and the right type of facility). Once the initial set up process is completed, usually in a week or two the facility runs itself at your discretion. You in effect have taken complete control of your cash flow. Future sales are turned into valuable cash flow today.
Our final key benefit that we should focus on before getting back to our two critical points is simply that this financing tool, if used properly, allows you to generate more sales and increase profits via key turnover of receivables, inventory, etc. Not to get too technical but there is a great tool for analyzing your business called the DUPONT MODEL. It simply allows you to calculate how the actual turnover of receivables and inventory leads to greater profits and returns on assets and equity. We encourage you to investigate that tool for some real analysis of how a business to business cash flow solution might be the solution to your business financing problems.
O.K. You now know many of the key benefits of this type of financing. Is it right for your firm? Critical point #1 how does it work? Cash flow loans against future sales or credit card sales is simply best described as the short term sale, or ‘discounting ‘of your future sales or credit sales .

You generate cash, at your option, on the same day that you generate an invoice for a sale and delivery of product and services to your client base.

Critical Point # 2- What does this type of financing cost? Actually it’s zero per cent financing. Don’t believe us? We are being a bit facetious, but the reality is that the business to business cash flow financing industry in Canada does not express or calculates financing costs via an annual per cent age rate. The problem lies in the fact that customers do in fact look at it that way .We have actually demonstrated too many customers that the true cost of merchant cash advance financing is actually zero or less than bank financing in many cases. Why is that? We hate to do it, but let’s go back to our DuPont Model Financial analysis. If you factor your receivables, get cash the same day, buy more inventory with that cash, negotiate a better price with suppliers with that cash, and then repeat the process over and over we can almost guarantee you, depending on your industry and A/R turnover that receivable financing can become a profit mechanism for your firm. That’s certainly clears up a lot of the ‘negative ‘things you have heard about cash flow loans.
Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced business financing advisor on the benefits of merchant cash advance loans and how they work and how financing costs can be controlled and reduced. That’s true cash flow and working capital financing for Canadian business.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

How To Get Best Lease Rate On Equipment Financing And How Approvals With Leasing Rates Are Calculated In Canada

‘What’s my lease rate? ‘is a question I am often asked by customers when they work with us with respect to equipment financing approvals

They are surprised when I tell them that they get to pick their own rate! (All customers want the lowest rate!)
I am not trying to be facetious when we make that statement. What we are saying is that the over all credit quality of a customer, as perceived by the lender (that’s important!) is in fact set by the customer, thereby driving a final approval on rate, term and structure of the proposed financing request.

The role of the customer or their trusted advisor acquiring lease rates for asset acquisition is to understand the basic credit information requirements and how the overall risk to the customer and their industry will be perceived by the lender. The irony of a lot of leasing rates in the business of leasing is that the industry for the most part used historical analysis to project future ability to pay. That is a difficult concept for the customer to handle more often than not - as an example the customer may have lost some money last year, driving a negative cash flow figure. Prospects have improved, new orders are coming in, and yet the business has a problem in getting new financing.

The customer needs to ensure that the information and ' story ' make the equipment financing transaction become more ' approvable'.

Critical categories in the information submission by the company are as follows:

Length of time in business
Personal credit history of the owners
Relationships with other financial institutions
Quality of the financials (Some customers submit balance sheets that don’t balance!)
Additional collateral available if necessary
Summary of key financial info such as depreciation, cash flows
Positive focus on management and its background and experience

It's these factors that affect lease rates in Canada.

If the customer is qualified to make such a submission a solid package as per our list noted above should lend itself towards an approval at current market rates and structures . If the customer feels they are not properly qualified to make such a submission they are strongly encouraged to use a qualified intermediary who knows the industry and, more importantly, knows the specific weighting given by a lender to the above noted submission requirements.

The amount of information required around each component is more often than not determined by the size of the transaction or the lenders total exposure to that customer. In many cases small ticket transactions (those under $ 25,000.00) are adjudicated via a credit application and public reporting sources such as Equifax or Dun and Bradstreet. Typically 60-70% of all small ticket transactions are approved.

In summary, customers who want to get a prompt and of course positive lease approval should focus on providing a clean package of required information that will ensure a prompt approval based on specific industry requirements around the transaction size and asset type.

Knowing that the lender will focus on future potential of the firm, the management experience, and the collateral asset are the valuable data points regarding lease rate approvals for any business seeking a business equipment financing lease. Speak to a trusted, credible an experienced Canadian business financing advisor for the help you need for great lease finance rates and prompt approvals .


Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -

Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Computer Leasing and Financing in Canada

Many companies are not aware of the significant benefits related to Computer Leasing and Financing in Canada .

Let's discuss acquisition financing in computers and technology segments . The proper term for this type of financing is ' Technology lifecycle management '. Most business owners simply consider the following question : ' Should I buy or lease my firms new computers and software and related products and services ? '

Two old adages related to leasing still ring true when it comes to the technological aspect. That is that one should finance something and depreciates, and one should buy something that appreciates in value. Most business owners and consumers as well know very well that computers depreciate in value. Systems we paid thousands of dollars for years ago are now hundreds of dollars. Walk into any ' big box ' retailer and see the dramatic moves in technology.

Business owners who finance technology demonstrate a higher level of cost effectiveness. The company wants to reap the benefits of the technology over the useful life of the asset, and, importantly, more evenly match the cash outflows with the benefits. Leasing and financing your technology allows you to stay ahead of the technology curve; that is to say you are always using the latest technology as it relates to your firms needs.

Businesses that lease and finance their technology needs are often working better within their capital budgets. Simply speaking they can buy more and buy smarter.

Many companies that are larger in size have balance sheet issues and ROA (‘return on assets ' ) issues that are compelling. They must stay within bank credit covenants and are measure often on their ability to generate income on the total level of assets being deployed in the company. Lease financing allows those firms to address both of those issues. Companies can choose to employ an ' operating lease ' structure for their technology financing. This is more prevalent in larger firms, but works almost equally as well in small organizations. Operating leases are ' off balance sheet ‘. The firm adopts the stance of using technology, not owning technology. The lessor/lender owns the equipment, and has a stake in the residual value of the technology. The main benefit for the company is that the debt associated with the technology acquisition is not directly held on the balance sheet. This optimizes debt levels and profitability ratios.

At the end of those operating leases, which are usually 36 months long, the customer has the option of:

1. Returning the equipment
2. Buying the equipment (not likely though)
3. Negotiating an extension of the financing for continued use of the computers, technology, etc.

Companies that have recently acquired computers and technology can in fact negotiate a' sale leaseback ' on those same assets. This financing strategy brings cash back into the company , as the firm has employed a leasing and financing strategy building on our above noted them - using technology, not owning technology .

In summary, the key benefits of computer and technology lease financing are:

* The company can stay ahead of the technology curve
* Computer leasing and financing has significant balance sheet and income statement benefits
* The firm has flexibility with respect to buying new product, returning existing technology, and generating cash flow for purchases already made

Many of the benefits we have discussed relate to leasing in general. However, technology and lease financing are very perfectly suited to the business financing strategy of leasing

Working capital saved on computer leasing and equipment leasing in general allows a company to use that capital to grow revenues. Depending on which types of leases are utilized there are also tax benefits associated to leasing.

With the current focus on the environment customers can work with their vendor to return unused equipment at the end of the lease for proper ' green' disposition. Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can provide you with the best strategies on computer leasing and financing in Canada .


Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -


Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Friday, February 18, 2011

Let Canadian Film Tax Credit Financing In Ontario And BC Finance Your Productions!

It's no mystery to us, that’s for sure. Canadian and U.S. content owners and producers are taking the 'flight to safety' , using Canadian film tax credit financing for Ontario , BC, and quite frankly all Canadian geographies for their financing needs .

Why that flight to safety? Why is Canada so under consideration these days when it comes to the film tax credit? (Film, television and digital animation) Well, just this week we caught three separate headlines out of U.S. states such as Michigan hinting strongly that tax credits will be pulled back, repealed, diminished, etc. Bottom line, less!

That certainly isn't the case in Canada, where a proper filing and certification of your claim (that is key) can net you anywhere for 30- 45% of your total production budget expenses. Help us understand, but isn’t that amount of assistance very valuable in allowing you to obtain the balance of your financing, through debt, equity, pre sales, product exposure, distribution, etc,.

The tax credit, furthermore, can be cash flowed to help monetize your project for working capital and cash flow as you go through your production spend.

Canada, similar to other geographies such as Australia, firmly seems to believe the payback in revenues, taxes, and general economic activity justifies the investments being made in your project.

Co - productions, when they qualify are eligible for the same sort of financing and assist you in attracting and finalizing the additional finance you need to complete your project.

When you finance the tax credit naturally the credit itself is the collateral for the loan - it’s in effect a bridge loan to get you the funding you need now or at the completion of your project. You do have the choice to simply wait for your non repayable cheque, but most independent producers prefer the pay me now to pay me later approach!

From a structuring viewpoint the tax credits sit kind of in the middle of your equity and senior financing, although if you borrow against the credit the credit it must be collateralized properly.

So how does payment work on a Canadian film tax credit financing for your Ontario and BC productions? Payments are great, generally there are none! That is to say that your advance on the tax credit - typically anywhere from 50-70% (sometimes more) is simply netted against your final cheque from the government, less the financing costs. Almost always no additional collateral is required, although the promise to pay of your Special Purpose Vehicle for the project is of course required.

Use Canadian film tax credit financing to enhance your overall profit potential on your project - don't give up additional equity or future profits you don't need to. Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing adviser who can steer you through the film tax credit funding process, quickly, efficiently, adding profit potential to your venture.


Stan Prokop is founder 7 Park Avenue Financial ; see


Originating financing for Canadian companies,specializing: working capital, cash flow, and asset based financing , the 6 year old firm has completed in excess of 45 Million $ of financing for companies . For info / free consultation on Canadian business financing / contact details see:


Pitfalls And Solutions When You Finance A Franchise With Franchise Financing Companies In Canada

When you want to finance a franchise in Canada the type of financing companies you work with and how you address your new business acquisition as an entrepreneur is as important we think as the time and research you spent on choosing your new business.

Let’s examine how you can make it much easier process from a viewpoint of time, cost, and ultimate success.

Is franchise financing in Canada viewed as an excepted and positive method of acquiring a business. The facts certainly point to that. The Canadian franchise association has hundreds of franchisor members, and most financial institutions that participate in franchise finance advertise aggressively on their support of this type of Canadian business financing.

Once you have made that decision and chosen your franchise type you want to be in a position to spend the minimum amount of time in securing financing for your business, while at the same time doing it right. That’s when you need to understand the basics of a complete package that will virtually guarantee you success and full approval for the funding you need.

Are there some pitfalls along the way? There sure can be. Time and time again we meet with clients who either have little or no experience in the business they are getting into, and coupled with that, don’t have any financial support or cushion that allows them to properly finance a franchise without full depleting their personal financial resources.

We all read about companies that fail because they have too much debt and are unable to meet loan obligations - that’s the pitfall you want to avoid in franchise finance. The reality is, and this is a surprise to many clients... that you dont want to borrow 100% of the funds you need, but at the same time you dont want to cash in your RRSP savings or fully mortgage your house either. The optimal blend of debt and equity in your franchise tends to be 2 or 3: 1. By that we simply mean that for every dollar you put into your new business you should plan to have only 2 or 3 dollars of debt. And quite frankly that applies to most businesses in corporate life.

You absolutely need a business plan for your franchise, as franchise financing companies and banks want to ensure that you have properly thought out how the business will generate sales, and hopefully profits.

The pitfall we see many times in client plans is that their plan is very marketing oriented, and in reality all the lender wants to see is some financial logic that will demonstrate how the franchise loan will be repaid .

Lenders call that debt service, and you want to be able to demonstrate that you will have cash flow coverage that allows you to both run the business and repay your franchise loan.

If you want a one stop solution for the majority of franchises in Canada, from a finance perspective it’s a customized loan called the BIL/CSBF program. It's underwritten by the government, has fabulous rates, terms and structures, and provides you in most cases with the majority of financing you need. Reasonable personal credit history is a requisite for this type of financing. Some private independent firms also offer franchise solutions when it comes to financing, including leasing of equipment.

Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor on what solutions you can effectively and properly implement to achieve financing success.


Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -


Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Benefit of IT Technology Financing From a Laptop To Your Server Farm !

The greatest obstacle you have in realizing IT technology financing benefits its balancing your largest obstacles to innovation - cost and obsolescence.

From one laptop to your server farm and cloud computing its a constant risk and challenge to balance the investments you make in technology and computer against your cash outflows and the need to constantly upgrade to stay completive .

Many traditional financing options are available to meet your tech finance needs, but where we think you really attain maximum benefits with lowest risk is in highly specialized areas such as off balance sheet financing and residual risk partnering and sharing.

Should you be financing your technology or buying it. The age old adage in equipment financing, whether it be technology IT financing or plant equipment leases is that if it appreciates, buy it, if it depreciates, lease it!

We can categorically assure you that the largest, smartest, most cash rich, and successful companies utilize the benefits of lease finance, whether it’s one laptop, a fleet of laptops, or a server farm upgrade. (A server farm is simply a group of computers in a data center that run your business data - for reasons of balance usage, scale and security).

The most sophisticated approach to technology IT financing in the past has been the use of off balance sheet leases - these still are a very cost effective way of running your tech finance programs. The challenge is working with the right partner that allows you fairly, and seamlessly, to invoke your three rights as a lessee under this lease. Those rights are the ability to purchase when you want, upgrade, or return. Extending also plays into those rights - for example - you enter into a 36 mo fmv lease with the option of returning, but you need to use the equipment 5 more months, perhaps for a special project, or to run a new system in parallel, etc .

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on what side of the fence you are on a lot of the pure tax and accounting treatment historically recognized by FMV type finance are going away with new internationally accepted accountant standards changes . However, let’s be clear on this - your ability to secure lower payments, plus invoke your 3 rights under the benefits of IT operating lease financing still favor you, the lessee.

Speak to a trusted, credible, and experienced Canadian business financing advisor in the area of IT financing - whether it’s your server farm, 1 laptop, or 2000 laptops your financial decisions make save or impact you by thousands of dollars.


Stan Prokop is founder 7 Park Avenue Financial ; Originating financing for Canadian companies,specializing: working capital, cash flow, and asset based financing , the 6 year old firm has completed in excess of 45 Million $ of financing for companies . For info / free consultation on Canadian business financing / contact details see:


Requirements for a Business Line Of Credit in Asset Finance and ABL Lending in Canada .

Let's cut rate to the chase, that’s often the best strategy in assessing a business decision. You are in the process of investigating ABL lending under and asset finance scenario as a replacement for your business line of credit.

More of than not you are either self financing currently (that’s not a perfect growth strategy by the way) or your ability to secure the business credit you need simply is not happening with your current banking or financing partner.

So lets look at whats required to bring you the full advantages of an ABL facility, that term being the acronym for ‘asset based lending' . The reason you are contemplating this type of business financing is simply, you want to maximize your borrowing power based on receivables, your inventory, and other potential assets which can actually be margined for temporarily liquidity. Think unencumbered equipment as an example.

Let's examine some of the key requirements for this type of facility. That will allow you to determine your overall success in securing a facility that meets all your needs, and comes at a cost that is commensurate with your situation. We mention cost briefly here in the context of our subject because many firms experience varying degrees of cost of financing in an ABL lending facility for their new business line of credit.

That is because asset finance pricing is based on criteria such as the overall financial health of your company. However, don’t despair because ABL lending actually works even if your company is in bankruptcy proceedings, because it always comes back to the same issue - if you have assets then an asset finance solution is possible!

So lets get back to those requirements - they include receivables that are under 90 days, which typically are margined at 90% of their value. Next comes inventory, and here is where it can get tricky. Although your new ABL facility and business line of credit margins your inventory you must be able to demonstrate that the goods are saleable in some form - whether that be work in process, raw materials, or finished goods . Most companies usually have a combo of all three types.

Asset finance often doubles your borrowing power under this type of business line of credit. That’s because the firms that offer it are experts in their business - typically, more often than not, they are not banks, but private boutique type firms that specialize in business asset financing. But, and here is the ' but ' you need to demonstrate proper accounting and regular financial statements - i.e. on a monthly basis, and you should be able to provide accurate reporting on things such as aged receivables, perpetual inventory reporting , and, in some cases, an appraisal on your other business assets - since these are temporarily margined for liquidity .

What we are simply saying of course is that in order to borrow in an ABL lending environment you have to have solid business records and demonstrate you are in control of your key assets. That quite frankly should be your goal whether or not you are borrowing at all, don’t you think?

Speak to a trusted, credible, and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can help you maximize the benefits of asset finance and assist you in achieving full success in this non bank business line of credit facility that is becoming more common everyday.

Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -


Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Save thousands (or Millions ! ) Via Smart Technology And IT Financing Via Finance Benefits

We probably couldn't come up with the exact number but wouldn’t you agree it’s safe to say that Billions of dollars are spent annually on IT (that’s information technology by the way!) and technology financing. Can you really save thousands, or those millions?! by smart acquisition strategies . We're sure you can and we will show you how.

The acquisition of computer, it, and other technology assets is without a doubt one of the largest Capex spends any medium or large sized business makes. Your make those investments because you are optimistic about the future of your firm, coupled by the need to stay ahead of the competition in the ever changing technology curve.

If your are the owner, chief financial officer, or chief information officer of any firm you want to know what your alternatives are in the areas of IT and Technology finance. Those alternatives comes with different costs, different outcomes, and different risks, all of which make it often a daunting decision when you are at the proverbial fork in the road .

The author of this article spent over 20 years in technology financing and saw trends come and go. The largest trend by far, we think, was the desire of firms to go off balance sheet when acquiring computer, technology and telecom assets. That probably is still a good decision today for many reasons - the main ones being lower monthly payments due to the residual taken by the lessors, the ability to invoke your three rights at the end of the term of the lease, as well as the constant availability of upgrading during the term.

Having said all that there are of course some new international accounting rules that will bring those off balance sheet liabilities back onto the balance sheet. Is that a good thing? We won’t weigh in on that one today... it’s probably good for lenders to your firm as all that debt is now front and center on the balance sheet. Anyway, that’s a discussion for another day.

So how are smart decisions made in technology financing - whether its computers, phone systems, software (yes software can be financed!) etc.

It all comes down to a couple key areas - first of all, if you aren’t proficient in lease calcs work with an expert who will help you assume residuals, interest rates, and proper economic life cycles . If you could afford it (some can’t... some can) the smartest thing to do would be to finance technology and IT on a 2 year FMV lease. That way the residual value established by the lessors would be high, you would be able to flip into new technology in 24 months.

Let's use a 2 million dollar major technology finance acquisition as an example - Using smart financing via an FMV lease a monthly payment on our 24 month term would be approx 71k per month.

Your firm would be the beneficiary of a 400,000 residual investment by the part on the other side of the lease. Your monthly payments to acquire 2 million dollars of technology for 24 months would be only 1.7 Million dollars. If you chose the lease to own route or loan on your technology financing your payments on a typical 36 month transaction would be over 2.2 Million dollars, almost 400k more than in our ' smart finance ' scenario.

So, what’s smart IT and technology financing all about? Its knowing the use of your equipment, its expected useful life, how lessors can play the interest and residual game and how some very basic expert information can put you back into the driving seat on those thousands (or millions) that Canada spends on IT finance for technology .Speak to a trusted, credible, and experienced expert to assist you in your benefit recapture in this critical area of business.

Stan Prokop is founder 7 Park Avenue Financial ;

Originating financing for Canadian companies,specializing: working capital, cash flow, and asset based financing , the 6 year old firm has completed in excess of 45 Million $ of financing for companies . For info / free consultation on Canadian business financing / contact details see:


Canadian Solutions To Your Working Capital Management And Cash Flow Loan Needs

Are there real world solutions to your business working capital management challenges? Is there a solution to your cash flow needs? Is that type of loan even available?

Today we'll be the finance doctor and we'll start y asking you if you have any of these symptoms : Is your firm growing too quickly , to the point where you are forced to focus on daily cash flow needs almost all the time . And are you also finding that you seem to be selling more and making less, from a net profit or income perspective. Do you even have a cash flow budget in place that allows you to assess your supplier payables, and lastly, but certainly not least and perhaps most serious... are you finding it unable to make certain loan or term obligations that your busines has?

It would appear to us, clearly, that you require a ' prescription ' for those symptoms, and that prescription is simply a working capital solution that works specifically for your firm.

Expanding too quickly allows you to stay ahead of the competition of course, but brings with it something the finance folks call ' overtrading ' which is a cash conversion cycle of negativity when those commitments we referred to cant be made because of the high investment in receivables, inventory, and fixed assets you have made to grow your business .

In other words you have the assets, but they are all tied up, leading to a case of poor liquidity. And we must be honest here; if you didn’t have the assets or sales potential there is almost no way we can help. So your ability to bring liquidity and monetize your assets focuses strongly on identifying how you are able to convert assets to cash.

So, never the ones to be accused of just talking abut the problems, lets talk about the solutions we spoke of.

It always comes down to current assets, so you require a solution to be able to monetize sales quickly, and convert A/R and inventory in working capital management success.

In Canada your alternatives are several, and quite frankly these would apply to almost any business anywhere. Many clients that come to us focus on what they term a ' cash flow loan ‘. Is that available, yes... is it recommended maybe. It’s a term loan for permanent working capital. Naturally that comes with more debt and fixed interest payments, so that is many times not an optimal solution.

Our preferred solutions to the working capital management challenge are the following: Confidential invoice financing, asset based lending, purchase order financing, and inventory financing. These solutions come in a variety of combinations depending on the size of your working capital requirement, as well, as the general financial profile of your business - i.e. are you currently financial challenged , or are all aspects of your business simply great . (It’s rarely the latter when we talk to clients.

In summary, investigate the benefits and mechanics of the 5 solutions we have outlined. Determine which ones work for your firm, and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced business financing advisor on your ability to secure in short order the cash flow and working capital you need to run your business successfully.


Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -


Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Commercial Business Equipment Leasing Services Provided by Financing Companies in Canada

Business owners want to maximize services and benefits related to commercial business equipment leasing and financing. Being able to work with companies that can provide you with asset acquisition financing allows you to resolve that age old question - ' should I buy or lease that new asset? ’

The reality of business assets, 99% of the time, is that they depreciate and eventually become obsolete - whether its 3, 5, or even ten years down the road. When you think of leasing you should view it as a ' utility ' service. What do we mean by that?Let’s use electricity as our example . You want to use electricity, but you dont want to own it. That’s how you need to view business equipment finance - a solid way of financing something that is depreciating in value. You are, in effect, matching your cash outlays against the useful equipment life of the asset.

As business people we want choices, alternatives so to speak. Clearly that’s where lease financing in Canada steps up to the table. Want prompt credit approval - leasing is probably the fastest method of obtaining a commercial credit approval in the Canadian financing landscape.

Want choices - boy have we go choices. Some of those very real choices, services and benefits include matching the type of lease you write to your asset type. If you are leasing technology such as computers you want to probably focus on what is known as an off balance sheet or operating lease. Even though the accounting popularity of accounting for this type of lease is disappearing there are still significant services and benefits - i.e. lower payments, ability to upgrade or return the asset, etc .

It's almost always about cash flow and working capital when it comes to looking at asset acquisitions for your company. You have a budget, you want to maximize it. You dont want to outlay huge sums of capital, and to top all that off you want to stay competitive and buy the newest, latest, and greatest . That clearly is the service offering com financing companies in Canada, who want to tailor your commercial business equipment leasing needs to what makes optimal sense for your firm.

In larger corporations executives are measured on key financial metrics / ratios such as return on capital and return on equity. Simply speaking if they can improve profits and shareholder wealth by minimizing capital outlay, or structuring off balance sheet transactions... well, you guessed it, that’s why they employ lease finance and loan strategies. (By the way a lease is not a loan but the terms are often intermingled by our clients).

So do these services really keep you ahead of the curve in capital asset acquisition - we certainly thin we have shown you they have? Utilizing lease finance allows you to acquire current technology, maximize financial statement and accounting benefits, and give you maximum flexibility relative to assets acquire and cash outlay.

Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor on how commercial business equipment leasing in any area of your business provides you with services and benefits you previously weren’t aware of or were not maximizing.

Stan Prokop is founder 7 Park Avenue Financial ; Originating financing for Canadian companies,specializing: working capital, cash flow, and asset based financing , the 6 year old firm has completed in excess of 45 Million $ of financing for companies . For info / free consultation on Canadian business financing / contact details see:


Advice on Canadian leasing company Equipment And Finance Loan Transactions

Canadian and U.S. firms finance billions of dollars of business assets via an equipment loan every year. Leasing companies provide some of the strongest benefits for capital acquisition than any other type of financing. Let's examine what some of those advantages are, and provide you with some clear tips and advice on obtaining the best equipment financing rates and structures.

Your firm only has an advantage when it is benchmarked against another alternative. That alternative in business financing tends to be outright purchase of the assets.

Canadian business owners and financials managers tend to be less aware of the accounting and financial aspects of an equipment lease. The most obvious advantage is simply that you know on a monthly recurring basis what your payment is - which hopefully you have budgeted for in your cash flow and working capital outlays.

Some of the best advice we can provide clients with is tips on selecting the right type of equipment finance lease or loan transaction. That revolves around the concept of either ' owning ‘, or ' using '.
If you wish to own the equipment at the end of the lease term you need to pick what is known as a capital lease or ' full payout' transaction as it is known in the industry. The concept is simple - The elements of the lease are the term, interest rate, end payment, monthly payment, and of course the value of your transaction. Using a financial calculator you can calculate any one of these key finance loan elements if you know the other data points.

Business changes constantly and so do financing rules on occasion. Many Canadian business owners and financial managers are not aware that there is an international accounting movement afoot to significantly diminish the value of operating leases, which is the other type of lease that leasing companies offer. This is a ' lease to use' transaction, where you have the right at the end of the finance transaction to return the equipment if you choose.

Over the years the key advantage of operating leases was that you could record the transaction off your balance sheet, it was simply an expense, and didn’t alter your debt and equity ratios, etc. However, international accounting standards are now going to require that you show the transaction on your books.

So the best advice we can give you is to discuss that issue with your accountant. Quite frankly a lot of the other benefits of operating leases still probably make it worthwhile - they have lower payments than a regular lease, and you still have that option to return the asset when you no longer require it at end of term.

Additional advice on your leasing company search or negotiation revolves around the whole issue of cash management. Did you know that you can potentially structure your transaction for payment flexibility, as well as adding in several intangible items such as warranty, delivery, installation, etc?

So what's our bottom line - simply to research which benefits make the most sense to your firm, pick the lease that suits your business and accounting needs, and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor about a leasing company that matches your firm’s needs.


Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -


Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :


Monday, February 14, 2011

Why Canadian Companies Use Factoring Receivables Solutions for Business Financing

Knowing you are making the right choice in factoring receivables for your Canadian business is half the battle. You then have to pick the best firm to facilitate your transaction, and like most business owners you want to know you have made the right decision.

Let's recap why A/R financing works, and more importantly, how to select the best companies to work with based on your own needs.

There are numerous reasons why you might want to use a factoring receivables strategy to finance your business. The best reason you can have is that you are growing! And growing quickly - Because in that situation you are unable to achieve the sort of traditional financing you need to run and finance your business on a daily basis. Simply speaking working capital and cash flow become your overwhelming priority on a day to day basis, and that shouldn’t be the case!

So, yes... you have identified invoice factoring and financing as your solution - but more importantly you also want to know how it works and how it will both affect and benefit your business on a day to day basis. The reality is that if are a small and medium sized business owner in Canada you are probably relying heavily on what the finance folks call a ' self financing' strategy. That simply means that you are only using your existing cash flow to finance your growth and profits - you are not in a position to, or don’t want to... take on more debt for your company.

Enter at stage left receivables financing companies! They purchase your a/r a daily, weekly, monthly ( its your choice!) basis and provide you with same day cash flow as soon as you have generated a valid sale and invoice .

And why does this strategy appeal to Canadian business owners? Simply because you are not creating debt on your balance sheet, and the personal guarantee situation is all but eliminated and you have the ability, ( if you choose the right partner firm ) to exit this financing at any time .

So, it all seems like a perfect world right? in effect the perfect business financing situation . Well in business it doesn’t work that way, there are pitfalls and mistakes you need to avoid when utilizing a factoring receivables strategy.

So what are those mistakes you should not make? Partnering... you need a firm that meets your needs, both geographcially, with competitive rates, and the ability to transact with you on a daily basis. We strong recommend what we call a C I D solution, which is the acronym for Confidential Invoice Discounting. This allows you to bill and collect your own receivables, finance them when you want, and receive the same rates as your competitors who aren’t using this C I D strategy. In their case their customers are contacted for payment by the factor firm, and this is unappealing to many Canadian businesses.

Whether we like it or not our clients always focus on rate when talking about a move to companies that will finance their receivables. Factoring rates are perceived as more expensive but in many cases when you factor in use of funds, ability to grow your business, etc the decision is not as difficult as you might think.

Speak to a trusted , credible, and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who is an expert in factoring pricing, picking the best solution for your firm, and negotiating pricing and fees and advances that work best for your future growth and profits .


Stan Prokop - founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial -

Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 7 years - has completed in excess of 50 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations .Info re: Canadian business financing & contact details :