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.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Funding For Financing Receivables And The Real Cost Of Factoring

Financing receivables can be a key ' igniter ' in your firm's search for business credit that works for your cash flow needs. Accounts receivable factoring and the cost of factoring in your search for business funding requires some special analysis and expertise.This method of financing can often ' unfreeze ' your working capital. Let's dig in and show you how to fix the business credit freeze.

How Does Factoring Invoices Function On A Day To Day Basis

The entire FACTORING process is the cash flowing of your receivables after your firm has provided either its goods or services to your client. There is a defined process that allows your company to receive funding on completion of your sale and the invoice to the client.

Factoring clients are best suited to these financial solutions when their business is growing and traditional capital is not available. In fact, while traditional financial institutions are focused on credit limits, annual reviews, etc factoring solutions are very flexible and limits can very easily be raised if your sales are growing. In fact business owners control their own limits based on their decisions as to how much of their receivables they wish to finance and when to submit those invoices for financing.

After your firm has invoiced your client you provide a copy of that invoice to the receivable finance firm you are utilizing . Many firms offer very different types of versions of what we could call ' traditional factoring' but essentially you will receive your funds withing a day or so of invoice submission .  The amount you receive on the face value of the invoice is typically  80-90% of the invoice amount . You receive the balance of the invoice when your client pays, at which time a fee of approx  1-2% is deducted as the ' factoring fee ' .

This latter point of a factoring fee must be stressed and understood when looking at this type of accounts receivable financing . Why ? Many business owners and financial managers view the factoring fee as an ' interest rate ' when in fact it is simply a cost of the service for providing the financing, A better way to think of it is that is a reduction in your gross margin of that 1-2% range that we expressed previously . This whole area is one of the largest misnomers around FACTORING and its true cost. Your true financing cost in factoring will revolve around the agreed upon fee charged, and your ability to negotiate the amount that will be advanced on each invoice. Those are two, but not all, of the  key drivers in calculating your cost of financing .

Why Does Factoring Work ?

Factoring works simply because it turns your sales into working capital, allowing you to accelerate cash flow via the financing of a/r.  Business owners will not be surprised to know that it takes typically anywhere from 30-90 days these days to collect your accounts, your stated payment terms notwithstanding!

It should be noted that the advance rates on each invoice tend to vary by industry - the trucking/freight and staffing industries are two examples of high users of this method of financing sales so the advance rates are quite high - that's a good thing ! It should be noted that some costs considered as ' miscellaneous ' by some such as account set up, bank lockbox fees, and credit checks can add up and should be considered in your total cost analysis.

Accessing the cash allows you to address the day operating cash needs of your business. If your company is in a position of either having to , or offering, extended payment terms for your suppliers and your have sufficient gross margins then FACTORING is a solid potential solution for your business.

In certain cases a business might be able to take advantage of taking on a new or larger client that previously was not able to be considered based on size and the working capital investment your firm would have to make in carrying a/r or funding additional inventory.

A firm having a large number of clients that generate a large number of invoices could utilize  FACTORING as a method to reduce the collection costs and investment in staff to facilitate financing.

A  key benefit of factoring is that it does not bring debt onto your balance sheet - it is not a loan ! Rather it is the monetization of what is typically your largest current asset - A/R. As we mentioned many firms are stalled in sales growth due to their inability to fund the working capital component of sales . The FACTOR solution allows you to take on those clients with ease .

Many firms experience what the pros call ' bulge finance needs ' ; this might be at times of the seasonality of the business , or other reasons . That's when the FACTORING solution makes sense.

Factoring is often viewed as a ' bridge ' to more traditional financing, typically Canadian banks . Being able to demonstrate a successful factor finance facility allows your company to build a track record in stability, thereby improving your commercial credit history .with one of them. In times of economic crisis, pandemics included alternative financing sources such as  AR Financing allow your firm to weather the storm .

Every business owner can relate to the constraints Canadian chartered banks come under  for the financing of business in a downturn -  Downturns might be company-specific or part of a general industry-specific or broad economic downturn. That situation tends to lead to a downward spiral in many firms as business credit tightens . FACTORING COMPANIES typically finance companies in good times and in less than good times.

Can Factoring Improve Profits?

Many businesses considering factoring finance tend to compare it to more traditional business finance solutions such as those services offered by banks. Many suppliers and vendors to your business offer early payment discounts  - one such common offering is' 2% net 10 days '. That allows you to deduct 2% of the suppliers invoice based on paying early. Firms that have incoming cash tied up in a/r are of course unable to take advantage of this discount . But factoring solutions allow you to take that discount, thereby lowering a very significant amount of the factoring fee! In some cases you can purchase in bulk allowing you to further lower your cost of goods , thereby improving margins. As we have noted firms that are constantly battling the cash flow challenges can rarely take advantage of the two examples we have outlined.

Factoring Costs Laid Bare!  Assessment of 3 Critical Facts In Invoice Finance

We have already mentioned the factoring fee, that is the actual charge by your commercial financing partner to finance invoices on an ongoing basis.  The decision on what that fee is becomes based on a number of factors assessed by your factoring firm. Those data points include  your clients overall industry profile, your own firm's general creditworthiness , and the amount of the facility you require.

The next key factor can be significantly  a cost significantly controlled by yourself,  namely your average DSO / collection period. So if you turn over your receivables more quickly that monthly factoring fee stays low, as the charge is based most often on a 30 day collection period. Therefore your costs would increase if your client paid in 60 days. Companies with good credit extension policies are a winner in the factoring game.

 Example Of Factoring Cost :
 Invoice Amount -  $ 20,000
 Factoring fee - 1.5% = $300
In the above example your firm would get 90% of the 20,000 as soon as you invoice, namely $18,000. 
The balance of $2000 less the $300 fee is paid to your immediately on payment by your client.
In the above example you have not incurred debt, become cash flow positive immediately on invoicing, and continue to maintain general creditworthiness with your suppliers, operating costs, etc.
 A  harsher reality of factoring solutions is the fact that many firms these days simply cannot  meet the demands of Canadian banks when it comes to accessing the business credit they need. Alternative finance solutions such as factoring and asset based lending allows your firm to leverage it's assets and sales revenue potential. Thousands of Canadian businesses utilize this method of cash flowing sales when they otherwise could not achieve. While in the majority of cases the factoring firm, or asset based lending firm becomes your ' senior lender ' these facilities also can be complementary to other business credit you have in place. It's all about your total exposure to your lenders versus the amount of  collateral you have in receivables and other assets.Trends now show that thousands of businesses in Canada find themselves unable to get the financing they need. Whether they are ' cut off ' or simply ' restricted' in getting capital into their firm the repercussions can be anywhere from being mild to severe, severe of course meaning closing your business.

So why is receivable finance funding different, and how does the business owner/manager asses the cost of factoring A/R into a sensible arrangemen

The essence of invoice discounting, aka ' factoring, aka ' invoice discounting ' is simply the ability to monetize sales directly into cash as you generate revenue. That in itself is a powerful statement. Where things go wrong is when your business locks itself into a facility that either costs too much, is unwieldy to operate, and simply doesn't mesh with your day to day operations. By the way, that absolutely doesn't have to be the case!

So if banks also margin receivables for cash flow for your business wouldn't Canada's chartered banks be the optimal solutions for cash flow finance. Well they would be that perfect solution if your business qualifies, and if you do qualify do you in fact have access to all the credit you need to grow the business when it comes to seasonality, large orders, cash flow bulges, slow paying clients, etc. The answer is that while our banks in Canada provide the best and most ' low cost ' solution the reality is that not everyone qualifies.

The short answer to bank versus non-bank funding in Canada, when it comes to A/R finance is that the bank bases its decision on your sales, profits, and balance sheet; Factoring, on the other hand, bases its finance formula only on your sales and the invoices generated from that revenue. Oh, and by the way, funding is in fact ' same day '. And it's only as complex as you want it to be, and the industry itself, unfortunately, does not always do a good job of explaining facilities; sometimes employing smoke and mirrors to hide costs and day to day facilitation of the financing. That's when you need clarity!

You have the ability to negotiate what is known as a  ' non recourse ' facility which allows you to transfer all the credit risk to your financing firm - albeit at a cost.

The key to a successful A/R finance program in Canada is your management of the program. The type of facility you enter into, as well as your ability to control what you finance and when is critical. And, as a kicker, our recommendation to clients is ' confidential ' facilities that allow you to bill and collect your own receivables in a manner that allows the competition to do only one thing - figure out where you are getting all that cash . Always keep in mind that the firm financing your receivables is typically more concerned with the overall quality of your customer based, so any firm that is perhaps facing financing challenges is not eliminated from being able to source funding. Knowing you have a strong underwriting partner to fund your sales is a key success factor in any business.

Finally, the concept of ' notification' and ' verification' should be high on the list of factoring due diligence. These two terms arise out of what we at 7 Park Avenue Financial call ' old school ' factoring, and involves occasional or constant verification of invoices with your clients.  At 7 Park Avenue Financial we tend to view this form of factoring as somewhat ' intrusive ', so our recommended and preferred solutions is Confidential Receivable Financing, allowing you to bill, and collect your accounts without any notification to clients, suppliers, etc. All the benefits, and less of the hassle!

Whether you're a start-up, medium-sized firm, or a large corporation, financing receivables can be a huge part of your business success. Seek out and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor today who can assist you with the facility that makes the most sense for your unique needs.

7 Park Avenue Financial :

South Sheridan Executive Centre
2910 South Sheridan Way
Suite 301
Oakville, Ontario
L6J 7J8

Direct Line = 416 319 5769

Email = sprokop@7parkavenuefinancial.com


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7 Park Avenue Financial provides value-added financing consultation for small and medium-sized businesses in the areas of cash flow, working capital, and debt financing.

Business financing for Canadian firms, specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing, Equipment Leasing, franchise finance and Cdn. Tax Credit Finance. Founded 2004 - Completed in excess of 100 Million $ of financing for Canadian corporations.

' Canadian Business Financing With The Intelligent Use Of Experience '


Stan has had a successful career with some of the world’s largest and most successful corporations. He is an experienced

business financing consultant


Prior to founding 7 Park Avenue Financial in 2004 his employers over the last 25 years were, ASHLAND OIL, ( 1977-1980) DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, ( 1980-1990) ) CABLE & WIRELESS PLC,( 1991 -1993) ) AND HEWLETT PACKARD ( 1994-2004 ) He is an expert in Canadian Business Financing.

Stan has over 40 years of business and financing experience. He has been recognized as a credit/financial executive for three of the largest technology companies in the world; Hewlett-Packard, Digital Equipment and Cable & Wireless. Stan has had in-depth, hands-on experience in assessing and evaluating thousands of companies that are seeking financing and expansion. He has been instrumental in helping many companies progress through every phase of financing, mergers & acquisitions, sales and marketing and human resources. Stan has worked with startups and public corporations and has many times established the financial wherewithal of organizations before approving millions of dollars of financing facilities and instruments on behalf of his employers.

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Funding For Financing Receivables And The Real Cost Of Factoring

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