When Canadian business owners and financial managers contemplate sales of receivables as a business cash flow strategy often the cost, and understanding the dynamics of that cost is top of mind. In general A/R financing, aka ‘ factoring’ is somewhat understood in the Canadian business financing marketplace. And if it isn’t understood, it certainly is not as well known as to its mechanics, benefits, and how to do it the proper way.
We have often thought that it’s simply that when firms are usually entertaining a new cash flow or working capital strategy it’s because ‘ dire straits’ have set in, and the company finds itself short of cash or generally unable to meet obligations on both operating expenses and other debt such as equipment leases, etc.
We have often preached that some of those basic problems can be fixed without external financing, i.e. a stricter credit granting policy, better matching payables outflows to A/R inflows.
However, when it’s absolutely certain that a new business financing strategy is required A/R financing is certainly one that thousands of firms are considering everyday. Why? Simply because it brings fast efficient cash flow to your firm through the sales of receivables. The way that A/R finance works couldn’t be more simple- that why we’re often dismayed when we learn clients have been misinformed or led astray on pricing and factoring mechanics on day to day operations… simply speaking… how it works!!
If we had to simply one key benefit of factoring pricing it’s simply that you are only paying for the financing you are using. Using a simple (that’s our style by the way!) example of a 100.00 invoice it works as follows. As soon as you generate the invoice and can validate internally that you have shipped or earned the revenue for your product or service you receive a large amount, typically 90%, as an immediate payment for the sale of that invoice.
We can hear you already. ‘What about that other 10%”? The industry terms that the holdback and you get that back, less the financing cost, as soon as your customer pays. And by the way, if you have a number of accounts, and are utilizing an a/r finance strategy doesnt it make common sense to sell, or ‘ factor’ your better paying customers. That’s because, as we have said, you only pay for what you use and your financing costs are decreased with those better paying customers.
Many of the benefits of factoring are overlooked because of the cost factor. We won’t even mention that your company now has the ability to simply survive sometimes, but more importantly, think Sales! Revenue! It’s these lost opportunities that no longer are ‘ lost’ since you are now immediately cash flow positive – what an exhilarating feeling that must be. Instead of uncollected A/R the left hand side of your balance sheet now shows ‘ Cash on hand’!
In Canada the ‘ fee’ to sell a receivable is in the 2-3% range on a monthly basis. The danger is when clients compare this directly to commercial bank interest, which in many ways is the wrong analogy. And remember, there is not debt here, you’re monetizing or cash flowing assets on your balance sheet. In many cases we see you now have the ability to double your revenue without taking on additional debt, if in fact that debt was available to you.
Looking for the inside scoop? Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can assist you in ensuring that sales of receivables as a business cash flow strategy , if done properly, with the right partner, is a solid path to growth and success.