Anyone who knows about the challenges of business financing in Canada knows that capital is harder to obtain these days, recession over notwithstanding! So when clients hear about accounts receivable loans and financing receivables strategies that seem to work for others, including their competitors, well… naturally they want to know more.
Let’s share some basics around A/R loans (they are not really loans per se) and what the best method of financing receivables is in Canada.
Cash flow shortages. Sounds like a common challenge you face almost all the time these days. But when solutions to those shortages seem limited then a financing receivables strategy just might be your optimal solution.
In order to embrace a new finance strategy you have to know what it is, and what it costs, and even as important, how does it work. At its most simplest this type of business financing can best be explained as the selling of your A/R as you generate sales, getting cash in return. Naturally there has to be a focus on the quality of the receivable, and its age. (Generally receivables are sold when they are current).
Many clients always ask if they need to sell receivables as soon as they generate them, as in some cases they just might not need the cash flow and additional working capital at that moment. The answer is that you can sell your A/R anytime you want, typically as long as the receivable is less than 90 days. (If your A/R is older than 90 days there is somewhat of an assumption that it is uncollectible, unless you have given special terms to your clients.
So why do firms in Canada embrace this new form of financing more and more every day. Simply because it frees up the capital that you have tied up in inventory and A/R, your current assets. Financing receivables can be implemented more much quickly than any other type of loan or financing.
And, oh yes, getting back to that word ‘ loan ‘ – we mentioned that many clients refer to this strategy as ‘ accounts receivables loans ‘.
The last thing you want to do when you are short of working capital is to take on debt, so its very important to understand that this type of financing, also called ‘ invoice discounting ‘.. or ‘ factoring’ does not, we repeat ‘ does not ‘! bring any debt to your balance sheet. The world loan is a misnomer here, as all you are doing is monetizing or cash flowing your assets, making them immediately liquid.
Any Canadian business owner or financial manager would prefer to take on a new solution to their business in the right way. That means from a viewpoint of both cost and methodology.
Many clients view the cost of financing receivables as a setback. In Canada depending on the size of your A/R and some other factors the costs run between 1-3% per month. What business owners forget is that they can offset those costs in a number of different ways… they could increase their prices nominally, they can take discounts with their suppliers with their new found cash, and, if applicable, they can ‘ purchase ‘ smarter and harder. further reducing their cost of financing .
Our favorite and most recommended accounts receivable loans is a strategy called C I D. It stands for confidential invoice discounting, whereby you bill and collect your own receivables during the entire financing receivables process. Unlike your competitors, who are forced into rigorous notification of their financing with their clients or suppliers?
In summary, not all business financing strategies work for all firms. But firms of all size in Canada, even large corporations are looking at A/R strategies. Make sure you get a facility that works for your firm, both from a cost and daily procedural basis. When in doubt, or if you need more info, seek a trusted Canadian business financing advisor who can make sure the ‘ right way ‘ is your way!