Improving Cash Flow with Invoice Factoring and Purchase Order Financing

Managing cash flow can be a challenge for many businesses. But creative funding options like invoice factoring and purchase order (PO) financing can make the job much easier.

These financial solutions offer convenient, cost-effective and immediate access to working capital. Invoice factoring and purchase order financing are suitable for companies in just about any industry. They can provide financial support to expand, manage business surges or even meet day-to-day operating expenses. And they’re ideal if your company is newer and can’t obtain a loan.

The Ins and Outs of Invoice Factoring

Invoice factoring is easy to set up and terminate. To qualify, you should have no existing primary liens or claims on your accounts receivable. And you must have creditworthy clients who pay their invoices promptly and in full.

When factoring customer invoices, you can receive quick cash advances often within 24 hours. Your cash advance is based on the overall value of the invoices you provide as collateral. Typically, you can get 80 percent of the invoice value upfront and the remaining value after your client pays the invoice minus a three to five percent factoring fee.

Your customers pay the factoring company directly. And the factoring company takes responsibility including any loss for the collection of their debts. It’s important to note that invoice factoring is not a loan, so there are no repayments to make. You are simply using the good credit of your clients to release your own assets to be put back in your own business.

Historically speaking, factoring is a well-established form of business financing that produces cash payments at the time of shipping, delivery and invoicing. Its origin has been traced to the days of the Roman Empire or even earlier, but the U.S. factoring industry dates back only about 200 years to the early nineteenth century. Factoring companies, known as factors, evolved from U.S. selling agents for European textile mills. Currently, about 70 percent of the volume of traditional factors is still in textiles, apparel and related industries that highly value credit guarantees, according to the Commercial Finance Association.

Invoice factoring can provide the working capital your business needs to handle new projects, fill large orders and pay creditors on time or even early. In essence, factoring can keep your cash flow running smoothly while your business grows. This can enable you to stop worrying about finances, and concentrate on productivity and how to profitably expand your business. Factoring also can help you avoid wasting time tracking down accounts receivable or handling bad debts.

Here are some other important factors (no pun intended) about invoice factoring:
- There is no application or set up fee.

- You choose which accounts to finance.

- Invoices eligible up to 30 days from the date of invoice.

- There is no a minimum funding requirement or requirement to factor all invoices.

- The funds wired directly into your bank account.

- Customers send their checks directly to our lockbox.

Cashing in on Purchase Order Financing

PO financing can provide quick cash flow reserves for manufacturers, importers, exporters and distributors. This type of short-term funding is used to finance the purchase or manufacture of specific goods that have been presold by the client to its credit worthy end customer. Funding involves issuing letters of credit or providing funds that allow companies to secure the inventory they need to fulfill customer orders.

With PO financing, working capital financing is protected by a security interest in existing purchase orders and the proceeds of the purchase orders. Normally, the security interest is perfected by the lender taking possession of the inventory or raw materials.

PO financing can pay for the cost of your goods directly to your supplier, freeing up cash for other critical business expenses. This can help your company ensure timely deliveries to customers, grow without increased bank debt or selling equity, and increase market share. To qualify for PO Financing, you must provide financial information about your company, information about your buyer and supplier, and buyer and supplier invoices.

PO financing is available for finished and non-finished goods, although finished goods are generally easier to finance. Finished goods involve transactions where the goods go directly from your supplier to your buyer. You never touch them or take direct possession.

Non-Finished Goods are when you, the seller, take possession of the goods either in a raw state (such as yarn to make blue jeans) or a semi-finished state (partially sewn blue jeans). In either case, you must take possession of the product.

Purchase order financing can help solve a variety of cash flow dilemmas. Here’s a prime example: Your suppliers want you to pay cash on deliver (C.O.D.) and your buyers want to pay you net 30 to 60 days. You have no cash flow during manufacturing, while the goods are in transit, and until your invoices are paid.

PO financing may be right for your company if…

- You need additional working capital.

- You lack expertise to handle the financing.

- You need a quick response to an immediate sales need.

- You don’t want to incur additional credit risk, be it foreign or domestic.

- You want your buyers and sellers to not know each other.

- You want the opportunity to make additional profit.

Purchase orders can be used for U.S. and foreign buyers and suppliers. Consider this scenario involving a U.S. supplier and U.S. buyer: You’re an apparel manufacturer. You’ve been in business for six years and have a good profit and loss statement and balance sheet. You just received a large order and are maxed out on credit from your suppliers. Your sales price to your buyer is $100,000 and your total cost to produce the goods is $75,000. Your gross margin is 25 percent. The financing company will purchase the goods for you from your supplier, give you 45 days to produce the goods, charge you a 5-percent purchase order fee ($5000, 5 percent of $100,000) and factor your receivables.

Structured Trade Finance – What Does It Mean?

Structured trade finance (STF), a type of debt finance, is used as an alternative to conventional lending. This form of finance is utilized regularly in developing countries, as well as, in relation to cross border transactions. The objective is to encourage trade by making use of non-standard security. STF is generally used in high-value transactions in bilateral trading relationships. As a more complicated type of finance, STF is commonly related to commodity trading.

Within the commodity sector, STF products are most prevalent. It is used by producers, processors, traders, as well as, end-users. These financial arrangements are tailored by banking organizations to meet the precise needs of the clients. STF products are primarily working capital financing, warehouse financing and pre-export financing. There are also some institutions that extend reserve-based lending, as well as, finance the conversion of raw materials into products, along with other customized finance products. In order to promote trading activities, STF products are extended across the supply chain.

STF structures are sponsored by limited recourse trade finance lines. The structure aims at offering better security mechanism and to act as an enhancement on the position of the borrower when viewed in isolation.

How Has Technological Advancements Complemented STF?

Trade credit insurance, bank assurances, letters of credit, factoring and forfeiting are some of the STF products that have been positively affected by the latest technological advancements. These products have changed due the recent developments. The massive progress in communication and information domains have also helped the banking institutions to track the physical risks and events in the supply chain between the exporter and the importer.

Why are STF Facilities Used?

Structured trade finance products are used so that the risks related to trading in specific country and different jurisdictions can be mitigated. Any transaction together with STF products help to add resilience to the trade and the same cannot be said when looking at financing the individual elements of a trade. Moreover, it allows for lengthening the payment time, strategizing procurement, diversifying funding and enhancing the ability for clients to boost the facility sizes.

What makes STF extremely attractive is that the borrower’s strength in the transaction is not scrutinized as closely as compared to a vanilla loan. Here, the focus is more on the structure and the underlying cash flows. Another reason for STF’s popularity is that the transactions are not reflected in the balance sheet of a company and the presence of this financing option has helped several importers to maintain flexible credit terms with exporters.

In recent years, structured trade finance products coupled with the recent advances in technology are considered as the fundamental reasons for the increasing volumes of international trade.

Corporate Finance Consulting – Trendy Assistant To Financing

Finance is now part of most common and trivial activities of routine life. Be it marketing, selling any wares, assistance to any person in any form, finance forms the core element. Finance having widespread branches is not merely confined to regular chores of life. In tune of this discussion, comes the concept of Corporate Finance. Corporate Finance, as the name suggests, deals with the sources of funding for big corporate houses and multi-national companies. It is nothing but the steps taken by managers to make the body corporate more viable and lucrative to share-holders and the tools and scrutiny deployed for allocation of financial resources.

As Corporate Finance is big in itself, there are a number of streams of work associated with it. Such activities come under the purview of Corporate Finance Service. Corporate Finance Services includes a wide range of assistance like managing money, which includes banks, credit-card companies, insurance companies, accountancy firms, investment management companies,stock broking firms -to name a few. Many of them provide a series of
services under one umbrella.

Corporate Finance is quite complicated, specially to an organization or a person just being a fresher and thus comes the idea of Corporate Financial Advisory. The basic ideology behind this is the variety of advisory services that are offered to the MNCs and conglomerates about the financial aspects of operations. Such services may either be provided by Boards of the companies constituted particularly to give shape to this idea or by bodies of professionals, being experts. Moreover, among the numerous finance service, which one is the best suited for a particular company is best judged by Corporate Financial Advisory.

The foundation on which the work of a Corporate Financial Advisor is based on is facilitating mergers and acquisitions, joint venture, disposals, apart from others. They are often found in consortium with large investment banks or corporate advisory firms.

It may be pertinent to mention here that strategies that are adopted for a specific company is totally different from that of another.. Strategies are the clever techniques that are adopted to tide over war-like situations. These strategies are being designed by Corporate Finance Consulting mechanism. The work is basically the linking of capital markets ideologies, corporate strategies and financial strategies to help executives and their teams for value-addition purposes.

Worldwide there have been quite a few firms well-known in their area of expertise as Corporate Financial Consultants. Famous ones are A.T. Kearney, PwC, Ernst & Young, Mckinsey & Co., Bain & Co. Deloitte, BCG, and KPMG.

Among the new and rising firms is the Antar which is a boutique consultancy company offering clear, simple, effective and tailor-made financial services and solutions to its clientele. The name “antar” signifies “difference” and it is this uniqueness that sets “Antar” apart from other companies. Among the plethora of services that it offers, Business Recovery, Valuations, Funding, Corporate Finance Services, Transaction and Advisory comes under the endeavour of Financial Consultancy.

Personal Finance Online: Goal Setting In School

‘Personal Finance Online’ was not possible when I was at school in Belfast, Ireland – mainly because there was no real internet either used or taught. I don’t even think I was taught about goal setting in school either, not directly at least – I mean, no-one sat me down and showed me a template or explained the details behind goals motivation theory or anything like that.

In fact, my teachers never taught me about personal finance, online or otherwise, but the indirect lessons I learned about goal setting in school, from the complex rules of the playground, sport and even chasing girls, actually left me well placed to set goals and create my own way to create goals. Albeit not actually inside a real framework at all.

After all, it became second nature to choose what I wanted to achieve, and stubbornly do anything to get it – exams, trophies, even friends with cars.

I never was an Educator, but I hold them in very high regard – they have such a lot of responsibility to shape the minds of our children.

Belfast, where I grew up, had teachers, professors and kindergarten nurseries just like any other place, each with their own view of personal finance and never shared with students or even each other. Educators today have so much more opportunity to shape the health of this nation because they can use tools to teach personal finance online

How I Learned Goal Setting In School

From an early age, life was not easy in Belfast. There was no such thing as a free lunch, and if a kid wanted to have ‘stuff’ then that kid had to go to the bank of Mom and Dad, go without, or get a job.

I took a job as a paperboy.

I’d set times for the round, and race myself against the clock, lost in imagination. I’d see how many smiling visits it took to secure tips at Christmas, and I made sure all my customers knew about my birthday, well in advance.

In School, I knew the bus timetable and the exact time it took to the stop from every single exit from the school so I could time my journey.

I was a fiercely competitive sports wannabe in Athletics, so became used to goal setting in school for weight, speed, time, strength and timetables – everything was measured, everything focused on goal achievement.

What Has Goal Setting In School Got To Do With Personal Finance Online?

At first glance, nothing really links these things together, but actually, now that it is possible to do personal finance online, then I actually believe that schools should be taking the lead in teaching the kids all about it. They should be teaching Financial Goal Setting In School right alongside all the other achievement and assessment methodologies.

You see, as a kid, goal setting is all about getting what you want, striving for something desired and the recognition that comes with getting it, achievement of goals.

As an adult, these same emotional and psychological drivers can be used in improving this country’s personal finance – online. It is cheaper, easier, consistent and instant.

Adults in our country have little or idea either about goal setting or personal finance – while our kids grow up online. Teaching personal finance online makes absolute sense.

How to Set Financial Goals.

The list of critical items which are easily done with any personal finance online package or software come down the following

How To Budget
How To Save
Goal Setting
Forecasting
The Relativity of Goals in Goal Setting
The Value of Earnings

Personal finance online is so much better than a goal setting worksheet because the templates, the shape and direction of the calculations are prearranged and thought through by professional designers and educators.

All that remains for the kid, the adult or the user, is to make choices in the face of limited resources and the value of something not chosen.

Personally, I wish I’d learned these skills and had incorporated money management into my schooling – I’m convinced I’d be a wiser, richer and happier man today, but it’s not all bad.

I now teach all my children about money, about personal finance and about goal setting, and I use personal finance online tools to do it.

Either way, people in Belfast are only beginning to understand the power of achievement, and the global financial crisis is stimulating more interest and focus on personal finance through necessity.

I hope that these two initially unrelated issues can be fused together by the few people clever enough to know how to choose with limited resources, and be happy with the outcome.

Mark Donnan is A former CEO in Financial Services and the author of the personal finance books Negotiating Breathing Space with your Creditors, and Debt Management Secrets, and is the creator of the only online video series to reveal the 30 secrets of Mastering Money.

Finance Companies – Tips on How to Select the Best

Finance companies are designed to provide leasing or hire purchase contract to many business owners. They are there to help you achieve your business or investment opportunities. There are many things that you need to put into consideration when you are looking for one that will provide you with the services that you need. You will need to do research since there are many finance companies that have come up in the market, making it competitive. Some of them provide funding with the aim of marketing their products and/or services.

Others are part of major banks while there are those who are members of financing and leasing associations. Since there are many finance companies out there, it is only advisable that you search for one that has a reputable background. A good reputation and the fact that the company is a member of the finance and leasing association is the kind of company you want to deal with.

When you settle for a particular finance company it is also vital that you fully comprehend the contract you have with them. It should be in agreement with any verbal or written quotation. They should openly inform you of any penalties that may be incurred in every situation of the agreement. You should avoid companies that have hidden prepayment penalties. It is important that you are aware and understand the terms and conditions of the company before you sign on the dotted line.

If you are leasing equipment from the company, ensure that it is new or in superb condition. Be aware that once you select a finance company that you are in a long term agreement. It is advisable that you go for a company that can give you the flexibility to change between the fixed and floating rates without charging you extra.

Car Finance Company

Having a new car is one of the biggest achievements that most people can have. Other than financing education and buying a home, there is really nothing else that can compare to the huge expenditure that comes with purchasing a new car.

Therefore, only a few people can really afford to pay for a car outright. Most people rely on car financing in order to purchase a new car. But with the many car financing options available nowadays, it is wise to research thoroughly for a car financing company that offers the best rates.

Most car financing companies offer better deals compared to local car dealers. While it is convenient to have your car dealer provide you with the loan and plan, it is still better to get pre-approval from a car financing company because they offer more reasonable interest rates and payment options. To choose the car financing company with which to conduct your transactions, you have to consider two things: their rates and reliability.

Car financing companies vary on the interest rates they offer to customers. If they have seen that you have good credit history, the interest rate on your car financing loan may not be as high compared to a person with bad credit history. And if you really want to secure car financing with low interest rates, you should try looking for an online car financing company. By applying for your loan online, you save the company time and money, thus the savings from the cost of doing business are passed on to you.

In addition, you should also check the credibility of the company, especially if you want to do your transactions online. You have to make sure that the company you choose has been in operation for years. Aside from this, you can also ask your colleagues and friends who have already secured car financing from a car financing company about their experiences in loan application. They can recommend a suitable company to you.

Finding a car financing company for your loan application can be difficult if you do not know what to consider and where to start your search. But if you go online and ask trusted sources for their recommendations, you can easily compare car financing rates and select the best deal for you.

Lawsuit Financing Companies

Attorneys, law firms, lawyers, beneficiaries or clients usually form lawsuit-financing companies. Lawsuit financing companies can also provide appeal finance, firm finance, custom finance or estate finance.

Many lawyers and attorneys create lawsuit financing companies based on their experience and the types of cases they encounter the most. Attorneys and lawyers with expertise in personal injury lawsuits or patent lawsuits help by providing cash advances and support in their fields.

Lawsuit financing companies provide many financing options. With a significant monthly fee, a few lawsuit financing companies may help to settle the case faster. Though a large variety of options are available, the plaintiff has to discuss with the attorney which option is best suited to him.

The lawsuit financing company and the plaintiff can make an agreement of the amount of share the lawsuit financers would obtain after the settlement or the verdict is known. This is called “flat fee”. Apart from the flat fees, the plaintiff has to pay a minimum fee every month, called “recurring fees”, to the lawsuit financing company. This recurring fee can be as low as 2.9% in the case of a few lawsuit financing companies, or could be as high as 15% with other companies.

It is the financing company’s decision as to how much to pay as the cash advance. Lawsuit financing companies pay from $1000 to about a million dollars depending on the case.

Every lawsuit financing company would have a team of lawyers to assess the strength of the case. The key is to avoid funding frivolous complaints. Thus the financing companies will scrutinize the complaint and decide the chances of success of the case.

Lawsuit financing companies do not term their cash advances as loans but as investments. The applicant has to repay after the verdict. Usually the monetary settlement that is obtained after the settlement by the court is larger than the company’s advance. The lawsuit financing company should be paid the principal and the predetermined share of the monetary verdict.

Many lawsuit financing companies can be approached through the Internet. Companies like legalcashnow.com, legalfundingnetwork.com and lawsuitcash.com are available on the Internet. Websites like these are flooded with information and instructions regarding lawsuit financing.

Finance & Banking Sectors Still the Major Players in IT Recruitment

A leading UK recruitment agency in the IT jobs sector has released data from their Q1 2009 records which indicates a strong resilience in the financial and banking sectors regarding their Information Technology recruiting power.

The recruitment agency in question is well placed to provide a litmus test for the UK IT jobs industry having nationwide coverage and a wealth of experience in sourcing and placing vacancies and candidates in the IT sector. The strength of these sectors spans both temporary/contractual positions as well as permanent vacancies. The figures used are all based on actual client requirements that were received over the given period; as such they show national averages and consequently do not reflect specific regional differences.

Contractual positions: 1. Finance; 2. Banking; 3. Investment Banking; 4. Government; 5. Telecoms.

Permanent positions: 1. Finance; 2. Banking; 3. Pensions; 4. Telecoms; 5. E-Commerce.

Given the well documented problems in these sectors in the second half of 2008 and the mixed results coming from the large financial institutions in 2009 so far, it is encouraging to note that these major players in IT recruitment are still topping the list for demand for IT talent. This helps to show the resilience of the IT sector, especially in organisations such as those in banking and finance which heavily rely on high tech systems and computerised data collection and distribution.

Although in the back end of 2008 there were numerous redundancies across all job and industry sectors, including IT, the strength and importance of IT workers is borne out by the strong showing from these sectors which were most badly hit in the UK recession. Highly skilled technical staff in the demanding fields of IT programming, analytics and system architecture will always be in demand and are still able to command excellent salaries. Forming the lynchpins of virtually innumerable financial related institutions, the IT systems experts are finding that their skills are once again becoming increasingly in demand as the large organisations start to plan for the upturn that can be expected in the wider economy over the coming months.

There may be more of a tendency in the short term for some companies to favour offering shorter term contracts, but as the economy stabilises and begins to show signs of growth we can expect to see a slight shift towards long-term and permanent contracts being offered to the most skilled IT staff, because the need for such professionals will be increasing all the time and companies will be keen to hold onto the top talent.

Indeed some companies may already be rueing releasing IT workers last year only to find that they are now urgently in need of the very same skills even now as the first signs of recovery are being felt.

The agency continues to closely the monitor the entire IT sector and as the year progresses will be making further informed observations about the UK IT jobs sector. On this evidence, the IT industry certainly remains a strong career path for relative stability and demand for skills.