Accounts Receivable Factoring
Early Financing For Receivables
What is the factoring of accounts receivable?
To be successful, businesses need a reliable source of money to lean on when they need a quick influx of cash. One way to do this is through accounts receivable factoring. This form of financial management can help keep the company operating smoothly and help raise instant cash for immediate business needs.
Does your company need accounts receivable factoring? To make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a short guide to everything you need to know about factoring your accounts receivable.
How does accounts receivable factoring work?
Accounts receivable factoring allows you to receive payment for completed work or services immediately, rather than waiting for customer payment to be received into your bank account. Factoring of accounts receivable is one of the oldest types of commercial financing — it involves the selling of accounts receivables–or outstanding invoices–at a reduced or marked-down price to a factoring or financing company.
The accounts receivable lender, or factoring company, assumes the risk on your outstanding receivables, and in return, grants you an influx of cash to be used to achieve your business goals.
Funding for accounts receivable factoring takes place in two ways — either by lending or purchasing your business’ outstanding invoices and thereby providing a swift influx of cash to your company. The business benefits of accounts receivable factoring are obvious but it’s worth diving into the finer details of factoring to make sure your business is getting the best deal.
Common Types of Accounts Receivable Factoring Agreements
While each accounts receivable factoring agreement can vary in both style and terms, a few are commonly used in most businesses. For example, fundamental distinctions can be made based on the contract length.
Some accounts factoring agreements are made for short-term objectives, and other agreements may last for an extended period of time. Aside from the length of time, there are two main types of accounts receivable factoring:
There are two main types of factoring:
- Recourse Factoring — with this style, you are responsible for completing the factoring company’s full payment if your customer does not fulfill the invoice. This is the most commonly used type of factoring.
- Non-Recourse Factoring — in contrast to the above, this type of factoring does not hold you liable for the invoice’s full payment if your customer does not complete the transaction.
Entering an accounts receivable factoring agreement? Consider these critical elements:
You’ve done some research and determined that factoring is a solid option for your business. What comes next? Before you enter into any agreements, you need to make sure you are well-versed in the following elements:
1. Know your needs and the needs of your accounts receivable factoring company
Your business needs will determine the kind of factoring best for your situation.
Is your company in the middle of seasonal hiring? In this case, short-term factoring might be best. The quick influx of cash could help your business run smoothly during the offseason.
Are you looking to expand your company and reduce some costs leading up to it? There are some options for financing smaller businesses that can help you reach your goals.
Simply put, before you can enter into any agreement, you need to know what your goals and objectives are.
Additionally, it is important to do your research on the best accounts receivable factoring company for your needs. Ensure the people you work with are trustworthy and reliable so you can get your cash without any extra struggles.
Be sure to only work with a accounts receivable factoring company that has a reputable background and good credit score.
2. Master the Terms and Conditions in your Factoring Contract
When it comes to accounts receivable factoring and financial agreements, you don’t want there to be any confusion. Make sure you understand all the terminology being used to be confident in what you agree upon. Are all the fees expressly listed? What are the contract limits set by the factoring company? Here are some key terms you should know before you make any agreements:
- Contract Limit — Set by the company’s funding requirements and the factor’s ability to make the payment.
- Term of Contract — The length of time of the contract, namely short or long-term.
- Advance Rate — One of the most critical elements of the agreement. This is the fixed percentage of the claim amount that a company receives from the factor. These usually range from 85-90%.
- Payment Deadline — Set by the urgency of the requirement of funds by the company.
- Percentage of Fees or Commission — A fixed percentage of the company’s claim amount for providing factoring services.
- Guarantee — A clause to protect both parties from the risk of fraud.
The Business Benefits of Accounts Receivable Factoring
In many cases, accounts receivable factoring can be a strategically beneficial move for your company. One thing you might notice is that without the worry over cash flow, you’ll lower the levels of stress you feel in your business. Some other key benefits of factoring include:
Get revenue sooner rather than later
It’s your money, and you want it now. Accounts receivable factoring enables you to do just that. With invoices, you traditionally have to wait a period of time before receiving payment. This length of time can range, with most invoices being a 30, 60, or 90-day timespan.
With factoring, you can receive cash instantly, giving you flexibility in your supply chain. Plus, unlike traditional bank loans, factoring doesn’t require you to sign over assets as collateral — instead, your accounts receivables fill that role.
Great for cash flow and business growth
Because accounts receivable factoring gives companies instant access to cash flow, it is a great opportunity for small businesses to grow their organization. Businesses can access fast funding for department projects or hiring needs, with cash availability growing at scale alongside their company.
Factoring helps to deliver predictable working capital for businesses, creating a more resilient business function in times of disruption. This, in turn, leads to a more streamlined payables cycle, often resulting in early payment discounts.
Disadvantages of Accounts Receivable Factoring
While the lure of instant cash might be too good to resist, it is important to understand the drawbacks organizations might face when factoring in their accounts receivables.
Some factoring companies have high-interest rates
With accounts receivable factoring, you will often face higher interest rates. The average cost of accounts receivable factoring of invoices is typically between 1% and 5% reducing the amount of capital your company receives from the account. It is important to note that the actual cost of factoring is not just the advance rate. It is the total cost of the service.
One way to look at factoring is to think of it like using a payday loan service. While you do get access to your money sooner, it comes at a cost to your capital, so use factoring wisely and with discretion.
PRO TIP: When you initially sign an agreement, the factoring company reaches out to your customer, informing them of the transaction. Make sure to communicate with your customer throughout the process to dispel any misunderstandings.
Time-consuming application processes
Changing the contact information and payee information in systems can be very time-consuming and tedious. Every time you want an advance, you need to submit information about your schedule of accounts, invoices, and other required documentation.
Plus, with the length of each agreement varying, contracts can quickly become lengthy. In a process like this, there are many opportunities for human error that can cause delays in the system.
Tradeshift Cash vs. Traditional Accounts Receivable Factoring
How does Tradeshift Cash stack up with traditional accounts receivable factoring? Let’s start by emphasizing how they’re similar: Both will pay on funded invoices early, so that a business has cash flow when needed. But Tradeshift Cash uses network technology and a data-driven approach to determining the rate of financing. And that makes all the difference. Because of that, we stand out for our:
Tradeshift is changing the game when it comes to securing early payments for your business. Our Cash solution enables businesses to control their cash flow, giving them added resiliency and adaptability when future disruption occurs. To learn more about how we can help you make Shift happen in your organization, check out our full menu of products.
Do you want to get started with transforming your supply chain? Reach out to our team of experts and schedule a consult today.