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The Differences Between Factoring and Invoice Discounting

The Differences Between Factoring and Invoice Discounting

Invoice finance funds

    Collectively known as invoice finance, factoring and invoice discounting release cash against monies already earned. Both facilities can prove to be a vital cashflow solution in this difficult economic climate.

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    Obtaining finance is becoming more of a luxury as the banks are not as credit-friendly as they were prior to the global economic recession. The situation is even made grimmer as the costs of running a business are on the rise. How do businesses survive?

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    Abiding to a professional and concise business plan, using the right accountant and having the right staff are a few key factors that can give a business momentum in the short run. However, cashflow is what makes a business. Careful management of cashflow is key to business continuity and survival.

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    It is a common mistake to confuse cashflow management with cost optimisation. Cashflow management is ensuring that your income surmounts your expenditures at any particular time in the business cycle. Cost optimisation are techniques used by businesses to realise recurring cost savings.

    Many businesses are caught flat-footed as they often have huge chunks of cash locked up in outstanding invoices. Customers could take up to 90 days to complete payment for invoices. Though this may be in the terms of the agreement, your business might be financially strained, with limited working capital to cover payroll, reduce existing debt or cover administrative overheads.

    This is where factoring and invoice discounting are here to help. Instead of waiting 30-90 days for customers to settle their bills, either facility can release up to 95% of the value of your outstanding invoices, usually within 24 hours of raising the invoices. Both facilities work in a similar way – release a pre-arranged percentage of the sales ledger almost immediately. However, they differ in the following ways:

    1. Because the funds are advanced against monies to be paid, there’s a credit control function midway through the process. A factoring arrangement allocates the credit control task, including chasing customers for payment to the finance provider. Invoice discounting allows the business to manage its clients and outstanding payments.
    2. Based on 1) above, invoice discounting is tailored to larger businesses with turnover in excess of £250k and in-house credit control systems. On the other hand, factoring is a particularly attractive option for smaller companies, including start-ups.
    3. With invoice discounting, the customers are unaware of the lender’s involvement. Moreover, factoring is typically a disclosed arrangement as the customers are notified of their invoice payment.

    Advantages of Factoring

    1. The funds released improve your cashflow position and the additional working capital created enables your business to expand.
    2. Factoring boosts your bargaining power, enabling you to capitalise on early vendor opportunities and discounts.
    3. The cash advanced grows alongside your business. This means that as your business grows, you could have access to more funding.
    4. The credit control function outsourced to the finance provider allows you to concentrate on growing your business.
    5. Unlike other forms of commercial finance such as bank overdraft, factoring could be a flexible funding facility for start-up companies.

    Advantages of Invoice Discounting

    1. The funds released improve your cashflow position and the additional working capital created enables your business to expand.
    2. Invoice discounting boosts your bargaining power, enabling you to capitalise on early vendor opportunities and discounts.
    3. The cash advanced grows alongside your business. This means that as your business grows, you could have access to more funding.
    4. The facility is typically administered on a confidential basis. You stay in contact with your customers with them unaware of the funding agreement.
    5. Because the funds are released almost immediately, there’s some certainty about cash projections.

    Other Forms of Factoring

    1. Recourse Factoring: The finance provider manages your sales ledger without any credit protection. This means that if your customers default, you are liable for all credit costs.
    2. Non-recourse Factoring: This is a factoring arrangement where the finance provider takes full responsibility of the sales ledger and bears any risks associated with bad debt. This saves your business the hassle of worrying about customer defaults.
    3. CHOC’s: Factoring is assumed to be a disclosed arrangement with outsourced credit control. However, CHOC’s (Client Handles Own Collections) facility keeps the business in charge of their sales ledger. This could be a cost-effective solution for SMEs with in-house accounting systems.

    Other Forms of Invoice Discounting

    1. Recourse Invoice discounting: The finance provider manages your sales ledger without any credit protection. If an invoice remains unpaid, the finance provider reclaims the cash previously advanced and you take on the credit control function.
    2. Non-recourse Invoice Discounting: You retain full control of your credit control system, but the finance provider offers you bad debt protection for the life of the contract.
    3. Disclosed Invoice Discounting: Your customers are notified of the lender’s involvement, making it a less risky proposition to lenders than confidential ID.
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      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

      How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

      How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

      We all like to dream about being financially wealthy. For most people though, it remains a dream and nothing more. Why is that?

      It’s because most people don’t set their mind to achieving that goal. They might not be happy in their current situation but they’re comfortable – and comfort is one of the biggest enemies of growth.

      How do you go about developing that millionaire mindset? By following these simple steps:

      1. Focus On What You Want – And Take It!

      So many people are too timid to admit they want something and go for it. When there is something that you want to accomplish don’t think “I could never actually do that”, think “I could do that and I WILL do that”.

      Millionaires play to win, not to avoid defeat.

      This doesn’t mean to have to become a selfish jerk. What it means is becoming more assertive and honest with yourself. You don’t have to grab off other people. There is a big pot of unclaimed gold in the middle of the table — why shouldn’t you be the one to claim it? You deserve it!

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      2. Become Goal-Orientated

      It’s almost impossible to achieve anything if you don’t set firm goals. Only lottery winners become millionaires overnight. By setting yourself attainable goals, you will get there eventually. Don’t try to get rich quickly — get rich slowly.

      Let’s take the idea of making your first million dollars and expand on what kind of goals you might set to get there. Let’s also say you’re starting at a break-even position – you’re making enough to get by with a few luxuries, but nothing more.

      Your goal for the first year can be having $10,000 in the bank within a year. It won’t be easy but it is doable. Next, you need to figure out the steps you need to take to achieve that goal.

      Always look at ways to make growth before cutbacks. With that in mind, you might want to see if you can negotiate a pay rise with your boss, or if there’s another job out there that will pay better. You might be comfortable in your old job but remember, comfort stunts growth.

      You may also have other skills outside of your workplace that you can monetize to boost your bank balance. Maybe you can design websites for people, at a fee of course, or make alterations to clothes.

      If this is still not enough to make the money you need to save $10,000 in a year, then it’s time to look at cutbacks. Do you have a bunch of old junk that someone else might love? Sell it! Do you really need to spend $10 on your lunch everyday when you could make your own for a fraction of the cost?

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      If you are to become a millionaire, you need to start accumulating money.

      Here’re some tips to help you: How to Become Goal Oriented and Achieve More in Life

      3. Don’t Spend Your Money – Invest It

      The reason you need to accumulate money is for step three. Millionaires tend to be frugal people, and that’s because they know the true value of money is in investing. Being your own boss goes hand-in-hand with becoming a millionaire. You’ll want to quit your regular job at some point.

      Stop working for your money and make your money work for you.

      Rather than buying yourself a new iPad, that $500 could be used to invest in the stock market. Find the right shares (more on that later), and that money could easily double within a year.

      There’s not just the stock market — there’s also property, and your own education.

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      4. Never Stop Learning

      The best thing you can invest in is yourself.

      Once most people leave the education system, they think their learning days are over. Well theirs might be, but yours shouldn’t be. Successful people continually learn and adapt.

      Billionaire Warren Buffet estimates that he read at least 100 books on investing before he turned twenty. Most people never read another book after they’ve left school. Who would you rather be?

      Learn everything you can about how economics works, how the stocks markets work, how they trend.

      Learn new skills. If you have an interest in it, learn everything you can about it. You’d be surprised at how often, seemingly useless skills, can become extremely useful in the right situation.

      Start developing the habit of learning continuously: How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You

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      5. Think Big

      While I advise to start off with small goals, you absolutely should have a big goal in mind. If you have a business idea, then that is your ultimate goal – to start that business and make a success of it. If you want to invest your way to millions of dollars and do little work other than research, then that is your big goal.

      There is no shame in not achieving a big goal. If you run a business and aim to make $1 million profit in a year and “only” make $200,000, then you’re still significantly ahead of most people.

      Aim for the stars, if you fail you’ll still be over the moon.

      6. Enjoy the Attention

      To be successful, you have to be willing to promote yourself and enjoy the attention to a certain extent. Now the attention doesn’t need to be on yourself, it could be on your brand, but attention definitely attracts money.

      Never be embarrassed to get your name out there. That means finding a spotlight and being brave enough to step right up underneath it.

      If you run a business, try contacting the local papers. You’d be surprised at how amenable they often are to running a story about you and your business, and it’s all free publicity.

      Above all, remember: You control your own destiny. Push hard enough for anything and you’ll get it.

      More About Thinking Smart

      Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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