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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 June 6, 2019

      The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

      The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

      Are you on track for retirement?

      If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

      Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

      But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

      If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

      What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

      Saving for retirement is tricky.

      Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

      Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

      Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

      Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

      20’s – $16,000

      During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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      Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

      30’s – $45,000

      At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

      Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

      40’s – $63,000

      This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

      50’s – $115,000

      During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

      60’s – $172,000

      By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

      Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

      The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

      Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

      First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

      Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

      Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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      How to Save Money Each Month

      By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

      But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

      Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

      Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

      Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

      Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

      Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

      To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

      How?

      By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

      Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

      If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

      Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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      Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

      Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

      When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

      Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

      Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

      If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

      Why?

      You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

      Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

      Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

      Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

      After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

      You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

      By starting a side-business.

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      This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

      The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

      So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

      Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

      Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

      What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

      My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

      Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

      For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

      If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

      Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

      Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

      Reference

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