One of the oldest forms of business financing, Factoring is the cash-management tool of choice for many companies. Factoring is actually very common in certain industries, such as the clothing industry, where long term receivables are part of the business cycle. Factoring can be traced back over 2,000 years, when factors were used by farmers and merchants to maintain a stable flow of cash required to provide goods to the market. Invoice factors helped fund early growth and expansion in America.
In a typical Factoring arrangement, the client provides a product or service and generates an invoice. The Factoring company buys the right to collect on that invoice by agreeing to pay some percentage of the invoice’s face value. This percentage paid varies greatly, depending on the risk factor involved in the receivable and the likely amount to be collected.
Because Factoring companies in effect extend credit not to their clients but to their clients’ customers, they are more concerned about the customers’ ability to pay than the client’s financial status. That means a company with creditworthy customers may be able to factor even if it can’t qualify for a loan.
There are a few specifics about Factoring that need to be understood. First, Factoring is not a loan; it does not create a liability on the balance sheet or encumber assets. Rather, it is the sale of an asset–in this case, the invoice. Factoring is often viewed as an expensive method of financing; however, this is not always the case. Factoring companies help eliminate the risk and cost of collections for your company. They take over the accounting and administrative processes involved in collecting on the receivables. They provide cash flow you can use for other revenue generating projects.
There may be a perception that successful companies do not need to factor, but this is not necessarily the case. Many successful companies continue to use factoring strategically to manage cash flow needs.
Please contact us to learn about Factoring options for your business.