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Stories Tagged ‘Invoice Factoring Company’

Spot factoring seems to be gaining popularity within the UK and is a fairly common procedure in the US. We are talking about factoring a single invoice as opposed to factoring whole turnover as you would with a traditional factoring facility.

Obviously if you have an ongoing requirement to factor each invoice or the majority of your invoices it makes sense to seek a suitable factoring facility.

However, if you are looking for a short term solution to a cash flow “hiccup” then spot factoring can be ideal. It means that you can factor a single invoice and once that is paid you have no contractual obligation. You can also revisit the “facility” further down the track if you have another invoice you wish to factor. In essence you can “dip in and out” as you need to.

This can be quite attractive to some businesses. So what are the down sides?

In short the interest rates can put some people off. Most lenders will quote a daily interest rate which sounds nominal. However, this can equate to an APR of circa 80%. But does this make it more expensive than traditional factoring?

Well the interest rate is 10 – 20 times more than what you will pay on a traditional factoring facility but your debt may only be outstanding for 30 days. Traditional factoring can attract minimum service fees and minimum contract periods which can mean if you have a genuine short term requirement traditional factoring can be expensive.

While rates for spot factoring may well be higher than the rates for whole turnover factoring, if you have a genuine short term requirement spot factoring will typically be your cheaper option in terms of pounds and pence!!

So is it the future? I am not sure but it is another valid solution for many businesses so it should be embraced.

As an invoice finance broker it is interesting to hear the complaints I hear from clients about invoice finance companies. Some I may add are totally unfounded and relate to the invoice finance company not agreeing to an overpayment or something that they shouldn’t have to do. However, some seem to follow a common theme and these were highlighted in a forum by the Federation for Small Business.

I want to explore some of the themes that were raised:

  • Hidden costs and unexpected fees – it would be fair to say that not all invoice finance companies are as transparent as they could be in relation to fees. We often see agreements where a minimum base rate is hidden in the small prints. Lists of dispursements are also rarely shared at first meetings which makes comparison of facilities almost impossible. On that basis headline rates can be misleading as some companies have virtually no additional fees.
  • Restrictions on funding. I think this complaint often boils down to a lack of understanding on the clients part and poor communication from the lender. It is imperative any company entering into an invoice finance agreement understand what invoices are eligible for funding. In my mind I believe that should be explained properly by the lender at the outset.
  • Termination fees. This seems to be a thorny topic at present and relates to the fees charged should you wish to leave early. The justification of these fees relates to the fact that the costs of setting up a facility are typically incurred either at commencement or even precommencement by the invoice finance company. As such it takes the contract period to recover these costs and turn a profit. Should a client look to leave early then they incur a loss. However, fees such as arrangement fees, legal documentation fees and survey fees have crept into the industry. On that basis surely the initial set up costs are paid for by the client upfront. If this is the case I am not sure early termination fees can be justified.
  • Collect out fees. This is a fee applied to the ledger upon the failure of the business. Some lenders apply a 15% fee the gross value of the ledger when the company fails. Is this excessive? In some instances most definitely. I saw a bank (one that is now government owned) charge a collect out fee on a ledger where there was actually no borrowing. The implications to business owners is often minimal and it is creditors and often HMRC that lose out on the funds being taken. However, where there is a shortfall and a personal guarantee has been given it could cost the directors personally.

I am sure that there are more complaints from many clients but overall I would maintain that the vast majority of invoice finance clients are happy. there is obviously always room for improvement.

From my perspective it just seems a shame that the same invoice finance companies get mentioned time and again and seem to become notorious for certain practices. It can give the industry at large a bad name.

Invoice Finance is available in Newcastle from a large selection of lenders.

The challenge is to find the best lender to meet the needs of your Newcastle based business.

This will depend on a large number of factors including your financial status, turnover, sector, how you raise invoices and who your customers are. Each invoice finance company has their own individual criteria and characteristics and because of this there will be on particular lender who is best suited to meet your needs.

Smart Factoring Quotes understand each lenders criteria and capabilities. This allows us to source the best possible facility for your business.

We have recently been approach by several businesses in and around Birmingham who are looking for factoring facilities. Being based in Birmingham has some serious advantages as it means that virtually every factoring company in the UK can service businesses there as they are so central in terms of location.

The challenge for any business based in Birmingham is choosing the right lender. Not all factoring facilities are the same – far from it. As most require a contract to be signed it is important you choose the right factoring facility and lender.

Invoice finance companies each have their own target market and this will be based on business turnover, sector, geography, debtor profile, etc.

Smart Factoring Quotes were approached by a residential care provider just outside Glasgow.

They were keen to source factoring Scotland. They were paying staff on a weekly basis but were having to wait a considerable amount of time to get paid by the local authorities.

We explored several options for them including full factoring, CHOCS and invoice discounting. As the credit control was not really an issue they decided that factoring was not good value as they were paying for a credit control service they just did not need.

We were able to source an invoice discounting facility that was much cheaper but still met all their requirements.

We have a lot of clients in Scotland and have an excellent network of lenders covering Scotland.

Fixed fee factoring is ideal for businesses looking for a single flat monthly fee when factoring.

Research has shown that small businesses find factoring charges confusing and unpredictable. Fixed fee factoring takes away this confusion by combining all the charges into an easy to understand single monthly factoring fee. It is easy to budget for and provides a valuable boost for the cash flow of a small business.

It is ideal for a business with a fairly smooth cash flow. However, if your turnover is more variable you could find yourself paying the flat monthly fee in a month where you have not had any turnover in which case you would be paying for nothing.

An alternative to fixed fee factoring could be a bundled fee deal. This is a single fee but is charged as a percentage of each invoice with no minimum fees. It is arguably as easy to understand as a fixed fee deal but is more flexible.

We are often approached by companies looking for factoring companies in Leeds.

This request usually comes from companies who are in and around Leeds and want a local provider. Fortunately there are a good choice of factoring companies in and around Leeds. The right one for you will depend on the size of your business, your sector and your financial performance.

There are also a large number of factoring companies outside Leeds who are happy to help Leeds based businesses with a factoring facility.

Smart factoring Quotes would be delighted to help you find a suitable provider.

When looking for factoring advice I am always amazed at who people approach. I accept that my views may be tainted somewhat as I am a factoring broker but it is what I specialise in and I know and am 100% impartial.

Let’s have a look at who business owners will approach to obtain a recommendation for factoring:

Bank managers – your bank manager will only ever recommend their own bank’s factoring company. They are heavily targeted to sell this product so you will receive a single recommendation not taking into account what your requirement is or what the market can offer. In contrast a factoring broker can look at your requirement and recommend the lenders best placed to meet your needs.

Accountants – unfortunately a lot of accountants take commissions from invoice finance providers (as do invoice finance brokers) The problem is that accountants do not specialise in setting up invoice factoring facilities and often do not look at it as in depth as they should. They will also have a few localised relationships rather than using the whole market.

Brokers owned by factoring companies – some brokers are actually owned by factoring companies. As such guess who they are most likely to recommend? If you are using a broker at least ensure they are independent and impartial.

Brokers owned by insolvency practitioners – this may seem like a strange relationship but insolvency practitioners are keen to be appointed by factoring companies. If they can offer factoring companies new business they are likely to receive more appointments. As such you could find yourself placed with a factoring company they owe a favour to rather than the one best placed to meet your needs.

In my opinion you should be taking factoring advice from a specialist and someone who is 100% impartial and independent.

There are a lot of good brokers in the market who are specialists and totally impartial.

At Smart Factoring Quotes we are totally independent and impartial. We are also specialists as invoice finance is all we do.