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Stories Tagged ‘Invoice Finance’

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.

Invoice finance is a form of finance that can provide valuable working capital to your business. I want to explore objectively the advantages and disadvantages of invoice finance.

Advantages of invoice finance

  • invoice finance can provide up to 90% of the value of your sales ledger and ongoing invoices as cash to use within your business.
  • this may allow you to take advantage of settlement discounts
  • if you use factoring you can outsource the credit control of your business freeing up more time to concentrate on growth
  • by taking up credit protection you can eliminate the risk of bad debts
  • an invoice finance facility should grow in line with your sales

Disadvantages of invoice finance

  • an invoice finance facility can be costly when compared to an overdraft facility. However, this is not always a real option.
  • some people perceive factoring as losing control of your sales ledger rather than outsourcing.
  • some people also feel that there is a stigma attached to factoring
  • you can be tied into lengthy contracts and notice periods which can be restrictive
  • hidden costs or at least costs beyond the headline rates can cause frustrations
  • retentions and other restrictions on the funding can also mean that the true prepayment level is not what is expected or anywhere near the headline rate

I believe that an invoice finance facility can work very well in the right circumstances. However, it is important to understand exactly what is on offer. hat means you must understand the total costs involved and also the mechanics of calculating the cash made available.

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.

Factoring agreements are typically for 12 month periods with either a 3 month or 6 month notice period.

However, there are companies offering factoring with no minimum contract.

You could opt for a trial period, a rolling 28 contract or a rolling 3 month contract. Smart Factoring Quotes can help you access all these types of agreements.We will also explain in full the fee structure so you have a full understanding of what you will be paying.

We understand the invoice factoring market and all that it can offer. We also understand the frustrations that businesses face when looking to set up these agreements. We understand how to get you the invoice finance facility that you want.

Selective factoring was recently set up by Smart Factoring Quotes for a security company based just outside Chester in the North West of England. They had landed a large contract worth over £400,000 over 3 months. They had to invoice monthly on 90 day terms and yet they were paying their security staff weekly.

They approached with a view to spot factoring the 3 individual invoices. We looked at their options and found that selective factoring was by far and away a cheaper option. Selective factoring means that you factor all the invoices of a particular debtor whereas spot factoring means you can pick and choose individual invoices. The difference in this instance is subtle but the difference in cost was dramatic.

Selective factoring worked out almost 10 times cheaper in this instance. The facility will allow our client to take on a lucrative contract and meet it’s weekly wage demands. Profits will be increased because of the selective factoring facility.