Typically when you think of insurance at work you might be thinking about liability, worker's comp, or health insurance, but equally important to your business is credit insurance. In today's ever changing retail environment, you never know when one of your customers might run into financial difficulties, and certainly you don't have time to be reading every news article about everyone who you sell to. Even worse, for your smaller accounts, you probably have no way of knowing what their financial situation is. Of course you can get credit insurance, but it can be very costly, and oftentimes many of your smaller accounts can not be covered by the credit insurance companies. With non-recourse factoring however, your factoring company insures your receivables including those for smaller accounts that the large insurance agencies won't cover. You can learn more about how factoring insures your receivables right here on the Factoring 101 Blog.
December 15, 2020
When it comes to factoring there are a lot of different aspects that need to be looked at when determining the best factoring option for your business, however, the decision between recourse and non-recourse is probably the most important. Quite simply, recourse means that if a customer does not pay an invoice, then you are responsible for paying back the advance you received on that invoice. Non-recourse on the other hand means that you are insured against a customer who doesn’t pay for an invoice, so there is no need to pay back the factoring company if they don’t pay. While this may seem like a simple difference, there is actually a lot more to it than what these simple descriptions state.
With recourse factoring you are receiving an advance on your invoices, but your factoring company is not purchasing your receivables, they are simply offering you an advance. While your factoring company will try to collect on your invoice on your behalf, ultimately you are responsible for paying back your factor if one of your customers does not pay for an invoice that you received an advance on. Of course, you won’t be asked to pay back this advance on the day that the invoice is due. While the exact amount of time may vary between different factoring companies, typically you’ll be asked to pay back your factor once an invoice becomes 90 days beyond terms. Some factoring companies may demand the entire value of the advance at that time, while others may be willing to work with you to set up a repayment plan. The terms of repayment are something that you would have to discuss with your factoring company.
With non-recourse factoring your factoring company isn’t just providing you with an advance, but they are actually purchasing your invoices from you along with all the associated risks. Non-recourse factoring is much more than just receiving credit insurance with an advance, because with non-recourse factoring there is no need to file claims, there are no minimums or deductibles that need to be met, and there are no premiums to pay. It is important to note that non-recourse factoring covers you only in situations where a customer is unable to pay, and it is important to understand which situations your factoring will cover. All factoring companies will cover you in the event that a customer files bankruptcy or goes out of business, although not all factoring companies will cover you in the event that a customer is simply a deadbeat. What isn’t covered is customer satisfaction, for example, if a customer takes a deduction because a product arrives damaged, it is still your responsibility to take care of it, whether that is providing a replacement or offering a credit. In general, factoring companies will hold back funds in reserve that are intended to cover them in the event that a deduction is taken. The amount of reserve taken depends on the factoring company but typically falls between 10-20%. Once a factoring company receives payment for an invoice, they will return any funds held in reserve to you. It is important to note that even with recourse factoring, your factoring company will still hold 10-20% in reserve.
While it is clear that non-recourse factoring offers benefits that recourse factoring does not, there of course is more that goes in to the decision between recourse vs non-recourse. You also need to consider cost, approval rates, collection efforts, credit limits, and debt.
Some factoring companies may offer you an option between recourse and non-recourse factoring, and in this case they may offer a lower rate for factoring with recourse. Other factoring companies will only offer one option. However, just because one factoring company may offer a lower rate for recourse factoring, that doesn’t mean that it is necessarily the best rate. There is a lot that goes into a factoring rate, and recourse vs non-recourse is just a small part of it.
Besides differences in the rates of factoring, there are other costs that you need to consider. With non-recourse factoring there is no need to purchase credit insurance, however, you may wish to purchase credit insurance if you are using recourse factoring. In this case, you need to consider the cost of premiums as well as minimums and deductibles. It is also important to note, even I you file a claim at the same time that your factoring company asks you to return an advance you received, it could take anywhere between 30-90 days to receive payment from your insurance company.
Should you choose to forgo credit insurance, then it is important to consider what your losses may be. This is a little bit more difficult to calculate and these numbers can fluctuate wildly between any given year, and it can be very difficult to predict when the next economic turndown will take place which could lead to higher losses than expected. In general, to figure out these costs, you probably will need to look at a decade’s worth of data, and even that won’t prepare you for extreme events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another thing that some factoring companies promise is a higher approval rate with recourse factoring, although this can be difficult to substantiate and actually may not be beneficial at all. Performing credit approvals is a very important aspect of factoring and one of its primary benefits. Your factoring company will check out the credit worthiness of your customer before you produce an order to ensure that your customer ultimately has the means to pay you for it.
With larger invoices, for example an invoice for $100,000, there will be little difference in the credit approval process between recourse and non-recourse factoring. Both types of factoring companies will do a deep analysis of the customer to ensure that they are credit worthy. In the case of the non-recourse factoring company, they will ultimately be out the money if a customer is unable to pay. However, the same is true of the recourse factoring company as most likely you will not have $100,000 available to pay them back in the event that a customer does not pay. So in all likelihood, there is very little difference in the approval rate of large orders between recourse and non-recourse factoring.
Where you may see a difference in approval rates is with smaller orders. An order for $250 may receive two very different approaches. A recourse factoring company may not even bother to credit check the customer and may just automatically approve your order. To them, if the customer is unable to pay, they know that you will be able to afford to pay them back the $250. So while they are giving you a credit approval, they are actually doing you a disservice as they may be sticking you with bad debt. A non-recourse factoring will run the appropriate credit checks knowing that they will be out $250 if the customer is unable to pay. That doesn’t mean that the non-recourse factoring company is unlikely to approve them, most factoring companies are willing to extend a small line of credit to new businesses or businesses that haven’t established any credit yet. However, if a factoring company is willing to give a small line of credit to a company that is trying to establish credit, they are assuming all the risk associated with doing so.
One of the main benefits of factoring is that your factoring company handles all of the collections for you. However, just like with credit approvals, recourse and non-recourse factors may take different approaches when it comes to collecting. For a large order there is little doubt that a recourse factoring company will try their hardest to collect it, knowing that if they can’t collect it will be very difficult for you to pay them back. It is the small orders that are more problematic. If a factoring company is having a difficult time collecting a several hundred dollar invoice, they may give up if they feel it would be easier just to collect the amount from you. The same can not be said of a non-recourse factoring company. Since they are on the hook for the invoice, they will work their hardest to collect even on the smallest of invoices. Of course, whether or not your factoring company is able to collect, you have nothing to worry about as you are fully insured.
There really shouldn’t be any difference in the credit limits assigned to your individual accounts by either recourse or non-recourse factoring. Assuming that they are credit checking the customer, their credit limits should be consistent. However, if a recourse factoring company isn’t really checking out your accounts in too much detail because they can charge back an invoice to you, then they may assign a higher credit limit. However, where credit limits come into play is when it comes to sending funding for you. A recourse factoring company may assign you a credit limit across all of your accounts to ensure that invoices don’t get paid, that you will have the ability to pay them back still. Presumably, most accounts are going to pay, so this credit limit should be very high, however, it could prove to be problematic if your business starts growing at a faster rate than expected or you get a very large order. On the other hand, you have no credit limit with a non-recourse factoring company. Since you have no obligation to ever pay back your factoring company, you have no debt with your factoring company. As a result, the sky is the limit when it comes to how much you can factor with non-recourse factoring.
The final major difference between recourse and non-recourse factoring is debt. One of the best features of factoring is that it is a form of debt-free financing. Certainly this is true in the case of non-recourse factoring where your factoring company is purchasing your receivables and you are under no obligation to pay them back, the receivables will be paid back by your customers. However, this isn’t entirely true with recourse factoring. While the vast majority of your customers should and will pay their bills, you are still responsible for the ones who don’t. When a customer is unable or unwilling to pay, it becomes your obligation to pay back your factoring company, meaning that you are in debt to them.
While it would be simple to say that non-recourse factoring is better than recourse factoring, it is just one of the aspects that needs to be considered in determining which factoring company is right for your business. Oftentimes the industry that you work in will determine whether or not non-recourse factoring is an option and which factoring company would be the best fit for you.
At DSA Factors we are proud to offer non-recourse factoring to all of our wholesale clients. We are a family owned business that has been factoring for over 35 years. If you have any questions about factoring, whether they pertain to non-recourse or any other aspect of factoring, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 773-248-9000, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or chat with us right here on this web site.
Quite simply, accounts receivable is money owed to your business by a customer (a debtor) who purchased either goods or services on credit and will be paid in the short term. While accounts receivable are listed as an asset as far as accounting goes, a business does not have access to these funds until they collect on them. As a result, a company that has most of its assets in receivables, does not have access to very much working capital and may suffer from poor cash flow.
Most commonly, a receivable is money owed by a customer in exchange for goods or services performed. A receivable is represented by an invoice that becomes payable at the end of the agreed upon terms. Usually the terms of an invoice are for 30 days, but it is not uncommon to see terms that are 45 days, 60 days, 90 days, or longer. It is also possible that the terms may allow for payments to be made in installments. A subscription is also another form of a receivable.
Accounts payable is the opposite of accounts receivable, it is money that you owe to another company. Therefore, your account receivable are your customer’s accounts payable. Where accounts receivable is considered an asset, accounts payable is considered a liability.
In order to convert accounts receivable into cash, you will have to collect on the receivables. Alternatively, there are ways to receive funding based on receivables. Since receivables are an asset, banks are willing to consider them as collateral when giving a loan, but will typically value them at only 70-80% of their actual value. However, you will still need to collect on your receivables in order to pay off the bank loan. Another alternative is accounts receivable factoring, where you sell your receivables to another business (a factor) at a discount. In this scenario, since your factor is purchasing your receivables, you are no longer responsible for collecting on them, and unlike a bank loan, there is nothing to pay back. Your factoring company will also fund you the same day you invoice your customer, greatly improving your cash flow.
It is quite possible that a customer will not pay you on a receivable. This could be due to a customer filing for bankruptcy or going out of business, in which case there is little you can do to collect on the receivable. If a customer is simply a deadbeat who isn’t paying their bills, you could hand over your receivable to a collection agency. Collection agencies work on contingency and in general take between 25%-33% of what they collect as a fee. In the event that you are unable to collect, or have to give a portion of your receivable to a collection agency, then you will have to write this off as bad debt.
The most important thing you can do to avoid writing off bad debt is to check out your customer’s credit prior to offering them payment terms. If a company has poor or no credit, you may ask them to pay upfront for goods or services. There are two main ways to credit check a company. First, you can subscribe to a credit agency and pull reports on companies. This is the best source of credit data available, but depending on which agency you use, they may or may not have data on your customers and you will either need to subscribe to their service on an annual basis or pay for each report, regardless of the quality of the reports they provide. The other option is to ask your customers for credit references and then ask their references to provide you information. It is important to note that when doing this, a bank is not a valid reference, you will want to focus on trade references from companies that are similar to your own. However, these references are not required to provide you with any data, and oftentimes will not respond to credit reference requests. Should you receive a response, you also need to be sure that the credit reference is a valid one, some dishonest businesses will provide reference sheets with contact information for family and friends who will provide them fake references.
The other option is credit insurance, which can be obtained in two different ways. The first option is credit insurance companies. Just like any other insurance product, you pay a premium for credit insurance and there will be deductibles, minimums, and maximums. In general, if you do more volume, and have higher quality customers, then insurance companies will offer you a better rate on your premiums. For companies who do under a million in sales annually, getting credit insurance can be very expensive, and oftentimes due to deductibles and minimums won’t cover any of your losses. Insurance companies will handle credit checking for you, but typically only on larger accounts, for smaller accounts that won’t meet deductibles they will not provide any credit checking. As a result, you will still have to perform credit checks on smaller customers. The other way to get credit insurance is through a factor that offers non-recourse factoring. Factoring companies do not charge premiums, and do not have deductibles, minimums, or maximums, instead the insurance is included as part of the factoring. Factoring companies will provide credit checking on all of your accounts, regardless of size, so you will no longer be responsible for credit checking.
There are many reasons to offer credit terms to your customers. First and foremost is that your customer may require it. If you wish to sell to a large company who is requesting 90 days to pay, your option is either to agree to their terms or forgo the sale. With smaller customers, they may not require credit terms, however they will be much more likely to place larger orders if credit terms are offered to them. Getting credit terms will allow them to collect on their receivables before their payables become due, so by getting terms they will have access to more funds at the time that their payables become due. Offering terms can also lead to quicker reorders as your customers won’t need to worry about having the funds available when they want to place a reorder. Finally, if you don’t offer credit terms, then your customer may find a competitor who does and place their order with them instead. Therefore, offering credit terms is a very important sales tool, even if it means you will be holding onto receivables instead of cash.
Managing your receivables can be difficult, especially for new or growing businesses. At DSA Factors we have been providing accounts receivable factoring for 35 years. Let us manage your accounts receivable by performing your credit checking and collection work for you. In addition to that, we will fund you the same day you invoice, providing you with much improved cash flow, and will fully insure your receivables with our non-recourse factoring. Give us a call today at 773-248-9000, email us at email@example.com, or chat with us right here on our website.
It was over a year ago that the coronavirus was first detected, and while the disease didn’t bring drastic change to America until March, that first wave is now long behind us and things have only gotten worse since the summer months. But beyond the disease which has infected millions and taken many lives, the pandemic has also been devastating to our economy. While the most visible effect of the pandemic has been bankruptcies and empty store fronts, the economic effects of the pandemic actually go much deeper than that. Prior to the bankruptcies and store closures we saw a tightening of credit insurance policies combined with an unwillingness for the industry to take on new clients. The pandemic has also led to the disappearance of supply chain financing, which had grown tremendously over the past decade, while at the same time payment terms got extended. In other words, while consumers may only see the disappearance of their favorite stores and restaurants, behind the scenes the vendors who provide stores with their merchandise have not only seen reduced business, but a lack of financing available to them.
Credit Insurance has long been a tool available to wholesalers. Typically, in a business-to-business transaction, the company purchasing a product will request payment terms, meaning they won’t pay for the merchandise they receive until 30 days or more after receiving it. Of course, whenever you allow someone to pay for an item after it has been received there is risk involved. For some financially strong customers that risk may be minimal, but for others that may be struggling that risk may be significant. If a company were to file for bankruptcy within those payment terms, not only would they not have to pay you, but they will probably be allowed to keep the merchandise. Should they pay you but then file for bankruptcy within 90 days, you may be required by the bankruptcy court to return those funds. This is why many wholesalers obtain credit insurance, to protect themselves in the event that one of their customers files for bankruptcy.
Credit insurance has been around for a long time, and really hasn’t changed much over the years. Credit insurance remained available and reliable throughout the recession in 2008 and even during the current “retail apocalypse” that has followed. However, due to the rapidly changing business environment that resulted from the COVID pandemic, credit insurance had to make some major changes for the first time in recent history. Near the end of March it began with the slashing of credit limits and a refusal to take on any new clients. The credit insurance companies started lowering credit limits across the board, not only on struggling businesses, if not flat out denying coverage on accounts that they had previously covered. At the same time, they also stopped taking on new clients, even abruptly ceasing communications with potential new clients that they had been working on building policies for.
It is doubtful that credit insurance companies would have lost much money had they continued business as usual. Any outstanding receivables at the time of the initial lockdowns would still need to be covered as the insurance companies can’t backdate changes in credit limits, and oftentimes even give clients a grace period before a credit limit or coverage change goes into effect. Furthermore, businesses stopped placing orders after the initial shutdown, so there really wasn’t any need to lower credit limits. As a result, credit insurance companies didn’t really protect themselves from the bankruptcies since new orders weren’t being placed and they still had to provide coverage on orders that shipped in March or earlier, assuming they were offering coverage on these companies in the first place. The end result of their policy changes was that they turned away new business, and possibly alienated existing customers.
While credit insurance is not something that is visible to consumers, it no doubt effects consumers. If wholesalers are unable to insure an account, it makes them much less likely to be willing to sell to them. This means that the retailers have difficulty stocking merchandise on their shelves and consumers have even less of a reason to shop at their stores. All of this, combined with other difficulties caused by the pandemic, makes it that much harder for a retailer to survive, and ultimately leads them down the path of bankruptcy. However, it isn’t just retailers who got hurt by the lack of credit insurance, wholesalers may have had to walk away from some of their largest customers, putting both their short-term and long-term survival in jeopardy as well.
It is important to understand however that credit insurance companies do not have direct access to a company’s payment trends or even order history when making credit decisions. Credit insurance companies rely on credit reporting in order to get their data. The credit agencies they collect their data from receive reports from actual debtors typically on a monthly basis. Therefore, not only do credit insurance companies not have real-time data to rely on, the data they receive is not their own, and in general only places outstanding receivables into 30-day aging buckets. As a result, a receivable paid one day beyond terms would appear the same as a receivable paid 30 days beyond terms, while a receivable paid 31 days beyond terms will look much worse than a receivable paid 30 days beyond terms. The only time they receive actual real-time data is when a client of theirs has to report a receivable that has become past due by a certain number of days, and later when they ultimately file a claim on a receivable that remains unpaid. The data credit insurance companies would have had access to at the start of April would have looked perfectly normal since businesses would have been closed for at most one week at that time, it wouldn’t be until new data became available at the start of May that they would have noticed a slowdown. Any claims that they would have received at the end of March or beginning of April would have been on invoices that dated back to November 2019 or earlier. So, the decisions made by credit insurance companies in late March and early April were not dictated by data, but simply by fear of the unknown.
If tightening credit insurance policies weren’t bad enough for wholesalers, the disappearance of supply chain financing has devasted many smaller wholesalers. Larger retailers always request credit terms from their customers, typically net 30 day terms, meaning that they have 30 days to pay for their merchandise. Over the past decade, it has become increasingly popular for larger retailers to agree to pay an invoice early, oftentimes after only a week or two, in exchange for a discount. Wholesalers may be willing to give these companies a discount, somewhere around 2%, for an early payment in order to improve their cash flow, creating a win-win situation for both the wholesaler and the retailer. However, this offer of early payment is not a requirement and is solely up to the retailer as to whether or not they wish to offer it.
Supply chain financing, and Fintech in general, emerged as a result of the 2008 recession. Venture capitalists saw that financing wasn’t readily accessible to small businesses and decided to use technology to make financing safe and easy. In the years that followed 2008, our economy improved greatly and large businesses were thriving. As a result, the industry grew at a time when our economy was growing, and had never experienced an economic downturn.
Of course, prior to 2020, retailers that offered early payments would have had very little reason to stop offering it, so offers of early payment were consistently available. 2020 of course changed all that when many of these retailers were forced to suddenly and unexpectedly close their stores, as well as the corporate offices where these payments come form, for an unknown period of time. As a result, most retailers stopped offering early payments at the outset of the pandemic, putting their vendors in a difficult situation where they didn’t have access to the funds that they relied on to keep their business running. To make matters worse, with corporate offices closed and without any revenues coming in from their stores, many of the retailers simply stopped making payments, even when the invoices became due. This all happened at a time when wholesalers saw new orders completely dry up and existing orders being canceled.
To make matters worse, many wholesalers who relied on supply chain financing, never bothered to consider getting credit insurance. They didn’t see the need for credit insurance since they were getting paid early. However, just like health insurance, you still need it even if you are young and healthy because you never know what the future may have in store for you. Companies who relied on supply chain financing and didn’t bother to insure their receivables, were suddenly exposed to the fact that these companies that owe them money have now closed all their stores and that bankruptcy was a very serious possibility.
While supply chain financing was still available as a tool available to retailers, retailers no longer wished to use it. Even now, nine months after the first wave of COVID-19 swept across the nation, most major retailers have started placing orders again, but still are not offering supply chain financing to their vendors. To make matters worse, many of them have also increased their payment terms from net 30 days to net 60 days or even net 90 days, forcing their vendors to wait even longer to get paid. Prior to the pandemic, extending payment terms was sign of financial distress and imminent bankruptcy, although this year we believe that it is simply a response to the unknown as stores may have to close again should things become worse. It is possible that supply chain financing may one day be offered again by retailers, but at this point, it is very clear that it is not a reliable way for wholesalers to finance their business. Another recession, or even worse, another pandemic, could easily result in the disappearance of supply chain financing again.
The disappearance of supply chain finance as an affordable way to finance a small business has led to a huge increase in demand for accounts receivable factoring. Factoring is a lot like supply chain finance, except instead of being initiated by the retailer, it is initiated by the wholesaler. It also does not require the approval of the retailer; it is solely at the discretion of the wholesaler as to whether they wished to work with a factoring company. Therefore, wholesalers don’t need to worry as much about when the next disaster will hit, the financing that their business needs is completely within their control.
Factoring also provides access to funds 7-10 days faster than supply chain finance. Where retailers typically need to receive merchandise and check it into their system prior to making an offer of early payment to their vendors, factoring companies are willing to fund their clients the same day they ship their merchandise to their customers. That means even better cash flow than you would have received with supply chain financing.
Furthermore, if non-recourse factoring is offered, then the wholesaler also receives credit insurance on their receivables along with the improved cash flow that they receive. However, unlike credit insurance companies, factoring companies have access to real-time data that shows orders placed and payment trends, along with the data that credit insurance companies receive from credit reporting agencies. As a result, factoring companies can oftentimes approve accounts that a credit insurance company may not feel comfortable with.
Accounts receivable factoring is also available on any and all accounts that a wholesaler may sell to. Where supply chain finance is typically only available from major retailers, and credit insurance comes with minimums and deductibles that pretty much rule out smaller receivables from being insured, factoring companies are willing to work with customers of all sizes. A wholesaler who does half their business with major retailers, and the other half with small mom-and-pop shops, would have access to immediate funding and credit insurance on their entire portfolio if they choose to work with a factoring company, whereas before only half their portfolio would have had financing and insurance available.
The cost of accounts receivable factoring is very comparable to the cost of supply chain financing, and in all likelihood is much less than the cost of supply chain finance and credit insurance combined. Like supply chain financing, factoring fees are based on a percent of an invoices value, however that rate is fixed so you know exactly what to expect every time you factor an invoice and can easily build it into your pricing. With supply chain financing the percentage can change based upon the retailers needs at the time they offering early payment. If a retailer begins to struggle, or if they simply need access to working capital to fund an expansion, they can ask for larger discounts in exchange for early payment.
Credit insurance on the other hand works like any other insurance product, you pay an annual premium based on how much volume you expect to do at the beginning of the year. Larger volumes get you better rates, but you don’t get reimbursed if your sales don’t reach your expectations. Likewise, if your sales exceed your expectations you may find yourself having to purchase additional coverage at a higher rate than had you purchased more coverage in the first place. Even when there isn’t a pandemic, guessing the correct amount of coverage to get can be tricky, while the pandemic pretty much guaranteed that any companies with credit insurance way overpaid for coverage. Since factoring is based on a fixed percent of an invoices value, you only pay for what you insure, nothing more, nothing less. You also don’t need to worry about deductibles or minimums with factoring, if your factoring company approves your customer, then you are fully insured.
Accounts Receivable Factoring is one of the oldest forms of financing and not only has survived many recessions, but has also been available throughout recessions and this current pandemic. Here at DSA Factors we have been providing factoring for over 30 years and have survived several recessions during that time period. There is no question that the COVID pandemic has been the most difficult event that we have had to deal with, but we never stopped providing financing to our clients, not even in April when things were at their worst. However, we aren’t only continuing to fund our clients, we are also accepting new clients and offering them the same great service that we provide to all of our clients. If your business has lost the financing options it had been relying on for the past few years as a result of the pandemic, please give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000. We are ready and willing to provide you with the funds you need to keep your business going!
Supply Chain Finance has been gaining in popularity over the past few years. Instead of forcing vendors to wait 30 or 60 days to get paid for their receivables, retailers have discovered that they can get a several percent discount in exchange for paying their vendors early. It seemed like a win-win, vendors get the cash flow they need, and large retailers get a discount at a rate that far exceeds interest rates. Of course, all of this changed over the past few months as our nation, and the world, have been gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suddenly, retailers have been forced to shut their doors with no plan for when they may be able to reopen. While their customers have been laid off, furloughed, or taken pay cuts, and those who have managed to maintain their jobs are more concerned with purchasing essentials and saving money in case they too become an economic casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not to mention, many consumers simply don’t feel safe leaving their homes for anything that isn’t essential. As a result, these retailers have found it best to hold onto their money for as long as they can, and most have either extended payment terms (with or without permission) or are simply paying invoices well beyond the due date. For small vendors that have relied on supply chain finance, they now find themselves in a very difficult position.
One of the major retailers who offers supply chain financing is TJX (TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Homegoods). When stay at home orders were first issued, TJX told all their vendors that they would be extending terms on all of their invoices from 30 to 90 days, although they reversed that decision a couple weeks later due to the backlash they received from the vendors. However, by that point the damage had already been done. Many vendors were unable to get the early payment they rely on, and due to the closure of their corporate headquarters and a need to catch up, many invoices were still paid well beyond terms. Companies that were used to getting paid within 5-10 days were now waiting 45 days to get paid, and this was at a time when sales had pretty much dried up. It also appears that for the immediate future, any new orders from TJX will have terms of 90 days, making it unlikely that they would be willing to offer early payment. Unfortunately, TJX was far from the only major retailer to extend terms or simply fall behind on their bills.
Of course, it also isn’t just an issue of cash flow anymore, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be just as deadly for businesses as it is for the people it infects. While all non-essential businesses had been forced to close their doors temporarily to flatten the curve, many of these businesses will be closing them permanently as a result of no revenue but continuing expenses. If the retail apocalypse wasn’t bad enough before the pandemic, the recent wave of bankruptcies has been incredible. Already we have seen J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, Stage Stores, and True Religion have all filed bankruptcy during the pandemic. Lord and Taylor has avoided bankruptcy, but has announced they will be holding going out of business sales as soon as they are allowed to reopen. L Brands (Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works) will not be filing, but will be permanently closing 250 stores. While Pier 1 Imports and Art Van Furniture, both who filed bankruptcy prior to stay-at-home orders being issued, were forced to change their bankruptcy plans and completely liquidate. Of course, the retail sector is far from the only industry being hit with bankruptcies, hospitality, entertainment, and health clubs have also been filing for bankruptcy at an incredible rate. Sadly, these companies are only the beginning, with many more considering their options as well.
Even worse, the dangers of bankruptcy are actually compounded by supply chain finance. Many businesses don’t feel the need to carry credit insurance if their customers offer supply chain financing. The logic behind this is that there is no risk if a company is paying them early. However, the decision to pay early is entirely up to the customer, as is the amount of the discount that they will take. Prior to filing for bankruptcy in 2017, Toys’R’Us utilized the popular C2FO platform for supply chain financing. Towards the end they started demanding larger and larger discounts in return for early payments. Further complicating matters is US bankruptcy law in regards to receiving preferential payment. When a company files for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court can demand that any preferential payments made within 90 days of the filing be returned to the court. When a vendor offers a discount in exchange for an early payment, there is no question that the vendor has received a preferential payment and will be forced to return the payment to the court. So vendors that offered double digit discounts that Toys’R’Us accepted, ultimately would have had to return the funds if they were received within 90 days of the filing. Had they waited until the invoice was due and gotten paid in full, they probably would have been able to keep their money.
With many businesses reopening at this time, there is still a question of how many of them will be able to survive. With consumers spending less money these days, and spending in unpredictable ways, combined with a fear of whether it is even safe to go out in public, revenues will continue to remain low for the foreseeable future. Yet these companies will need to rehire much of their workforce and continue to make rent, pay utilities, and interest payments on debt. For businesses such as restaurants and movie theaters, who will need to reopen at reduced capacities, there is a question as to whether or not they will be able to remain profitable. Unfortunately, most experts are predicting that even though businesses are starting to reopen now, many businesses that have survived so far might not make it through to the end of the year. Even with companies that emerge from the lockdowns with strong sales, there is still the question of whether or not they would be willing to pay invoices quicker, the current trend is that most companies are requesting longer payment terms. Of course, none of this takes into account the possibility of a second wave of infections and subsequent closures.
Relying on supply chain financing to improve your cash flow may have worked for the last few years, but it is doubtful that it will be as reliable moving forward. Furthermore, wholesalers need to be more careful than ever about who they are selling to. The only thing worse than getting paid slowly is not getting paid at all. Paying for credit insurance on top of supply chain financing can be extremely costly, especially for businesses that do less than $10 million a year. Not to mention, the credit insurance companies have been hesitant to take on new clients, and have slashed credit limits across the board for their existing clients.
There is a solution to this problem, and that is accounts receivable factoring. With accounts receivable factoring you sell your receivables to a factoring company, and can be funded the same day you ship the merchandise, making it a much quicker turnaround than supply chain finance. Furthermore, your factoring company is responsible for monitoring your customers and establishing appropriate credit limits. If the factoring company offers non-recourse factoring, then not only do you receive improved cash flow, but they also insure your receivables, eliminating the need for costly credit insurance. Just like supply chain finance, when you factor your receivables you are not taking on any new debt as your factoring company is purchasing your receivables from you. The best part, however, is that accounts receivable factoring is available for all of your accounts and costs no more than supply chain financing. Plus, since factoring rates are fixed, it takes away all the guess work associated with supply chain finance and can easily get built into your margins. Want to learn how easy it is to improve your cash flow with accounts receivable factoring? Give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000 and we will be happy to speak with you.
For any business owner, there is nothing worse than when you sell a product to your customer and then they don't pay you for it. Unfortunately, this is something that happens to everyone, even if you perform your due diligence prior to offering net payment terms to your customer. The solution to this problem is of course to acquire credit insurance, so that you are covered in these situations. However, just like health, home, and auto insurance, credit insurance also has premiums, deductibles, minimums, maximums, and other rules that you need to abide by. This article will examine many of these different aspects and help you understand if credit insurance is really worth it for your business, or if there may be a better option.
It goes without saying that you are going to have to pay a premium to get credit insurance. How much that premium is depends on your coverage, diversification, and quality of your customers. One thing to keep in mind is that as your coverage increases so does your premiums, although not at the same rate. Basically, as your coverage increases, your premium increases with it, but the premium as a percent of total coverage decreases. Like anything else, you get a better deal when you buy in bulk.
However, while premiums might appear to be your main expense, they certainly aren't your only expense, and may not even be your largest expense. Most likely your credit insurance company will charge you a fee for each account you want them to cover and set a credit limit for. As a result, if you sell to lots of different accounts, while your premium may be lowered because you are highly diversified, paying $50 to get each account approved could potentially cost you even more than your premiums do each and every year.
Another cost to consider is your deductible. While you aren't going to pay your deductible, if you have a $10,000 deductible, then you need to sustain the first $10,000 in losses each year. So if your losses are $0 for a the year, then of course it doesn't matter what your deductible is, but at the same time you paid a bunch of money for insurance you didn't need. However, if you do sustain losses, you are then responsible for the first $10,000 of them, and this is an additional expense.
After that, you have to look at co-insurance. Oftentimes co-insurance is 10%, meaning that the insurance company will only fund you 90% of the claim amount. So assuming you have met you deductible and you now have a claim for $50,000, your insurance company will only fund you $45,000, you are responsible for 10% or $5000, which is just one more expense you need to factor into the overall cost.
Finally, while it may not be a cost, there is also the time that it takes to get paid on a claim by the credit insurance company. First, you need to follow all of their rules, failure to do so will result in forfeiture of your coverage. However, assuming you can follow the rules, most likely you will not be able to file a claim until an invoice becomes 120 days past due. Then once you file, your credit insurance may not fund you for 90 days as they try to collect. If successful in collecting, then they will penalize you and maybe only give you 50% of what they collect, so you better be pretty confident that they will not be able to collect. However, if they can't collect, when you add up the terms of the invoice, waiting until the invoice is past due, and then waiting to get paid on the claim, it can take you 8 months or more to actually receive your money. If it is a large claim, waiting 8 months to get paid can severely strain your cash flow and require you to borrow funds temporarily, adding further expense.
When you purchase credit insurance, you are purchasing a particular amount of coverage which should be equal to your annual sales volume of insurable accounts. Because you don't know how much your volume will be in the coming year, you have to do your best to guess. If you underestimate your coverage, you will have to buy additional coverage later and won't receive the benefit of a lower premium rate for purchasing a larger coverage amount. However, if you overestimate, you will wind up paying for coverage that you don't need.
Of course, just because you pay for a certain amount of coverage, doesn't necessarily mean that all of your accounts will be covered. Each account you want covered has to be approved and assigned a credit limit. If you have borderline accounts, they may not be given a high enough credit limit, or even worse, not approved at all. In this situation, if you still choose to sell to them, you are responsible for any amount above the credit limit, or for the entire amount in the case that they don't get approved at all.
Aside from coverage limits and deductibles, which are applied across multiple accounts, minimums affect each individual account. Most likely your insurance company has a minimum claim amount. If this minimum is $5000, and you have a customer who didn't pay you $4000, then you can not claim it and it doesn't even count towards your deductible. In other words, this means that credit insurance does not cover your smaller accounts so you will want to eliminate these accounts from your coverage. Of course, with any insurance company, you can lower or even eliminate these minimums, but that of course is going to result in much higher premiums.
Then you have an overall policy maximum for the year. If the maximum for the year is $100,000, then if you even if you sustain losses of $150,000 and all the accounts are within their credit limits, your still will only receive $100,000. Plus any other losses you have for the rest of the policy year also won't be covered.
By working with an insurance company, you may be able to reduce some of your expenses in performing due diligence on your customers since your insurance company is doing this for you. If the insurance company is providing one of your customers with a credit limit of $10,000, then there is no need for you to pull credit reports on that customer, so long as their orders don't exceed $10,000. Of course, if you have a minimum of $2500, and a customer places an order for $2000, you are still going to need to pull a credit report on that customer since the insurance company won't cover them. So while you will still need to subscribe to a credit reporting agency, you won't be pulling as many reports which should reduce the amount of your subscription. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that you will be paying the insurance company a fee to provide a credit limit, and that fee is most likely a lot more than what a credit rating agency charges you for pulling a report.
Like any other type of insurance, the insurance company is not in the business of losing money. So in a good year, you won't sustain any losses, or those losses won't meet your deductible, and you wind up paying for something that you didn't need. In a normal year, you may sustain losses that are more than your deductible, but they won't be more than the premiums that paid that year. It is only in a really bad year, one in which you have several major losses, that it pays off to have credit insurance. Of course, having credit insurance in years like that might make the difference between staying in business and going out of business. It is also important to figure out how much you will save by pulling fewer credit reports as that will help offset the price of insurance.
It is also important to consider if credit insurance is right for your business. For a very small business, it is probably counterproductive. The premiums, cost of assigning credit limits, and deductibles might add up to 20-30% of your annual volume, and certainly if this is the case then it does not make sense to get credit insurance. Credit insurance is most beneficial to very large corporations as their premiums are at a lower percentage of their annual volume, and they have more negotiating power when it comes to credit limit fees, deductibles, and minimums. Credit insurance could also be valuable to companies whose customer base is located primarily overseas. But regardless of your company's size and where their customers are located, a credit insurance company is not in the business of losing money. While in a particularly bad year you might come out ahead of the game if you have credit insurance, over the course of a decade there is very little doubt that you will have spent more on credit insurance than you would have lost without it. The real benefit of credit insurance is that it allows you to spread out the cost of a major loss over a longer period of time, making budgeting easier.
There is an alternative to credit insurance, and that is non-recourse factoring. With non-recourse factoring you are selling your receivables to a factoring company so it is their responsibility to collect from your customers, and they are on the hook if a customer does not pay. If you choose the right factoring company to work with, you won't have to worry about premiums, deductibles, co-insurance, credit limit fees, minimums, or maximums. With non-recourse factoring your receivables are fully insured.
With non-recourse factoring you also don't have to worry about rules established by credit insurance companies. Credit insurance companies require that you contact them at certain points throughout the collection process to make them aware of what is going on. Should you fail to do this, then your receivables are no longer covered by the insurance company. They also require you to file within a certain period of time, usually within 120 days of an invoice becoming due. Once this time period has passed, you are no longer covered.
Non-recourse factoring also carries additional benefits. Because there are no minimums, there is no need for you to subscribe to a credit rating agency, your factoring company will perform all the credit checking for you. Your factoring company will also handle of your collections for you, meaning that you won't need to spend time valuable time on collections efforts. Finally, the main benefit is improved cash flow, your factoring company will fund you the same day you ship and invoice your customers. So forget about having to wait 8 months to get paid by an insurance company, your factoring company is funding you 30 days early on all of your receivables.
As for the cost of factoring, for a larger company whose annual volume is well into the millions, factoring will probably cost more than credit insurance, although the additional benefits of factoring could easily offset any additional costs. For smaller businesses, factoring is often times much cheaper than credit insurance, plus it offers them all of the additional benefits that you don't get with credit insurance alone. Whatever the size of your business, the benefit of improved cash flow is oftentimes much more important than the benefit of credit insurance.
At DSA Factors we are proud to offer our clients non-recourse factoring. Whether you are looking to insure your receivables, need improved cash flow, or simply want to outsource your accounts receivable, give us a call at 773-248-9000 and learn how factoring can help your business grow.
Online lending, often referred to as Fintech, is becoming increasingly popular and is a major disruptor in the world of finance. The reason for this is simple, these online lenders are filling a void for small and medium sized enterprises (SME's) who have always had a hard time qualifying for SBA or traditional bank loans. Even for SME's that do qualify for a loan from the bank, Fintech companies are able to approve loans in as a little as 24 hours whereas banks can take months to make a decision and provide funding. Of course, online lending has its drawbacks, and there are other financing solutions out there that can help SME's improve the cash flow quickly. Let's dive into the world of Fintech to understand how it works and what it entails.
Traditionally bank underwriters would require vast amounts of information in order to approve an SME for a loan. They would analyze sales records, business assets, accounting statements, and pretty much anything else they could get their hands on in order to make a decision. Oftentimes the decision process is slowed down as they request more and more information. At the end of the day, the bank underwriter is only looking at what a business has done in the past, and not looking at what they can do in the future. As a result, even if they do approve an SME for a loan, the amount will only be based on historical numbers and may not be enough to support future growth. Furthermore, since it is only based on past data, startup businesses are pretty much eliminated from receiving funding from a bank.
Online lenders have done away with underwriters reviewing accounts, instead they're underwriters have come up with complex computer algorithms that can measure if an SME qualifies for a loan, and how much they will qualify for. They do this by requesting access to a company's online banking platform and the EDI systems of their largest customers. By providing the Fintech company with login information to these various portals, the algorithms are able to work their magic and come up with an instant decision based on the data collected from these sources. Even startups can qualify as the algorithms would have rules built in for dealing with smaller amounts of data. The algorithms are of course designed to predict future potential growth, giving an SME access to the funds that they would need to grow.
Like all good things in life, there is a catch to online lending. Most of these companies are funded by venture capitalists or crowd sourcing, as a result, the investors are looking for very high returns on their investment. Fintech companies are also taking on more risk as they are allowing computer algorithms to make instant financing decisions, as opposed to a bank that would use a human underwriter to review an application in great detail. The combination of these factors results in much higher interest rates than you would get from alternative financing options. At the low end, Fintech companies may offer APR's around 30% for companies with strong financials, but for startups or struggling businesses, those APR's can be well over 100%.
Furthermore, online lenders require you to authorize them to automatically withdraw funds from your bank account, a practice often associated with predatory lending. Based on the lender this can mean monthly withdrawals, weekly withdrawals, or in some cases even daily withdrawals. Furthermore, since you have provided them with access to your online banking platform, they have the ability to wipe out your account should you in anyway breach their contract.
Another common practice of online lenders is to have steep penalties for early repayment of a loan. Where a bank would allow you to repay a loan early to avoid paying interest, online lenders are expecting you to be paying their exorbitant interest rates for the entire term of your loan. Those that don't have penalties for early repayment tend to charge you all of the interest up front when you take out the loan, so even if you were to pay off the loan early, it won't save you from having to pay interest.
The other big problem with online lending is that it is entirely online. It is very difficult for you to pick up a phone and speak with someone at these large Fintech companies. Even if they do offer customer service, these companies are run by algorithms and it would be impossible for a customer service representative to offer you any actual help.
By allowing computers to do the jobs that had traditionally been done by underwriters, combined with having those very same computers also withdraw funds directly from your checking account, online lenders have eliminated a lot of the expense involved with financing. They have also greatly increased the APR's for financing and have investors with very deep pockets. The combination of all these factors have allowed them to spend more money on marketing their products than traditional financing institutions have been able to do in the past. The result is that while many small business owners aren't familiar with banking alternatives, they are being bombarded with advertising from online lenders and are jumping at the opportunity to receive funding without first checking to see if they have any other options available.
There are alternatives to online lending that don't require you to work with a bank. Two of those alternatives are accounts receivable factoring and purchase order financing. While not every business will qualify for these services, businesses that sell to or provide a service for other businesses (B2B) do qualify. With accounts receivable factoring, businesses are able to turn their receivables into working capital without taking on any debt. Purchase order financing is a way of getting a short-term loan based on a purchase order so that you can pay your suppliers in order to fulfill your purchase orders.
Accounts receivable factoring is a financial tool that allows you to sell your receivables to a factoring company at a discount. As a result, you are not taking on any debt because your factoring company is purchasing your receivables. Furthermore, you aren't just getting funded sooner on your receivables, but you are also outsourcing all of your collection work to your factoring company and, in the case of non-recourse factoring, getting insurance on your receivables. You also aren't taking on debt so there is no lengthy approval process. Instead your factoring company is checking out the credit worthiness of your customers, eliminating the need for you to subscribe to expensive credit agencies, and typically credit decisions can be made within half an hour of submitting a customer for credit approval. The discount for factoring your receivables can vary based on the terms of your receivables, but is very similar to a credit card processing fee.
There are many factoring companies out there, all of who offer slightly different programs and rates. Another big difference between factoring companies is with their ownership. Some factoring companies are family-owned, small businesses just like yours, others are owned and run by major national banks, credit bureaus, gas station chains, or may be subsidiaries of overseas factoring companies. If having a personal relationship with your factoring company is important to you, and it should be, then it is important that you look at who the ownership of the factoring company is.
While there are online lenders that offer "Fintech Factoring", in reality all they are doing is giving you a loan based on your outstanding receivables being used as collateral. They also do not provide you with credit checking or collections services, and it is with recourse, meaning that your receivables are not insured. Plus, they still charge you the same exorbitant APR's as other online lenders.
Purchase order financing is a way of securing the funds necessary to pay your suppliers when you receive a larger than normal purchase order. Purchase order financing can either be used as a stand-alone product or can be combined with factoring to help fund your business. Either way, since purchase order financing is a short-term loan, the fees involved are higher than factoring, but still much lower than fees charged by online lenders.
As a stand-alone product, purchase order financing has a rigid set of rules that can not be broken if you wish to receive funding. Common rules are that it is not available for a work-in-progress, you must have an overseas supplier, and the product must be shipped directly from your supplier in the foreign country to your customer in the US, that is it can't pass through your hands or the hands of any other third party. Typically, the way it works is that your supplier will be issued a letter of credit that they can then take to their bank and draw upon. Because it requires a bank to issue a letter of credit, it tends to be a lengthier process and could require several weeks to secure.
However, if you combine purchase order financing with accounts receivable factoring, it is a very different story since you have built a relationship with your factoring company through the factoring of your receivables. Because your factoring company will ultimately be repaid when you factor the resulting invoice, there is no need to obtain a letter of credit from a bank. Purchase order financing rules become much more relaxed and funding is often available the same day you ask for it. Purchase order financing is more expensive than accounts receivable factoring, so if you can fund a purchase order through the factoring of other receivables then that is a better way to do it. However, for very large orders, if factoring can not provide you with enough funding, then purchase order financing can be a very useful tool in order to take on large orders and grow your business.
Only you know what is right for your business, but just like any other important decision, it is important that you research your financing options before signing up with a company. While it may seem easy to click on an ad on a web page and get instant approval to a loan or line of credit, there is usually a reason why it is so easy and why they have enough money to bombard you with advertisements all the time. When it comes to financing your business, make sure you research all the options out there. After all, you want a financing company that will be working for you, otherwise you will wind up working for your financing company.
DSA Factors is a small, family-owned and family-run business. We have been providing accounts receivable factoring and purchase order financing for over 30 years to wide range of industries. We offer very competitive rates and the personalized service you would expect from a family-owned business. Give us a call at 773-248-9000 and one of our principals will be more than happy to speak with you about how we can help you grow your business.
With so many factoring companies out there to choose from, picking the best factoring company for your business can seem a daunting task. However, knowing what sets factoring companies apart can make the process much easier. Here are some of the questions you need to ask when choosing the right factoring company for your business.
Perhaps the most important question to ask is what your factoring fee will be. In general fees are given as a percent of an invoices value. Factoring rates can vary based on the terms you offer your customers. Typically, factoring companies will quote rates for net 30 day invoices, so if you offer net 60 or net 90 it is important to let the factoring company know that. Of course, you don't just want to go with the company offering the lowest rate without analyzing what they are offering you. There are different types of rates, additional fees, and different services that each factoring company offers. Obviously, you want to get the best deal, but in the same way that you wouldn't just purchase the cheapest car on the lot at a car dealership, you also don't want to just sign up with the factoring company who offers you the lowest rate. For more details on factoring rates, check out our blog article How to Find the Lowest Rate for Accounts Receivable Factoring. At DSA Factors our factoring fees are very similar to a credit card processing fee.
There are two different types of rates that factoring companies can quote you, fixed rates or adjustable rates. Adjustable rates are great for marketing as they sound incredibly low, while fixed rates are about 2% higher on average. However, don't be deceived by an incredibly low adjustable rate, there is hidden interest charges that you aren't being told about.
The easiest way to understand the difference between these rates is to compare them to taking a limo or a taxi to the airport. A fixed rate is like taking a limo, you are quoted a higher rate but that rate will not change, even if you get stuck in traffic (or your customer doesn't pay on time). In general, with fixed rates, you also receive better service, just like you would expect from a limo. The only difference between fixed rate factoring and a limo is that limos tend to be more expensive than cabs, but fixed rate factoring tends to be cheaper than adjustable rate factoring.
Adjustable rates are similar to taking a cab. The rate that is quoted to you is basically the same as the flag fall, it is simply the minimum amount you have to pay to factor an invoice. Then, the meter will start running, either from the day your factoring company funds you, or the date of the invoice. The meter stops once your factoring company gets paid by your customer and the payment clears their bank, typically an additional ten days from when they receive payment. So while the initial rate may seem very low, the actual rate is much higher, especially if you get stuck in traffic (or your customer pays late). Just like a dishonest cab driver, there are even some factoring companies that will allow a skipped invoice to go 30-60 days beyond terms before contacting your customer since you will be paying the interest on it.
To better understand the similarities and differences between these different rate structures, please read our article Fixed Rate vs Adjustable Rate Accounts Receivable Factoring. At DSA Factors we always offer fixed rate factoring so you always know exactly how much factoring will cost you and you will get the lowest rate.
Recourse vs non-recourse factoring is perhaps one of the most important details you need to look at when choosing a factoring company. With non-recourse factoring, your factoring company is providing you with credit insurance on your receivables. This means that if one of your customers is unable to pay, it is your factoring company who is out the funds. If you are factoring with recourse and a customer is unable to pay, then your factoring company can request that you return the funds that they advanced to you. Typically, non-recourse factoring is only available to wholesalers and not to service providers, however not all factoring companies offer non-recourse factoring. You can learn more about non-recourse factoring by reading What is Non-Recourse Factoring? At DSA Factors we offer non-recourse factoring to our wholesale clients.
Reserve is funds that your factoring company holds back until they receive payment from your customer. Typically, factoring companies will hold back between 10%-20% of the invoices value in reserve. Oftentimes this is advertised as an advance rate of 80%-90%. If 10% is held in reserve, then the advance rate is 90%. The reason for reserve is to cover your factoring company in case a customer takes deductions. Even with non-recourse factoring, while your factoring company is offering you credit insurance, you are still responsible for customer satisfaction. Choosing a factoring company with a low reserve rate, or high advance rate, is important if you are relying on factoring to improve your company's cash flow. You can learn more about reserve and advanced rates in our article Factoring Your Receivables at a High Advance Rate. At DSA Factors we want to help your cash flow as best we can so we are proud to offer a 90% advance rate.
In order to factor an invoice, your factoring company must first approve your customer. Factoring is not a loan, your factoring company is purchasing your receivables, so your factoring company is actually extending credit to your customers. As a result, before you can factor an invoice, your factoring company needs to first look up your customer to determine whether or not they are credit worthy for the amount of the order. Partnering with a factoring company who offers high approval rates is important because if your factoring company turns down an order, then you won't be able to sell to your customer. While approval rates can vary from industry to industry, in general here at DSA we have a 95% approval rate. Although most accounts that get turned down are because they are past due and later get approved once payment is made.
Most factoring companies will charge you additional fees in addition to the normal factoring fee. While they should be upfront with you about these fees, they may not tell you about them unless you ask. Most factoring companies will charge a transaction fee when they fund you, and this fee can vary based on the payment method (check, ACH, or wire). However, your factoring company may also allow you to hold onto invoices for several days so that you aren't paying them transaction fees every day. Some factoring companies charge fees for credit approvals or setting up new customer accounts. Most factoring companies also charge an application fee, and it is important to know if this is a one time fee at the start of your relationship or if it is charged each time you renew your contract. Monthly or annual fees are also not uncommon. Some factoring companies may even require you to pay for other products they offer even if you don't use them. Even if a factoring company offers you a very low rate, if they are charging too many fees then the actual factoring rate may be much higher. It is important that you work with a factoring company that does not charge you lots of fees. At DSA Factors we do charge transaction fees for payments made via ACH or wire, but there is no fee for payment made by check. We also have a one time application fee that is required only at the start of our relationship.
Most factoring companies can fund you in as little as 24 hours, although some may take longer. If you are relying on factoring to improve your cash flow, then you need to partner with a factoring company that offers a quick turnaround time. At DSA Factors, if we receive your invoices by noon Central time we can fund you the same day for them, invoices that come in after that get funded the following business day. For new clients, we can get you set up and start funding you in as little as 24 hours.
Some factoring companies require all of your business to be factored while other factoring companies allow you to choose which accounts you want to factor. If you have good accounts that consistently pay you early for your invoices, or prefer to pay with credit card, then you may not want to factor them. When a factoring company allows you to choose which invoices get factored, this is known as Spot Factoring. Even if you plan on factoring all your accounts, it may be a good idea to partner with a factoring company offering spot factoring since your needs may change in the future. At DSA Factors we offer spot factoring to all of our clients, allowing you to choose which accounts you wish to factor.
Many factoring companies have minimum volume requirements, meaning that you are required to factor a certain amount of invoices in a particular period of time. For example, they may require you to factor $500,000 per year or $50,000 per month. If you do not reach these volumes, then they will charge you an additional fee based on the difference between the minimum volume and your actual volume. Oftentimes these minimum volume requirements are prohibitive to startups, smaller companies, and seasonal industries. It is important that you ask about minimum volume requirements as they typically are not advertised. At DSA Factors we never have any minimum volume requirements, and we are always happy to help out startups and small businesses.
Many factoring companies will lock you into a 1-year or multi-year contract. During that time, you will not be able to switch factoring companies, stop factoring, or receive a loan from a bank without being required to pay additional fees to break the contract. If your volume decreases during the term of the contract and your factoring company has minimum volume requirements, then you may be liable for paying these fees as well. Many of these contracts automatically renew if you do not notify the factoring company within a specified period of time, and many factoring companies charge renewal fees. It is important that you find a factoring company that doesn't have a term to their contract so that your business has the flexibility that it needs to adapt to changes. At DSA Factors, our contract has no term to it, you can stop factoring after 3 months, or factor for 20 years or more without ever having to sign a new contract.
Some factoring companies offer purchase order financing in addition to accounts receivable factoring. Purchase order financing provides you with a short term loan so that you can pay your suppliers in order to fulfill a large purchase order. While factoring provides you with improved cash flow, it is limited by how much you have in open receivables. If that is not enough to cover a large purchase order, or it would prevent you from selling to other customers while that order is being produced, then you may wish to consider using purchase order financing as well. PO financing is more expensive than factoring, and it is debt, but if you can't fulfill a large invoice and grow your business with factoring alone, then it can become a very valuable tool. PO financing companies will be unable to work with you while you are factoring, so if you want to do both you need to work with a factoring company who also offers PO financing. At DSA Factors we offer PO financing to our clients and will work with them to minimize the expense of PO financing.
Most factoring companies are owned by banks or international corporations. However, there are still a handful of smaller, family-owned factoring companies. The difference of course is whether you will be dealing with an account manager or principal of the business. As you can probably imagine, a small, family-owned factoring company will provide you with much better customer service, and a principal will be able to do a lot more for you and work with you in ways that an account manager would not be able to. If you are a startup, small business, or growing business, it is probably very important that you work with a small, family-owned factoring company as they will be able to provide you with the flexibility and personal attention you need to grow your business. As a small, family-owned business, whenever you call DSA Factors you will always be able to speak with one of our principals.
These days almost all factoring companies offer you an online portal. It is important that you understand what exactly is offered through the portal. The most common offering is allowing you to request credit approvals, and some companies may even offer automatic online approvals. Reporting is also usually offered online, such as real time aging statements, or the ability to pull remittance on past payments. Your factoring company may even offer your customers the ability to make payments online. Even if you still may prefer to speak with your factoring company over the phone, it is important to know what types of conveniences they offer through their web portal. At DSA Factors we offer all of these features and more, best of all, if there is something you would like to see on our portal, you can tell Ben and he will try his best to make it available to you.
Perhaps one of the most important things to ask a factoring company is if they work with your industry. If they don't then perhaps they may be able to refer you to a company that does. While most factoring companies work with a wide variety of industries, there are some specialized industries such as construction, medical, and government work that require specialized factoring companies. At DSA Factors we specialize furniture, bedding, giftware, housewares, textiles, apparel, and food, but also work with service providers and many other industries.
Having a bank loan or line of credit will definitely make it difficult to work with a factoring company, but it is still possible. Typically, banks will place a lien on all of your receivables, making it so a factoring company is unable to purchase them. However, some factoring companies are willing to work with banks by creating an intercreditor agreement allowing them to factor either select invoices or all of your invoices. If you have a bank loan or line of credit you should inform any factoring company that you speak with about it to see if they are willing and able to work with your bank. Just keep in mind, just because a factoring company is willing to work with a bank, does not mean that a bank is willing to work with a factoring company. At DSA Factors, we're always happy to work with your bank on an intercreditor agreement. Some of the banks that we have successfully worked with in the past include Chase Bank, M & T Bank, and National Bank of Canada.
With each passing day it seems like a new technology is disrupting a traditional business model. Certainly an industry that has been around as long as factoring is not immune to disruption from innovation, and currently supply chain finance is one of these disruptors. However, it is important to understand the differences between factoring and supply chain financing so that you may determine which is right for your business. While they both offer access to improved cash flow, beyond that they don't really have all that much in common.
Perhaps the biggest difference between accounts receivable factoring and supply chain finance is who decides to use the service. With factoring, the decision rests entirely with the supplier. The buyer has no say in whether or not an invoice is factored. With supply chain finance it is the buyer's decision when and if to offer quicker payment on an invoice, and it is up to the supplier to accept that offer. As a result, a supplier can not rely on supply chain finance to fund their business since it may or may not be offered to them. If a supplier needs immediate access to working capital so that they can run or grow their business, factoring is the best way to guarantee that they always have access to the working capital they need.
The next major difference is which buyers you can get immediate funding on. In general, factoring companies will work with all of your buyers, regardless of how large or small they are. However, supply chain finance is typically only offered by major retailers as they are the ones who do enough volume to make supply chain financing affordable. Besides, typically smaller retailers are not cash rich and can't afford to make early payments. To further complicate matters, each one of your buyers who does offer supply chain finance may do so with a different company, meaning you need to manage your accounts across multiple financing platforms, whereas with factoring you only ever work with a single factoring company so it is a much more streamlined process.
Of course the fee is also a major difference. With factoring, the fee is part of the agreement that you have with your factoring company, it does not change. With supply chain finance, the fee is not fixed, you need to make an offer to your buyer and your buyer needs to accept it. If your buyer is cash rich than they may take a lower offer and supply chain finance could be cheaper than factoring. However, for a buyer who is not cash rich or is struggling, they may only be accepting higher offers and factoring could be the cheaper option.
Another issue is timing, many buyers who offer supply chain finance may wait 7-10 days to do so as they need to check your products into their system and make sure nothing is damaged before they can approve it for payment. Then they need to ask you to make an offer. If your offer isn't acceptable then you typically need to wait until the following day before you can make a counter-offer. With supply chain finance it may take two weeks or longer before you receive funding. However, factoring companies offer you funding the same day that you ship and invoice your customer.
Finally, credit insurance may be the most important difference. Of course, you might say that you don't need credit insurance if you are getting early payment with supply chain finance, because after all, you are getting paid. However, it isn't quite that simple. First of all, there is no guarantee that supply chain finance will be available from one of your buyers, even if they did offer it to you in the past, there is no guarantee it will be offered in the future.
The other issue has to deal with US bankruptcy law. When a company files for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court may require you to return any payments you received within 90 days prior to the filing. The reason being is they don't want creditors receiving preferential treatment, all creditors should be treated equal. Of course, you don't need to return these funds if you can prove that you received them in the normal course of business, but if you are offering a buyer a discount to pay you early, then there is nothing normal about the transaction. This recently became a problem when Toys'R'Us filed for bankruptcy. Toys'R'Us partnered with C2FO to offer supply chain finance, and there is no doubt that everyone who received an early payment from Toys'R'Us had to later return those funds to the bankruptcy court.
With non-recourse factoring however, not only does your factoring handle all of the credit checking for you, but they also insure your receivables. So if one of your buyers does file for bankruptcy or goes out of business, you still get to keep the funds that your factoring company gave you. Furthermore, since factoring companies don't request early payment, it is quite possible that they may be able to prove that payment was received in the normal course of business and they too would not be required to return the funds.
While supply chain finance can potentially be cheaper than factoring with stronger retailers, it can also be more expensive and does not offer all of the benefits that you receive with factoring. Furthermore, it is only available if your customer wants to offer it to you. In many ways, supply chain finance is just a more expensive way of offering your customers a discount for early payment such as "1% 15 net 30" day terms. On the other hand, factoring is a much safer and more reliable way of funding your business. Factoring can be used with all of your accounts, and has very similar pricing to supply chain finance.
If you could benefit from improved cash flow and would like to give a factoring a try, give DSA Factors a call at 773-248-9000. With over 30 years experience helping companies improve their cash flow, DSA Factors has the money to make your company grow.
Today Bonton began its liquidation sales, by the end of August there will be no more Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's, or Younkers. It was only last month that Toys'R'Us made the same exact announcement. On top of that, Sears, J.C. Penny, Neiman Marcus, Lord and Taylor, and Macy's have all been closing many locations, and now things are looking very bad for Bed Bath and Beyond. Even Walmart closed 63 Sam's Club locations at the start of the year. Things have gotten so bad that it was barely even news when Nine West filed for bankruptcy last week. So what does this mean for the retail environment?
Certainly things aren't looking too good. Bonton is a major department store that anchors many malls. For smaller retailers in the mall, losing Bonton could mean loosing foot traffic and maybe even permanently closing their stores as well. For other struggling anchors in the mall, it might give them reason to close their store in the struggling mall. In malls that have already lost an anchor, losing a second anchor could be the end for the mall. While we have seen many big box stores in strip malls close, this is the first time that we are seeing a major department store and mall anchor close all its locations. There is a very real possibility of it having a snowball effect with the other struggling department stores.
Of course, as a manufacturer or importer, you not only have to worry about the next bankruptcy filing, but also losing a major customer. In many ways, the latter can be much worse. The proof of this is Mattel and Hasbro. Both their stocks took a major hit when Toys'R'Us filed for bankruptcy, and then another when they announced they would be closing all their stores. In fact, billionaire Isaac Larian, owner of Little Tikes and many other toy companies, tried to purchase Toys'R'Us out of fear of what its closure could do to the toy industry.
Certainly you need to be selling to online retailers like Amazon, however, you can't only focus on online. Amazon might be one of the major reasons why all these stores are closing, in fact they announced on Wednesday that they now have 100 million Prime subscribers. But to focus only on Amazon is also problematic, after all, you don't want to have all of your eggs in one basket or limit where your customers can purchase your product. Plus, many of your customers may want to touch and feel the product before they purchase it, something that isn't (yet) possible with Amazon.
Of course, selling to brick and mortar can be very scary right now. While one option might be the increasingly popular taking a discount to get paid early, doing so won't actually protect you. The bankruptcy laws require you to pay back any money you received within 90 days of a company filing for bankruptcy if it is believed you received preferential treatment. Toys'R'Us was working with C2FO to offer its vendors early payment in exchange for a discount prior to filing for bankruptcy, and you can be sure that anyone who received early payment at a discount, is now returning that payment back to the bankruptcy court. What might have seemed like a smart option at the time, in the end did not offer vendors any protection.
Really the only thing that can protect you is by partnering with someone who is doing the credit checking for you, staying on top of breaking news, and offering you insurance. While credit insurance is available for extremely large, credit-worthy accounts, it typically isn't available for smaller companies or companies that show even the slightest inkling of financial distress. Non-recourse factoring on the other hand provides you with the protection you need on the widest range of customers available.
DSA Factors has been offering non-recourse factoring for over 30 years now. When you partner with DSA Factors, we handle all of the credit checking for you as well as provide you with insurance on the receivables which we approve. As an added benefit, we help improve your cash flow by funding you the same day you ship and invoice your customers. For more information about how factoring can help your business, give us a call at 773-248-9000.
Cash flow is typically the main concern for any company that is looking for accounts receivable factoring. However, there is a lot more that goes into accounts receivable factoring than just cash flow, and it is these other services that are also important to consider when selecting the correct factoring company to work with. While common services include credit approvals, collections, and credit insurance, there are other services that factoring companies can offer as well.
Every factoring company should provide you with credit approvals; after all, one of the main benefits of factoring is that funding is based on your customers' good credit rather than your own credit. By providing you with credit approvals, your factoring company is making sure that your customers are credit worthy and will pay their invoices when they become due. Not only does this take the responsibility of credit checking off your back, it also saves you money as you don't need to subscribe to expensive credit agencies such as Dun and Bradstreet.
Of course, it is one thing to provide credit checking of your accounts; it is another thing to provide you with credit approvals. At DSA Factors we are proud to offer our clients an over 98% approval rate. Unlike banks and many other factoring companies who look for reasons to turn down your accounts, we look for reasons to approve your accounts. Furthermore, we will work with your customers to build up their credit, so as long as they make timely payments, we will be willing to raise their credit limit over time.
It would be nice if everyone would just send you a check on the day that an invoice is due, but in reality we all know that this isn't the way things work. Reminding your customers that payment is due is just a normal part of doing business. Whether you are sending out letters or making phone calls, collecting your receivables is a very time consuming process and can be frustrating at times. Since your factoring company is purchasing your receivables, they should also handle all of your collection work for you. This includes, sending out account statements, e-mailing copies of invoices, and making phone calls.
The most obvious benefit of having a factoring company handle your collections for you is that it may be able to save you some payroll as you won't need to hire someone to manage your accounts receivable. However, another benefit is that factoring companies actually have more leverage in collecting prompt payments than you would have in collecting on your own. If a customer doesn't need any new merchandise from you they may reluctant to pay you in a timely manner. However, factoring companies have many clients and not paying a factoring company in a timely manner means that they won't be able to order new merchandise from a handful of vendors.
While it may seem scary to let another company deal with your customers, it is important to keep in mind that factoring companies are not collection agencies and will always treat your customers with respect. A factoring company is purchasing current receivables, not past due receivables, so there is no need for them to be rough with your customers. Furthermore, your factoring company's success is tied directly to your company's success, getting reorders is what allows both you and your factoring company to grow. In fact, if an account becomes seriously past due, your factoring company will probably hand them over to a collection agency just like you would.
If your factoring company offers non-recourse factoring, then that means that they provide you with credit insurance on your accounts. This means that if a customer is unable to pay for merchandise due to financial problems, that you still get to keep the funds that your factoring company provided you with. Of course with any insurance it is important to look at what is covered. Some factoring companies will only cover you in situations where a customer files for bankruptcy or goes out of business, other factoring companies will cover you for deadbeats as well. At DSA Factors, no matter what your customer's situation is, your invoices are insured.
While it is possible to get credit insurance from insurance companies, generally they will require you to deal in very large volumes and to be dealing with very credit-worthy accounts. As a result, if you have small invoices, or sell to independent retailers and not major corporations, it will be very difficult to get credit insurance through an insurance company. With non-recourse factoring, you can rest assured that all of your accounts and all of your invoices will be covered, regardless of how small they may be.
Many factoring companies provide their customers with real-time reporting on their accounts. At DSA Factors, we will send you an aging of your accounts once a week; however, you also have access to real-time aging from our web page 24/7. Furthermore, we give you access to remittance advice from all payments we ever sent you directly on the web page. Other reports give you the ability to track open approvals and retrieve sales reports so you can see how much volume you've done with each of your accounts over a specified period of time. Plus, if there is something you would like to see that isn't available on our web page, just give us a call and we will do our best to provide it for you, and maybe even add it to our web page.
While you do receive improved cash flow with accounts receivable factoring, there are times when that improved cash flow may not be enough. This is often times the case when you get a large purchase order from a major retailer. If you manufacture overseas, often times your factory will require a 30% deposit to start production and the other 70% prior to shipment. This results in you paying for the merchandise 30-60 days prior to when you are able to invoice your customer and factor the invoice. In situations like this, purchase order financing can provide you with a short term loan so that you have the additional funding that you need. At DSA Factors we can provide you with incremental purchase order financing so that you receive the funds you need when you need them and are able to minimize the amount of interest that you need to pay.
Of course the accounts receivable factoring isn't free, and you are going to have to pay a factoring fee. It is important to keep in mind that when comparing rates, you need to compare all of the costs, and not just the factoring fee. Many factoring companies lock you into long term contracts and require that you factor all of your receivables with them. Another common cost to look out for is the minimum volume requirement where a factoring company will require you to reach a specified sales volume and if you don't they will still charge you fees based on those volumes. At DSA Factors there is no need to worry about any of this. Of course we will charge you a factoring fee, but we don't have any long term commitments, we don't require you to factor all of your receivables, and we don't have any minimum volume requirements.
Another thing to look at is whether you are getting a fixed-rate factoring fee or if you will be charged interest for as long as the money is out. With a fixed-rate fee the fee is higher, but you don't pay interest even if your customer pays you late. Factoring companies that charge you interest typically offer incredibly low fees, but from the day they fund you until the day they get paid by your customers they will charge you interest. Typically when you do the math you will find that both rates are comparable, although typically companies that charge interest don't tend to advertise the interest charges, but rather focus on the lower factoring fee. A company that charges interest also has less motivation to get paid on time, and may wait longer to contact a customer that becomes past due than a factoring company that offers a fixed-rate. At DSA Factors we offer fixed-rate factoring to our clients. We find that it not only saves you money, but that is more honest and much easier to understand.
Just like with any other company that you deal with, it is one thing to provide you with service, but another thing to provide you with fast and friendly service. While there are many factoring companies out there, many of the larger ones are owned by banks or other financial institutions. You may even find factoring companies who are subsidiaries of overseas companies. Furthermore, the fintech factoring companies not only have to answer to their investors, but most have been in business for less than a decade. While they may provide you with most, or all, of the services above, it is important to think about the quality of those services. DSA Factors is a family owned and operated business based in Chicago, Illinois that has been factoring for over 30 years. Whenever you call you will always be able to speak with one of our principals. As a result, we can provide you with a much higher level of service than the other larger factoring companies out there. Best of all, not only do we offer you with exceptional service, but we also offer very competitive rates that often times are lower than what the bigger guys have to offer.
It may seem strange that accounts receivable factoring, a form of financing that dates back further than the Silk Road, could fit into the modern world of Fintech, an industry that is less than a decade old. However, like any business that has survived since antiquity, accounts receivable factoring has constantly evolved with changing times and in many ways pioneered the path for the new Fintech industry. While you would be hard pressed to find an a true factoring company that only exists in the online realm, you would be just as hard pressed to find a traditional factoring company that doesn't offer a large variety of online tools.
In the same way that online banking and ATM machines have made it so many Millennials never had to write a check or step inside a bank branch location, accounts receivable factoring can now provide your business with the financing that you need without needing to walk away from your computer. In fact, here at DSA Factors we've been offering online tools to our clients for over a decade now. So in many ways, we were a Fintech company before Fintech even existed. But unlike Fintech, we haven't stripped down our factoring program to only offer the services and benefits that a web page can provide. Plus we are still happy to work with clients who prefer doing things the old fashioned way, via phone, mail, and fax.
For years now, offering online approvals has been a standard service that accounts receivable factoring companies have offered. What this means is that when you get a purchase order, you just login to your factoring company's portal and request an approval. Often times the computer is able to make an actual credit decision on the spot and offer you an instant online approval. Of course, as in any business, there is a limit to what can be completely automated, so in the case where the computer can't approve an order, it gets sent to your factoring company's office for review. When this happens at DSA Factors, we do our best to get back to you with a credit decision within 30 minutes, and will e-mail the credit decision to you.
Most factoring companies will provide their clients with aging statements each week so that they know where their accounts stand. At DSA Factors we take this one step farther. At any time our clients are able to login to our portal and view a real-time aging statement.
Just like how banks and credit card companies allow you to view statements online, at DSA Factors we give our clients to view transmittal sheets from our online portal. And unlike banks or credit cards that may limit you to only one or two years of statements, here at DSA Factors you can go back as far as you want to that very first payment we sent you when you first started factoring.
In addition to aging statements and transmittal sheets, at DSA Factors we offer our clients a variety on online reporting options. This includes being able to pull account statements for any customer. Viewing all open or used approvals. Pulling sales reports that show you how much volume each of your customers gave you over a specified period of time. Plus, if there is a report that you would like to see on the portal, all you need to do is give us a call and we will do our best to create it for you. As a family owned business, we pride ourselves on the quality service we provide our clients with, and that extends to the online services we provide as well.
At DSA Factors we don't just extend online benefits to our clients, but also to their customers. At any time your customers may login into our portal with a login and password we provide at the bottom of every account statement we send them so that they can view a real-time statement and make payments online. After all, don't your customers deserve access to the same online conveniences as you.
If the online services that we offer at DSA Factors doesn't seem like enough, keep in mind that we offer one huge benefit that no Fintech company is able to offer. At any time you are able to pick up a phone, give us a call, and one of our principals will be able to talk to you and help you come up with a solution that works for you. That isn't something that you will get from a large Fintech company, that is something that you can only get from a family owned accounts receivable factoring company. And the value of being able to speak with someone who can actually help you and cares about your business, is much greater than the inconvenience of being limited to only the functions that a web page is able to handle.
If you want to improve your cash flow, outsource you accounts receivable, get credit insurance, and have the convenience of being able to work online, but still want the personalized service that you deserve, give us a call today at 773-248-9000. Or if you want to go "Fintech", feel free to send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with us right now on this web page.
There are many different financing options available to businesses that could use improved cash flow. Two of the more popular options are purchase order financing and accounts receivable factoring. Often times PO financing and factoring are considered alternative financing options, as the process is much faster and easier to obtain than a traditional SBA loan from a bank. While these two methods are related, have similar benefits, and often times can even work together, they still are very different forms of financing.
While both purchase order financing and accounts receivable factoring are great ways of improving your cash flow, the main difference is when you receive the improved cash flow. With PO financing, you receive funding to pay your suppliers with once they provide you with a purchase order. With factoring you get funded once you invoice your customers.
Since the money is out longer, and isn't backed up by a receivable yet, PO financing is typically more expensive than factoring. However, for very large purchase orders, traditional accounts receivable factoring may not be able to provide you with enough cash flow to pay your suppliers so that you can fulfill the purchase order. In these situations purchase order financing may be necessary. As a general rule, accounts receivable factoring is a better way to maintain healthy cash flow for your business, while purchase order financing should be used for extremely large purchase orders.
Another big difference between purchase order financing and accounts receivable factoring is whether or not you are taking on new debt. In the case of factoring you are not taking on any new debt, instead you are selling your receivables at a discount in order to get improved cash flow. With PO financing, you are taking on new debt. PO financing provides you with a loan based on a purchase order. This loan can get paid off if you factor the resulting receivable, or once your customer pays you for the resulting receivable. However, it is still a loan that uses the purchase order, and resulting receivable, as collateral. As a result, you are taking on new debt with purchase order financing.
Since accounts receivable factoring and purchase order financing are both alternative forms of lending, they don't come with the strict credit limits that a traditional loan from a bank would assign you based on your company's credit. Accounts receivable factoring is probably the only form of financing that does not come with any credit limit. With factoring there is no limit to how much your factoring company can advance you. Since factoring is an ongoing relationship, as your receivables grow so does the advance you receive. Factoring is based on your customers' ability to pay, not your own. With purchase order financing, it is typically looked at on a case by case basis and the amount of the advance is limited to a certain percent of the purchase order's value. So similar to factoring, the larger the PO, the larger the loan. However, you will not receive one hundred percent of the purchase order value.
Whether or not you receive credit insurance is another difference between purchase order financing and accounts receivable factoring. If your factoring company offers non-recourse factoring, then that means that you receive credit insurance when you factor an invoice. With purchase order financing, since there is no receivable yet, you are not receiving credit insurance. That said, if your customer you are looking for PO financing on is not credit worthy, then their purchase order may not qualify for PO financing. On the other hand, once a purchase order is fulfilled and invoiced, by factoring the invoice you will receive credit insurance on it.
When you factor an invoice, you are doing much more than just receiving an advance and getting credit insurance, you are also outsourcing your accounts receivable. Your factoring company will perform all of the credit checking as well as collection work. This can result in significant cost savings as you will not need to subscribe to expensive credit agencies and also may allow you to avoid hiring extra employees to manage your accounts receivable. With purchase order financing, most likely the company providing you the funding will still run credit checks on your customer, they do not manage your accounts receivable for you. You are still responsible for sending out account statements and making collection calls.
There is no clear cut answer to this question, it depends on your needs. For most small to medium sized businesses accounts receivable factoring is not only more cost effective but also provides you with additional service such as credit insurance and accounts receivable outsourcing. However, while factoring allows you to maintain healthy cash flow, it may not provide you with enough cash flow if you need to pay your suppliers to fulfill a larger purchase order. In these situations purchase order financing may be necessary.
At DSA Factors we actually recommend using accounts receivable factoring to maintain healthy cash flow and reduce costs. The cash flow you receive from factoring may provide you with enough funds to avoid needing purchase order financing. However, you may still use purchase order financing from time to time as needed. As a result we offer our factoring clients the ability to obtain PO financing when needed.
While there are companies that only provide purchase order financing, they often times may take a week to a month or more to provide you with funding. Typically they only work with foreign suppliers and finished products that are being shipped directly to your customers from overseas. Their interest rates tend to be variable and often times higher than what a factoring company might offer you on a similar loan.
By factoring your invoices and having your factoring company provide you with purchase order financing as necessary, you will most likely receive a better rate and a quicker response when you need purchase order financing. At DSA Factors we make PO financing decisions in a matter of minutes, and can fund you the same day you call us about a PO. We also don't require you to work with foreign suppliers, we don't require you to be purchasing finished products, and you can ship to your customers yourself. Because you are shipping to your customers yourself, if the order isn't for a full container, you will be able to fill up the container with additional merchandise for smaller PO's or just for inventory. Since we will also be factoring the resulting invoice for you, we can also offer you a lower interest rate on the loan you receive and reduce the time that the loan is out for. Plus you get all the benefits that come with factoring, credit insurance and accounts receivable outsourcing.
Another benefit to working with an accounts receivable factoring company is that by factoring invoices on a regular basis, you are developing a healthy working relationship with a financial partner. In the future, as your company's needs change, your factoring company may be able to offer you additional services to facilitate growth. By securing purchase order financing through a PO financing company, it is typically a one-time deal, and you don't get the opportunity to develop a working relationship with them.
To learn more about how accounts receivable factoring and purchase order financing can be used together to help grow your business, give DSA Factors a call at 773-248-9000. We are a family owned and operated business that works with clients nationwide. Whenever you call DSA, you will always be able to speak with a principal, whether it is Ben, Max, or Howard Tolsky. With over 30 years experience offering factoring and PO financing to our clients, we have money to make your company grow!
Often times for a new startup business, it can be difficult to obtain financing. SBA loans are usually out of the question as banks will want to see a track record and will require collateral that a startup business most likely wouldn't have. Venture capital is an option, but is usually reserved for tech companies that have a huge potential for growth, plus often times it requires you to give up ownership of your business. However, accounts receivable factoring is a great way for a startup to finance their business without having to give up any ownership or taking on new debt.
Accounts receivable factoring is a type of financing where you sell your receivables to a factoring company for a discount. For startups the main benefit is that you get funded the same day you invoice your customers rather than having to wait 30 days or longer for them to pay you for goods or services that you have already provided them. As a result you have healthy cash flow so that you can take on more orders as well as larger orders without having to worry about how you will pay your suppliers. Since you are selling your receivables to your factoring company, the funds they provide you with are yours to keep, there is no need to repay your factoring company as your customers will be paying them once their invoices become due. As a result accounts receivable factoring is one of the few financing options available that doesn't require you to take on any new debt.
While improved cash flow may be the main reason a startup business would use accounts receivable factoring, it isn't the only one. Since your factoring company is relying on your customers to pay their invoices in order to get repaid, your factoring company will also handle all of the credit checking for you. For a startup business the last thing you want to do is spend several thousand dollars subscribing to a credit agency so that you can determine whether or not an order you receive is from a credit worthy company. Your factoring company will also handle all of your collection work so there is no need for you to spend time making collection calls and no need to purchase accounts receivable management software. Finally, with non-recourse factoring, your receivables are insured against non-payment for financial reasons. So if one of your customers goes bankrupt or out-of-business you still get to keep the funds that your factoring company gave you.
Unlike a traditional bank loan, accounts receivable factoring is not a loan, your factoring is instead extending a line of credit to your customers. As a result, your factoring company isn't too concerned with your company's credit or your personal credit, but rather with your customer's good credit. So as long as you are selling to reputable businesses you qualify for accounts receivable factoring.
With accounts receivable factoring there is no limit to how much funding you can receive. The amount you are funded is tied directly to how much you have in receivables. So as your receivables grow so does the amount of funding you receive. While your factoring company will assign credit limits to your customers, since you are not receiving a line of credit there is no limit to how much you can get funded.
Obviously there are fees associated with accounts receivable factoring and these fees can vary based on which factoring company you choose to factor with. At DSA Factors we offer a flat rate factoring fee, meaning that we do not charge you interest if your customers do not pay their invoices on time. The factoring fee we charge is very similar to a payment processing fee that you would pay to take a credit card. So if you can afford to take a credit card, you can afford to offer your customers net 30 payment terms with accounts receivable factoring. While every factoring company charges a factoring fee on each invoice they purchase, these rates do vary and you may be subject to other fees as well. At DSA Factors we do not have any annual fees, there are no fees for setting up new accounts, we have no minimum volume requirements, and we have no long term commitment. Please read our article on how to find the lowest rate for accounts receivable factoring to learn more about what types of fees you can expect to pay for factoring.
Sometimes waiting until you invoice to get funded isn't enough, especially if you need to pay your factory for a container before they will release it. In situations like this your factoring company may offer you purchase order financing. Purchase order financing is a short term loan that allows you to pay for a container in order to fulfill a large order. Even though you may not qualify for a business loan, since you have developed a relationship with your factoring company, and you will be factoring an invoice as a result of the purchase order, your factoring company may be willing to give you a short term loan to finance the purchase order.
Factoring is a fast and easy process where credit decisions are made in minutes, not months. Getting started is easy, give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000. With just one call you can be well on your way to getting the financing your startup business needs to succeed. We can be funding you for your invoices in as little as 24 hours.
For most small business owners, obtaining a line of credit from a bank has never been easy. In recent years a number of technology companies have discovered this problem and it has led to the emergence of fintech, a form of online lending. However, what many small business owners don't realize is that there is another alternative to the banks, which is factoring. Factoring companies however offer a whole lot more than the fintech companies, but also have much more experience and knowledge, better customer service, and typically cost less.
Fintech companies provide their customers, who don't qualify for a small business loan from a bank, with short-term, high-interest loans using their receivables as collateral. Because they are using receivables as collateral, companies such as BlueVine claim that they provide accounts receivable factoring, but really they are just providing their customers with a loan. Other companies like Fundbox claim they provide invoice financing, which they differentiate from factoring. While it is true that they do not provide factoring, what they don't realize is that invoice financing and accounts receivable financing mean the same as factoring. This demonstrates a very big difference between fintech and factoring. These fintech companies are really young IT start-ups with little or no experience in the industries that they serve; in fact, they may not even know basic industry terms. Factoring on the other hand has been around for hundreds of years, even Christopher Columbus used factoring. While most factoring companies haven't been around quite that long, they all have quite a bit of experience and a background in the industries that they serve. For example, DSA Factors started off as the consumer finance arm of a retail furniture store under the same ownership. Eventually they decided to start offering factoring services to furniture and bedding wholesalers who they bought from. As the factoring business grew they started expanding out to other industries such as giftware, housewares, apparel, and trucking. Now, having factored for over 30 years, they are still helping small and medium sized businesses grow.
While the goal of both fintech and factoring is to help you improve your cash flow, perhaps the biggest difference between fintech and factoring is how they accomplish this. A fintech company provides you with a loan, meaning you are taking on debt. Furthermore, the loan has a very short term and if you offer extended terms, such as net 90 days, to your customers, it is quite possible that the loan will become due before you receive payment on the invoice that was used as collateral. With factoring, the factoring company is purchasing your accounts receivable, or invoices. The funds you receive from a factoring company are yours to keep and spend however you like. Even if one of your customers pays late, you don't need to worry about paying back the funds you received.
Of course services provided are another really big difference between fintech and factoring. Fintech companies seem to pride themselves on how they will never contact your customers; they seem to think that you will appreciate this. However, all that this means is that if your customers don't pay them, they will come after you. With fintech you still need to stay on top of your accounts receivable and send out statements and make collection calls. For a small business this means that the owner typically needs to spend a lot of time just trying to get paid by their customers. For medium sized businesses you will probably need to hire another employee just to manage your accounts receivable, meaning additional payroll. With factoring you are outsourcing your accounts receivable. Factoring companies have already invested heavily in the software necessary to manage A/R, and are able to do so because they manage A/R for many clients. They have professional and courteous collectors who are able to make the phone calls for you. Plus, because your customers may purchase from several other vendors who factor their receivables, a factoring company has a lot more leverage in collecting from a customer who may not be willing to pay. The fintech companies try to scare you by saying that factoring companies can ruin your relationship with your customers, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Factoring companies are not collection agencies, they understand the importance of the relationship you have with your customers, after all, they have a similar relationship with you. As a result, your factoring company provides your customers with gentle reminders that payment is due, and always treats your customers with the respect they deserve.
Another big difference between fintech and factoring is the insurance they provide. With Fintech you receive no insurance on the invoices you put up as collateral, if the invoices don't get paid, you still have to pay back the fintech company. However, many factoring companies, such as DSA Factors, provide non-recourse factoring, meaning that you are insured in the situation where one of your customers is unable to pay due to financial problems. Furthermore, since your factoring company is insuring your receivables, they also handle all of your credit checking for you, meaning that you don't need to subscribe to expensive services such as Dun & Bradstreet. While it is possible to purchase credit insurance separately, it of course comes with additional fees, and typically only covers large orders for very creditworthy companies such as Amazon or Walmart. If your customers are mom and pop stores, or your invoices are smaller than five or six figures, credit insurance is not something that is readily available to you.
Of course, for many small companies simply getting funded for your invoices isn't enough. For a company that has just received their first six figure purchase order, it may be very difficult to put that order together. To make matters worse, if you are unable to accept such a large order, it is unlikely that the company placing the order will come back to you in the future. If you manufacture in China you typically need to put 30% down to start production and then a month later when production is complete, pay the remaining 70% to get the merchandise put onto the boat. It will be another month before the container arrives in the US and you are able to ship and invoice your customers, and a fintech company will not provide you with a loan until you do so. For service companies you may need to hire additional labor and will need to meet payroll long before you complete the job and invoice your customer. If use fintech for your financing they won't lend you the capital in advance, and you won't be allowed to take out a loan with a bank. However, many factoring companies, such as DSA Factors, will provide their clients with purchase order financing, which is a short term loan based on the PO so that you can fulfill a large order.
Finally there is one more major difference between fintech and factoring companies, and that is customer service. Fintech companies are all about technology; they integrate with business software such as QuickBooks, and believe that customer service is about giving their customers fancy online tools. Of course this means that you too need to use QuickBooks or whatever other software they may integrate with. Factoring companies on the other hand realize that a big part of doing business is developing a relationship with the people they work with. Perhaps factoring companies don't offer all the fancy technology and software integrations as the fintech companies do, but they aren't dinosaurs. Nearly every factoring company has an online portal where their clients can login, request approvals, and view a variety of reports. While there are some large bank-owned factoring companies, there are also plenty of family-owned factoring companies such as DSA Factors. At DSA Factors you can always call and speak with a principal, no need to deal with account managers or low-level employees who can only answer simple questions. As a result, factoring companies are able to work with you creatively and aren't restricted to just the 1's and 0's of the digital fintech world.
When it comes to financing your small business it is important that you look at the big picture. While fintech may be new and exciting, you get a whole lot more with factoring. Plus, with factoring you most likely will save money as well!
If you would like to give factoring a try, call DSA Factors at 773-248-9000 and either Ben, Max, or Howard will be available and able to help you. There is no obligation or long-term commitment, and you can start receiving funds in as little as 24 hours. Start growing your business today with a time-tested and proven method that works, accounts receivable factoring.
Starting a new business or growing your existing business can be a daunting task, especially if you don't have the cash flow necessary to pay your suppliers, meet payroll, make rent, or take on large orders. While many business owners are familiar with SBA loans, the application process is lengthy and many businesses who apply don't qualify for a loan. Oftentimes you may miss out on a large opportunity while waiting for a bank to make a decision. However, with accounts receivable factoring, not only can you start getting funded within 24 hours, you will qualify for factoring even if you have less than stellar credit.
Factoring is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get instant cash flow so that you can start growing your business. In addition, factoring is not a loan, when you factor your invoices you are taking on no new debt, instead you are simply selling your receivables and getting funded immediately while still being able to offer credit terms to your customers.
The way factoring works is quite simple. When you sell your product to another business that is requesting payment terms, you invoice them and then need to wait 30 days or longer to get paid for the merchandise or service you provided. However, with factoring you will get paid the same day you invoice your customer. Your customers still receives the payment terms that they need, but when the invoice is due they pay your factoring company. As a result, you no longer have all of your money tied up in receivables, instead you have working capital that you can use for whatever you need it for.
In addition to improving your cash flow, factoring also allows you to reduce your expenses and cut losses. Your factoring company will provide all of the credit checking on your customers for you, eliminating the need for you to subscribe to expensive credit agencies. Your factoring company also handles all of your collections for you so you no longer need a dedicated employee handling your receivables. Finally, with non-recourse factoring, your factoring company insures your receivables, so you no longer need to worry about customers who are unable to pay for the merchandise you sold them.
If your business can benefit from improved cash flow, accounts receivable factoring might be just the tool you are looking for. At DSA Factors we have been providing accounts receivable factoring for over 30 years. We work with a wide range of industries including, furniture, bedding, giftware, housewares, textiles, apparel, food, trucking, marketing, staffing, and many more. Whatever your industry, if you have receivables, DSA Factors has the money you need to grow your company. Call us today at 773-248-9000 and we can be funding you in as little as 24 hours.
There has been a lot of talk in the news about fintech (financial technology) lately. Certainly there is a lot to be said about alternative approaches to financing over more traditional methods offered by the banks. However, accounts receivable factoring has always been an alternative financing method over what the banks offer, and has a long track record of success. In fact, many of the fintech companies even offer factoring programs, but they tend to be bare bones versions of factoring that only offer some of the benefits gained by factoring, and oftentimes even charge higher rates than traditional factoring companies.
The factoring industry has been around for a long time. It was well established in Europe when the original colonists brought it over to America. In fact, the king and queen of Spain offered a form of factoring to Christopher Columbus when he wanted to set sail for the "New World". While this may seem antiquated in our modern technology driven world, the fact is that most factoring companies do take advantage of modern technologies, offering most of the benefits of fintech, but with much more experience, a proven track record of helping to grow small to medium sized businesses, and much lower rates.
To see the difference, the chart below compares traditional factoring with DSA Factors to similar programs with PayPal Working Capital, Bluevine, and Fundbox, three of the more popular fintech companies offering similar programs to invoice factoring.
|DSA Factors||PayPal Working Capital||BlueVine||Fundbox|
|Take on New Debt||No, the funds DSA provides you with are yours to keep.||Yes, PayPal is offering you a loan, so you are taking on new debt.||Maybe, if your customers don't pay BlueVine, they will require you to pay them back after 90 days.||Yes, Fundbox is offering you a loan, so you are taking on new debt.|
|Credit Limit||No, with DSA Factors we will fund you for all of your receivables.||Yes, the lesser of 18% of your annual sales on PayPal or $97,000.||Yes, $20,000 to $500,000 based on your company's credit.||Yes, $25,000.|
|Based on Your Credit||No, since DSA is giving your customers a line of credit, credit decisions are made based on your customer's good credit.||No, the loan amount is based on your annual sales volume with PayPal.||Yes, BlueVine will assign you a credit limit based on your credit worthiness.||Yes, Fundbox determines your credit limit based on your credit worthiness.|
|Charges You Interest||No, DSA offers a flat rate factoring fee.||Yes, the interest is charged to you up front when you get a loan, regardless of how long it takes to pay the loan off.||No, BlueVine also offers a flat rate program, but at 10-15% their rates are at least triple or quadruple the rate that DSA offers.||Yes, based on the size of the loan, Fundbox may charge you anywhere from 5-12% over the course of a 84 day loan.|
|Term Limit||No, DSA Factors has no problem working with extended terms.||Yes, PayPal requires you to pay back 10% of the loan every 90 days, with the full amount due in 540 days.||Yes, if payment has not been received after 90 days, you are required to pay back BlueVine.||Yes, you must pay off the loan in 12 weekly installments.|
|Collections Outsourcing||Yes, DSA Factors handles all of your collection work.||No, your customers must make payments through PayPal, but PayPal does not help with collections.||No, your customers are required to make payments to a BlueVine drop box or bank account, however BlueVine does not help you collect.||No, Fundbox does not handle collections for you, it is strictly a loan that you need to pay back.|
|Insure Your Receivables||Yes, with DSA's non-recourse factoring your invoices are insured against non-payment.||No, PayPal only does payment processing for you.||No, if an invoice has not been paid after 90 days of being funded for it, you are required to pay back BlueVine.||No, Fundbox is strictly a loan that must be paid back in 12 weekly installments.|
|Choose Which Invoices You Factor||Yes, DSA Factors does not require you to factor all of your receivables.||No, a percentage of all payments made through PayPal will be applied towards your loan.||Yes, you can choose which invoices you want to get funded on.||Yes, however there is a $100 minimum in order to get funded for an invoice.|
|Minimum Volume Requirement||No, at DSA Factors you are not required to factor a certain amount, and there are no annual fees.||Yes, PayPal requires you to pay back 10% of the loan every 90 days if you aren't doing enough volume.||No, BlueVine does not require you to fund a minimum amount each year.||No, Fundbox does not require you to draw a minimum amount each year, however, they will not fund you if an invoice is worth less than $100.|
|Long Term Commitment||No, with DSA Factors you can stop factoring at any time, but since many of our clients have been with us for over 20 years, we don't think that you will want to stop.||No, once your loan with PayPal is paid off you can start looking for alternative sources of financing.||No, BlueVine allows you to stop drawing on your line of credit at any time, but you will need to pay them back for any invoices that they have not received payment on.||No, once you have paid off your loan with Fundbox, you are free to pursue other financing options.|
|Charge Payment Processing Fees||No, DSA will never charge you for processing a payment.||Yes, you are required to accept payments through PayPal and pay their payment processing fees.||No, although BlueVine will funnel all payments into their account without your customers knowing that BlueVine is receiving the payment.||N/A, Fundbox does not process payments.|
|Available Technology||DSA offers its clients an online portal where they can get automatic approvals, view agers, remittance reports, and other reports in real time. Your customers may also go online to make payments.||With PayPal you get a loan online and customers make payments online.||BlueVine requires the use of Quickbooks or similar software to get funded.||Fundbox requires the use of Quickbooks or similar software to get funded.|
|Good Old Fashioned Service||As a family owned and operated business, you can call DSA at any time and speak with a principal who can come up with creative solutions to help grow your business.||PayPal doesn't even list a phone number on their web site.||BlueVine may have a phone number, but it is doubtful that you will be able to speak to anyone who can actually help you.||Fundbox may have a phone number, but it is doubtful that you will be able to speak to anyone who can actually help you.|
|DSA Factors||PayPal Working Capital||BlueVine||Fundbox|
As you can see, traditional accounts receivable factoring with DSA Factors offers all of the benefits that the fintech companies offer, along with many more. You still get an online portal where you can efficiently do business and your customers can make online payments, but you also can pick up a phone and speak with one of our principals at any time. As a result, we can come up with creative solutions for your business that might not fit into a fintech company's software, such as purchase order financing. So if you are looking for ways to finance your business, go with a time-tested method that works, accounts receivable factoring. Give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000 and we can be funding you in as little as 24 hours.
Many companies out there aren't familiar with all of the benefits that accounts receivable factoring has to offer. While cash flow might be the main reason why companies use accounts receivable factoring, it is not the only one. Companies that don't use accounts receivable factoring often times are missing out on the bigger picture, and as a result, may not be able to grow their business as quickly as they would like or as quickly as competitors who do factor their invoices. Below are some of the benefits of accounts receivable factoring.
The main reason why companies choose to factor their accounts receivable is for the improved cash flow that factoring offers. Rather than wait around 30 days or more to get paid for merchandise you have shipped or a service you have performed, with factoring you can get paid the same day that you invoice your customers. This improved cash flow can help you to make payroll, pay off your suppliers, or cover any other expenses you have in growing your business.
While it is true, many customers are happy to give you a credit card when they place an order, when you offer your customers payment terms they are more likely to place larger orders with you. The reason for this is quite simple, cash flow is very important to them. Your customers are just like you, they've got payroll expenses, rent, and utility bills, plus they need to pay their vendors. Even if sales are slow, they still need to meet payroll, pay rent, and pay the utility bills, if they don't they will face some pretty serious consequences. If their vendors require them to pay with a credit card, then they also need to pay that credit card bill on time and in full every month or they can be facing late fees and high interest rates. As a result a company that is giving you a credit card is going to be conservative with how much they are ordering, if they can't sell it all between the time the order is placed and the time the credit card statement is due they will have some pretty serious problems. However, if you offer them payment terms they know that if they pay a few days late that there won't be any consequences. As a result they will be more willing to place larger orders knowing that if it takes them a week or two extra to pay the bill that they won't be facing any interest charges or late fees.
Then there are the big box stores and online retailers. If you want to sell Walmart, Costco, Amazon, or any of the other big boys, there is no way that they will give you a credit card, in fact they may even request longer terms such as net 60 or net 90. If you want to get these large accounts it is absolutely crucial that you offer terms.
With non-recourse factoring you no longer have to worry about bad debt because your factoring company insures your receivables. If one of your customers is unable to pay for the merchandise you shipped them due to financial hardship, including bankruptcy or out of business, your factoring company assumes full responsibility for the bad debt and you still get to keep the money that they gave you for the invoices. And unlike insurance companies who will only insure receivables for large corporations with great financial strength, such as Walmart, factoring companies are willing to take a lot more risk and will not just insure sure bets, but will also insure mom and pop stores, online retailers, and a variety of other businesses. So by factoring your receivables you not only improve your cash flow, but you also get insurance on the accounts that you need insurance on.
With factoring you are also outsourcing your accounts receivable department which has several benefits. For one, you won't need to have any staff dedicated to accounts receivable, which can lower payroll or allow you to refocus their efforts on another aspect of running your business. You also won't need to subscribe to expensive credit agencies in order to stay on top of which customers are credit worthy, instead your factoring company will do this for you.
Your factoring company will also handle all of your collection work for you. Furthermore, your factoring company also has more leverage in collecting on seriously delinquent accounts than you would. Since your factoring company has a large number of clients, it is possible that they may have five, ten, or even more clients who sell also sell to your customer. If your customer doesn't pay you then you will stop shipping them, however, they will still be receiving merchandise from other vendors who they pay in a more timely fashion. If your customer doesn't pay your factoring company, then they will be cut off from a large number of their vendors.
When you factor your accounts receivable you aren't assuming any new debt. Factoring is not a loan, the money you receive from your factoring company is in exchange for your invoices. Basically all you are doing is selling your invoices to your factoring company, and therefore the funds they provide you with are yours to keep. As a result you can spend these funds in any way you choose, these is no need to justify where the money is being spent like you would with a loan from a bank, the money is yours to spend however you wish.
While purchase order financing is not the same as accounts receivable factoring, it is a service that some factoring companies offer to their clients. Unlike accounts receivable factoring, purchase order financing is a loan. The loan is based on a purchase order that you have, and the funds you receive are to be used to fulfill that purchase order. Once fulfilled and the merchandise is shipped to your customer, you would factor the invoice and your factoring company will apply a portion of the invoice toward the loan they gave you and give you an advance based on the remainder.
Factoring is quick and easy. Unlike securing a loan from a bank, factoring companies are able to make decisions in minutes rather than months. At DSA Factors we offer a simple flat rate fee factoring program and can be funding you in as little as 24 hours. We are a family owned and operated business that has been providing accounts receivable factoring for over 30 years. Call today at 773-248-9000 and find out just how easy factoring can be.
There are a lot of different accounts receivable factoring companies out there, and for most businesses looking to factor, the biggest concern is how much factoring will cost them. While a low factoring rate is very important, it is also important to make sure that when you get two different rates that you are comparing apples to apples. It isn't only looking at services such as advance rates, approval rates, or recourse vs non-recourse, but also looking at fees and interest charges. So while you could call five, ten, fifteen, or even twenty factoring companies to find out their rates, it might not be so clear-cut as to which company is the cheapest and provides the best service. This article will show you how to find the best factoring company for your business.
There are two different types of rates that a factoring company may charge you. The most popular type of factoring these days is adjustable rate factoring. With adjustable rate factoring the factoring company will offer what seems like an impossibly low rate, they may advertise anything from .5% to 1% as a base rate for factoring your invoices. However, they will then charge you interest from the day they advance you the money until payment is received and then they will add an additional 10 days for payment to clear the bank. The way that this interest is computed can vary, but it is most common for factoring companies to use blocks. A block may be a period of 10, 15, or 30 days. For each block that passes, the factoring company will charge you an additional fee. For example, if a factoring company offers a .5% base rate and uses 15 day blocks and charges 1% for each block, this how you would be charged for factoring an invoice. Lets say the invoice is purchased on July 1st, then you will be charged the base rate of .5% for factoring on that day, in addition you will also be charged 1% for the first 15 day block. On July 15th if payment has not been received yet and cleared the bank, then another 1% will be charged for the 2nd 15 day block. Lets say payment is received August 10th, you will be charged another 1% on July 30th, and on August 14th, since the factoring company is still waiting for the funds to clear the bank, you will be charged a final 1%. As a result, your overall costs for factoring the invoice will be 4.5%.
With a flat rate factoring program your factoring fee is much easier to compute. If you are offered a rate of 4% then that is exactly how much money you will pay for factoring the invoice, regardless of how long it takes your customer to pay your factoring company. While the base rate may appear much higher with flat rate factoring, the actual rate you pay to factor an invoice is typically lower, especially if your customers don't pay their invoices early.
While the overall rate may be the main reason why you choose to go with an adjustable rate or flat rate for your accounts receivable factoring, it is also important to consider the service that goes along with these two different rate structures. With an adjustable rate, the longer it takes your factoring company to get paid, the more money they make. As a result, an adjustable rate factoring company has little motivation to collect from your accounts until they start to become seriously past due. With a flat rate factoring program, your factoring company is very motivated to collect from your accounts when the invoices become due. This motivation to collect doesn't just affect how much you pay for factoring, but can also affect if future orders from your customers get approved. If a customer is past due on your invoices, then they won't get approved until they catch up. As a result a factoring company with an adjustable rate may not be able to get you approvals in a timely fashion causing your customers to become upset.
Perhaps the most important reason why companies want to factor their invoices is because of the advance that provides them with the improved cash flow they need. When choosing a factoring company, the most important question should be if they provide an advance and how long it takes. Most factoring companies should be able to provide you with an advance on your receivables within 24 hours, or even the same day. A factoring company who is offering you rates to good to be true may not be providing you with an advance. After that you need to look at the rate of advance. All factoring companies hold back money in reserve, but some companies hold back more than others. However, rather than advertise how much they hold back, factoring companies prefer to advertise how much they advance. So if a factoring company holds back 10%, then they have an advance rate of 90%. Advance rates can vary anywhere from 75%-90%, so it is important to make sure that you are getting a high advance rate.
Another benefit of factoring is the insurance that it provides on your receivables. A company that offers non-recourse factoring will insure your receivables against non-payment for financial reasons, meaning for example, that you will not be on the hook if a customer of yours goes bankrupt. However, if your factoring company only offers recourse factoring then they are not providing you with any insurance, and you will be have to pay them back if one of your customers files for bankruptcy.
Because a factoring company may be insuring your receivables, they are also assuming some risk. How much risk they are willing to take can vary. As a result it is important that you choose a factoring company with a high approval rate. It is also important to learn about how your factoring company assigns credit limits. It is important that your factoring company assigns your customers a credit limit based strictly on your business with them. Some factoring companies assign a single credit limit to a business that applies across all of their clients, as a result, if another client has orders that reach that credit limit, your orders will get turned down until that other client's invoices are paid off.
Of course the last thing you want is to get a bill from your factoring company asking you to pay a bunch of hidden fees. Many factoring companies may charge you fees for day-to-day operations such as running a credit report. Other companies may charge you annual fees or fees for not meeting minimum volume requirements. While some companies may lock you into a long-term contract and will charge you fees if you choose to stop factoring or want to change factoring companies. Another thing to consider is whether you are required to factor all of your accounts. Some factoring companies will require you to factor all of your accounts, including ones that pay on credit card, meaning that you will be forced to pay factoring fees even on accounts that you don't factor. It is important that you look at these fees as they of course affect the overall rate that you are paying to factor your receivables.
Finally, the last thing you need to look at it is the service and benefits that your factoring company can provide you with. When it comes to service, many larger factoring companies will treat you simply as a number and assign you to an account manager who may not be able to make difficult decisions. Often times these larger factoring companies are owned by banks or are headquartered overseas, meaning that it may take them a long time to make simple credit decisions. With smaller factoring companies, and especially family owned companies, you will always be able to speak with one the companies principals, and quick turn-around times on credit decisions or anything else are another advantage that they offer. Of course, sometimes you need a little bit more than just factoring, so it is important to look at some of the other benefits factoring companies may offer.
Sometimes when you get a large order from a major retailer you may need a little extra help fulfilling the order. As an importer you may need to pay the overseas factory to start production, and certainly they will want payment in full before a container is released. As a manufacturer you may need funds to purchase additional materials so that you can start production. Whatever the case may be, some factoring companies offer purchase order financing, which is basically a short term loan based on the purchase order so that you have no problem getting the order fulfilled. Even if you don't need purchase order financing right now, it is important to choose a factoring company that offers it to their clients as you never know if you one day may need it.
Some factoring companies may even offer their clients small business loans in addition to factoring services. If you might need a loan from time to time, whether you need to pay to attend a trade show, or you are developing a new product line, it is nice to know that your factoring company may be able to help you out. Since you will have established a working relationship with your factoring company, they will be much more likely to offer you a loan than a bank, and will also make a decision much quicker.
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into choosing the right factoring company for your business. At DSA Factors we offer low, competitive, flat rate factoring fees with the personalized service that you would come to expect from any family owned and operated business. Our clients receive non-recourse factoring with a 90% advance rate. Furthermore, we have an approval rate of over 95% and most companies get approved instantly when submitted on our web page. We have no hidden fees, no minimum volume requirements, and no long term commitments. We also offer purchase order financing to our clients and have offered small business loans to clients who we have developed a working relationship with. DSA Factors is well known throughout the factoring industry as one of the best companies to work with, earlier this year we were named by Factoring Club as the Best Micro Factoring Company for 2016. If you are looking for a factoring company to help grow your business, give DSA Factors a call at 773-248-9000, and find out just how easy factoring can be.
Invoice Factoring is a way of improving your cash flow without taking on any new debt. When you factor an invoice, what you are doing is selling that invoice to a factoring company. As a result, factoring is not a loan and you can get paid immediately for the products or services that you invoiced for, rather than having to wait until the invoice becomes due.
While invoice factoring isn't the only way to speed up your cash flow, it offers many benefits that you won't get from other methods. Below are a couple of common methods used to improve cash flow and how they compare to invoice factoring:
With a bank loan, or SBA loan, you are taking on new debt, the money you receive is not yours and has to be paid back. However, when you factor an invoice the money you receive is yours to keep. Banks, also assign you a strict credit limit, you can only borrow up to that credit limit. However, with invoice factoring the sky is the limit, the more invoices you have, the more money you can receive. Furthermore, securing a bank loan is a cumbersome process and often times you may wait months only to find out that you haven't been approved because your credit isn't good enough. With invoice factoring decisions are made quickly, often times within minutes, and decisions are based on your customers' credit, not your own.
While taking on an investor is a good way of getting a quick cash infusion without taking on any new debt, it also means that you are giving up a portion of your company. From a financial point of view you no longer own a significant portion of your business. However, even more problematic is that you are giving up control of your company to someone else. If you and your investor don't meet eye to eye on various matters you may be running into trouble. With invoice factoring this is not an issue, you still receive the cash that you need without having to give up any portion of your company or having anyone else tell you how to run your business. Furthermore, invoice factoring is a continual process, it can provide you with unlimited positive cash flow for many years to come. With an investor it is a one time deal for a fixed amount of money, unless of course you want to give up even more of your business.
The positive cash flow you receive from invoice factoring can be used in any way you want. With invoice factoring you don't need to answer to a bank or to an investor in your company, you are still in the driver's seat. The cash flow you receive can be used to meet payroll, get a container released, attend a trade show, start a new marketing campaign, upgrade equipment and facilities, or for anything else that you can think of.
In addition to the improved cash flow, invoice factoring also provides you with other benefits that you will not receive from other sources. With invoice factoring you are also outsourcing your entire accounts receivable department. You no longer need to worry about keeping tabs on your customers, your factoring company will handle all of your credit checking for you. Further more you no longer need to keep on top of your customers since your factoring company will handle all of the collection work for you. If that isn't enough, with non-recourse factoring you are also insured against non-payment of your invoices, your factoring company will assume the risk for you.
Give DSA Factors a call at 773-248-9000 and one of our principals will be happy to speak with you. DSA Factors has been providing non-recourse invoice factoring for over 30 years to a wide range of industries, including but not limited to furniture, bedding, giftware, housewares, textiles, clothing, trucking, food, marketing, and staffing. As a family owned and operated business you not only receive low competitive rates, but also personalized service that the larger, bank-owned factoring companies can not provide. Call us today, and we can be providing you with improved cash flow tomorrow.
It may seem counter intuitive that a service that costs you money will actually make you more money, but it is true. As the old saying goes "it takes money to make money", and this is true when it comes to accounts receivable factoring as well. There are actually a handful of ways that factoring can help your bottom line, and some may not be so obvious.
The first thing you need to look at is the cost of factoring. If you currently take credit cards for payment, factoring fees are very similar to the fees that the credit card companies charge you, and possibly even less than Discover and AmEx. As a result, you will already have the factoring fee built into your pricing. However, it is important to make sure that your factoring company is charging you a flat rate fee, otherwise if your customers pay late you may wind up paying two or three times a credit card fee in interest. DSA Factors offers low flat rate fees, so you know exactly how much it will cost to factor an invoice.
Often times your customers may have the same cash flow crunch that you have. They may not be able to pay for an order until the merchandise in the store sells. That is why it is important for them to be given 30 days to pay for the merchandise that they buy. However, while the credit card companies allow you to pay each month, if you don't pay the credit card bill by the due date on come the late fees and interest charges. So when a customer pays by credit card, they need to be absolutely sure that they will have the money to pay for it when that bill arrives in the mail. As a result, they may be hesitant to place a large order out of fear they won't be able to pay for it on time. When you offer terms to your customers, this isn't an issue. It is generally accepted that if you pay for an invoice with terms a little bit late, you won't be hit with late fees or interest charges. As a result you can sell more merchandise to your existing customers, as well as pick up major retailers, such as Walmart, TJX, Costco, or Amazon, who will only buy merchandise on terms.
If you currently offer terms to your customers and aren't factoring your invoices, you can also benefit from the increased cash flow factoring will provide you with. You can use that improved cash flow to pay your suppliers faster, which in return will allow you to increase the volume of business that you do. After all, if you can get a container onto a ship thirty days earlier, you will be able to fulfill more orders faster, which will also lead to quicker reorders.
Furthermore, you can save money is on salary. By outsourcing your A/R department to a factoring company. You don't need to have employees making collection calls and sending out account statements, your factoring company will handle this for you. As a result, your employees can focus on things like making sales, marketing, or product development which will translate directly into higher sales volume.
Finally, you will save money on the cost of doing business. Since your factoring company will do all of the credit checking for you, you no longer need to subscribe to expensive credit agencies. If your factoring company offers non-recourse factoring, as DSA Factors does, then you will also eliminate bad debt as your factoring company assumes responsibility for customers who do not pay their bills.
As you can see, accounts receivable factoring can be a great way for your business to increase its revenues while eliminating expenses. If your business can benefit from increased cash flow, then factoring may be the best way to make money and grow your business.
If you plan on selling invoices it is important to know whether the funding proposal is for "recourse" or "non-recourse" factoring. Here is an overview of both methods.
Just like it sounds, there is no recourse for unpaid receivables against the client. The client selling invoices is not financially obligated to the factoring company in the event an approved and funded invoice is not paid by the customer.
To protect their investment, the factoring company will check the credit strength of account debtors. They will also want to handle the payment collection and accounts receivable management.
This does not remove the client from all possibility of needing to repay the invoice. The client is still responsible for resolving any disputes regarding the product or service itself. For example, if the client delivers a product and that product is found faulty causing the customer to not pay, the client is still responsible to make good on the invoice.
Although non-recourse may be the more attractive method to the client, the factoring company will look closely at the credit worthiness of the paying customer or debtor and charge fees accordingly.
With recourse factoring the company selling the invoices is guaranteeing the invoice will be paid in full.
If the customer or debtor does not pay the invoice, the selling company must make up the payment. This is usually accomplished by either lowering future funding by replacing the "bad" invoice with another "good" one. Any delinquent invoices are generally charged back to the business client after 120 days, depending on the terms of the agreement.
In addition to who "makes good" on any "bad" invoices, the client may receive better pricing if they are open to a recourse situation. Since the factoring company isn't taking all the risk, they can offer more attractive advance rates and lower fees.
Your final choice will be for the method that best fits your situation. There is no right or wrong, but if comparing factoring options side-by-side and you have the option of non-recourse for the same or similar terms - then non-recourse will likely be your preferred choice!
At DSA Factors we are proud to offer non-recourse factoring to our wholesale clients. For the service industry DSA Factors offers recourse factoring only. If you are looking to factor your invoices, whether it is for the insurance non-recourse factoring provides or the improved cash flow you get with either type of factoring, give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000 and you can be getting funded for your receivables in as little as 24 hours.
Many business owners may not understand what Non-Recourse Factoring vs. Recourse Factoring really is.
Non-Recourse Factoring applies to the inability of the client's customer to pay for credit reasons. For example, if a company does not pay for products or services due to financial problems, bankruptcy, out of business, these would be the factoring company's responsibility. If there are any disputes that the customer is claiming with regards to the quality of the merchandise, or shortages, etc., these issues would potentially have recourse. The factoring company at that point can ask to be reimbursed for that transaction or portion of the transaction that will not be paid. Some factoring companies have full recourse factoring all the time. DSA Factors has non-recourse factoring for companies that sell a product. When a service is involved, then recourse factoring is the norm.
Factoring is a cash flow tool, as well as "insurance" on accounts that get into financial trouble, but it is not really suppose to be a method of getting rid of bad debt. The customers still belong to the company looking to factor so you can't expect the factor to just buy a receivable and not have any recourse to the advanced funds over a disputed situation.
Non-Recourse Factoring is not simply a company selling an invoice to them and just walking away. The responsibilities of providing a good product or service still apply. Do not miss the opportunity of signing up with a better factoring company, like DSA Factors because you thought you were signing up with a factoring company that claims all invoices are bought without recourse. There are many factors out there that advertise only non-recourse factoring, but believe me, you will find many paragraphs in their very lengthy contract that gives the Factor the right to charge invoices back to the company. DSA Factors has a very simple two page factoring agreement with no hidden fees.
DSA Factors will fight very hard to get paid, even with companies that claim damages, before we give up trying to collect. The Factoring Industry continues to see growth because this tremendous cash flow tool is getting the recognition it deserves for the simplicity and solutions it provides.
Factoring isn't just a way of improving your cash flow and eliminating the need for collections, it also acts as a form of insurance for your receivables. At DSA Factors we offer Non-Recourse factoring. We offer immediate payment for your receivables and that money is yours. That means that even if an account doesn't pay, you still keep the money we gave you for your invoice so long as there are no merchandise disputes.
How do we do this? Well its simple, before an order is placed you need to get an approval for the account. This means that we check the accounts credit ratings and payment history to make sure that they are an honest company and pay their bills. You will no longer need to look up credit ratings or even subscribe to credit agencies or check credit references before selling your products to someone.
DSA offers online automatic approvals to our clients, all you need to do is login to our web site and enter the account and order information. Most accounts are automatically approved and you will receive an instant notification that the account has been approved. With accounts that we can not automatically approve, we will review the accounts at our office and get an answer to you within 24 hours. When we receive a request for credit we don't look for reasons to turn down the account, but rather we look for reasons why we should approve the account. So even if we can't automatically approve an account, most likely we will be able to approve it still.
Unlike other factoring companies, when DSA extends a line of credit to one of your accounts, you don't need to share that line of credit with other clients of ours which may sell to that account as well. So you will not be turned down because we are already factoring invoices on that account with another client. Each account gets a separate line of credit with each one of our clients.