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Invoice Finance and Stocking Finance

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

At a time when it is becoming more and more difficult to obtain working capital through traditional banking facilities many businesses are looking to alternative and possibly more flexible form of finance. Invoice finance combined with stocking finance is an asset based finance product that can provide additional working capital over and above traditional invoice discounting and factoring facilities.

There are very few invoice finance companies that will offer a true stocking facility. There are some that they say provide finance against stock but it usually on the back of a factoring or invoice discounting facility to provide no more than 100% of your debtor book. In addition the loan or overpayment is only on a short term basis that will need repaying over a relatively short period of time. However there are definitely two or three UK based invoice discounting providers that provide a true revolving stocking facility. Again this must be provided in conjunction with the factoring or invoice discounting facility. As far as we aware there are no finance companies that will provide a stocking facility on a stand alone basis.

How much of a facility you can obtain against stock depends on the type of business you are in, how specialist the product is and the potential market for the stock. As a rule of thumb expect to get no more than 30% of our initial outlay. We are looking at a invoice discounting and stocking facility for one customer at the moment and their total stock is in excess of £2.m can potential provide a facility oF £600k over and above the 85% debtor book. This will provide much more working capital than the bank can ever provide and as such is known as a no brainer!

 

To make sure you are speaking to a funder that provides a true revolving stocking facility give XL Business Finance a call today and we will point you in the right direction.

Invoice Finance helping ease restricted credit terms

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

One of the most common difficulties currently facing many businesses is that creditors are trying to shorten their credit terms. In extreme circumstances we are seeing many credit terms being completely removed. Suppliers are wary of providing credit on the basis that they probably have had their fingers burnt due to the vast number of businesses going into administration. This doesn’t help the business which are left particularly when it appears they themselves are struggling to get cash out of their own customers. Banks are being very difficult when it comes to increasing overdraft limits  therefore in order to obtain sufficient working capital many business are turning to more flexible forms of invoice finance. Additional working capital is also being obtained by refinancing existing capital equipment.

Once upon a time invoice finance such as factoring and invoice discounting was deemed to be a lend of last resort. Refinancing existing plant and machinery was considered unnecessary and expensive compared with what the banks could provide. How times have changed. Both these specialist areas of finance can provide a life line to many struggling businesses or indeed any business which isn’t getting enough working capital from their incumbent bankers.

XL Business Finance has been providing innovative finance solutions for over 10 years. We are one of the leading independent experts in providing refinancing options against existing plant and machinery. We also have a vast knowledge and experience of the many factoring and invoice discounting companies. No matter how difficult your situation or indeed how well your business is trading we can certainly add value to your business when it comes to obtaining the right funding solution for your business. Any search on the world wide web will reveal hundreds of different factoring and invoice discounting companies. We will use our knowledge and experience to provide only two or three of the most appropriate finance providers

Factoring with a poor trading performance

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Many business believe that they are not eligible for an invoice finance product because they have a poor trading history. This will almost certainly be the case if you require an invoice discounting facility. This might also be true if you approach a high street bank for either invoice discounting or factoring. The good news  is that even if your bank has knocked you back for a factoring facility there are many independent factoring companies specialising in this area and they are able to take a more flexible approach to helping a business.

The problem with the banks is that factoring and invoice discounting is not really what they are about or it is not a core product. In our opinion most banks are a jack of all trades but a master of none. An independent grows its business on the back of the smaller and more challenging deal. It is willing to go the extra mile to assist a business. It understands that the sucess of running a factoring factoringcan be the difference between a business succeeding or failing. It also will take into consideration the quality of your debtor book which if it is of good quality it will certainly assist in obtaining a factoring facility.

Remember there are so many factoring companies to choose from and as such it can be a minefield when it comes to choosing the best provider for your business. A good independent broker will be able to narrow the oice of finance companies down to the best two or three saving you time , effort and money. WHICH ONE IS BEST FOR YOUR BUSINESS WILL DEPEND ON YOUR LOCATION, TURNOVER, QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF YOUR DEBTOR BOOK AND THE LEVEL OF ANY PROBLEMSWITHIN YOUR BUSINESS.

Invoice Finance in the construction industry

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

As far as we are aware there are only two finance companies providing invoice finance to the construction industry. This is because construction tends to be very contractual and the majority of invoice discounting and factoring companies don’t understand it.

One of the providers is a high street bank and depending on the knowledge of your point of contact  we have had mixed reports as to their ability to provide a decent service. The other provider is one of the larger independents and their level of service is more consistent.

The problem with contractual invoicing is that that amount and value of work undertaken at a particular point can be very subjective. Most invoice finance companies don’t want to get involved with disputes over work undertaken in relation to larger projects.  As a rule the high street bank will only advance against certification whereas the independent will provide funding on application of the invoice. Due to the nature of the debt prepayments to be at a lower level than normal factoring or invoice discounting. Traditionally invoice finance will release up to 85% of your unpaid invoices however with these contractual deals it may be allot lower.

If your business is quite large than as a rule of thumb we would recommend the independent because they appear to have the consistency in understanding ow the invoice is structured. They also have their QS working for them to verify  the invoices if need be. The bank may provide a higher headline prepayment however in reality they are not as good as collating stage payments and as such they are more likely to disallow certain invoices and payments.

On the other hand if your business is relatively small the bank provider takes a view on their overall portfolio and as such if they fell they have a good mix of customers they may not look too closely as to what and ow you are invoicing and such you may end with more cash.

Business Finance without using a bank

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

It goes without saying that the high street banks have a captive audience when it comes to providing business finance. Most businesses will turn to their business banker in times of need. Whether it is a bank overdraft commercial mortgage , equipment finance or invoice finance your friendly manager will be only too please to help. Remember though when it comes to the different forms of business finance for every high street bank offering finance their is an alternative independent company offering funding.

Once upon a time it was possible to get a package deal with the bank. They might do one product as a loss leader and as such the overall funding was priced very competitively. The problem of having all ones eggs in one basket has become evident over the last year or so. Banks have been found to wanting at times and it is very true that they are great at giving their customers umbrellas but as soon as it starts raining they want them back.

In our opinion the independent business finance companies provide a product that is very competitively priced however the levels of service and flexibility can far exceed those of the banks. This is very true when it comes to factoring and invoice discounting. Whilst for certain types of business there are certain banks that we would recommend as a whole independent provide a far more approachable and flexible service.

XL Business Finance has been helping its clients for over 10 years to obtain the most appropriate invoice factoring and invoice financing facilities. The cheapest is not always the best and a by undertaking a brief review of your business we can provide two or three funders ( probably ones you may not have heard of before) that will knock the socks of the banks in providing the right level of service and flexible funding that your business requires.

Invoice Finance and stocking Finance

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Invoice Finance can potentially provide so much more. As we know a factoring and invoice discounting facility will release up to 85% of a businesses unpaid invoices. In the very difficult period of obtaining cash flow from the banks it is important that a business obtains as much benefit from their invoice finance facility as possible. Obtaining stocking finance on the back of an invoice finance facility might provide your business with the additional working capital required to make the difference between success and failure. Not all stocking facilities are the same and XL Business finance has over 10 years experience in helping businesses find the right funding solutions.

At the moment there are no finance companies providing stand alone stocking facilities. Any stock finance is provided on the back of a factoring or invoice discounting facility. However beware there are only one or two funders that provide a true revolving stocking facility. Most invoice discounting companies suggest they provide  finance against stock however what they actually do is provide a further advance up to 100% of the debtor book using the stock as the additional security. In addition they claw back the overpayment over a 12 month period for example. A true revolving stocking facility will provide a percentage of the total stock in addition to the agreed prepayment against the debtor book.

Obtaning Business Finance in a Summer Recovery?

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

According to a recent quarterly business  index economic survey the general feeling amongst North West Businesses is that their is an air of optimism and enthusiasm about the future. However many of the businesses feel that trading conditions are worse than they were 12 months ago.

In addition 55 percent of the businesses feel that the economy will have recovery by the summer of this year. However one in five feel that it will be two years before the economy fully recovers suggesting that certain sectors of the economy have been hard hit.

This Business factors index has been provided by Bibby Financial services. The index tracks small businesses turnover since 2007 and the trends and information have be collated with the results of over 300 business interviews.

The optimism must be offered with caution. One in five feel conditions are worse than they were 12 months ago. In addition many have had to take cost cutting measures. And one in five don’t think the economy will ave recovered in two years.

Firms in the North West with many involved in Manufacturing have had a tough time during the recession and while we don’t expect an immediate recovery it is clear that many businesses have experienced a difficult few months. Although 2010 ha already provided a number of challenges such as the adverse weather conditions  a weak pound is fueling export growth and as such confidence is slowly starting to improve. It suggests that moving forward business are optimistic about their prospects of a recovery.

The upshot is  that it will continue to be difficult to obtain business finance. However XL Business Finance has experience of providing innovative finance solutions whether it be equipment finance refinance of existing equipment. We are also vastly experienced in providing invoice finance solutions whether it be factoring or invoice discounting. Give us a ring a ding ding.

Protect your cash flow with factoring

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Still one of the biggest complaints we have from customers is the length of time it is taking their customers to pay. Fr0m the smallest of companies to the  the biggest PLCs the word on the street is that businesses are taking longer to settle their debts. Debt turn is increasing causing further misery on already cash strapped businesses. The good news is that factoring with the right finance company will not only release up to 85% of your unpaid invoices it will also provide a credit control facility whereby the finance chase your debts on your behalf.

Beware though not all factoringcompanies are the same. When credit terms are being stretched to the limit it is important that you get a factoring company that has a reputation for collecting invoices quickly, professionally and efficiently. You ill be surprised that there is a massive difference between service between invoice finance companies. For example many og the high street bank based factoring companies will nly chase your top 3 companies the leaving the rest to be chased by letter. No wonder some of the high street banks can do it so cheaply. Remember factoring is a value added product and by a certain degree you get what you pay for.

Other factors also needed to be taken into account. For example some the largest based factoring companies  will have their credit control in one town, their payment centre in another end of the country and their sales office in timbuktoo. How can they possibly provide an efficient service. In a nut shell they don’t . Monies get paid to suspense accounts while they run around trying to work out where they need to appropriate the cash.

To find out which invoice factoring company will be best for your business give Managing Director Mark Redman a call on 07748 635 206 24/7.

Protect your cash flow with invoice discounting

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

News on the high street today is that we are finally out of the recession. This is great news however don’t expect the banks to suddenly ease up on their underwriting criteria. We believe that it will be many months possibly years before the banks get back to where we were before all this kicked off.

Hopefully we will see businesses once again seeing an increase in turnover and as a result more profitable times ahead. Any increase in turnover will undoubtedly see an increase in working capital requirement. Do you really want to rely on the bank overdraft to provide the necessary working capital for your business? I don’t think so. While a business is expanding invoice discounting will provide the perfect cash flow finance facility that will grow with your business.

XL Business Finance has been helping businesses for over 10 years with their invoice discounting and factoring needs. Both are forms of invoice financing that will release up to 85% of unpaid invoices immediately. Providing there are no added complications to your business factoring or invoice discounting facilities can be up and running in a couple of days.

Although an overall funding limit will be set against your business this is reviewed on a regular basis and will grow as your business expands. As and when your customers pay you typically in 90 days from the date of the invoice the proceeds are used to repay the initial 85% advance and the remaining 15% is paid back to your business less an interest payment and a service fee. Interest is charged at a percentage over base rate or Finance House Base Rate and the service fee can range from 0.2% of turnover to 2.5 % of turnover depending on the whether you are utilising factoring or invoice discounting.

Both products are excellent for a businesses cash flow and we can help you obtain the most appropriate funding product.

Credit limits for factoring finance

Monday, January 25th, 2010

One of the biggest issues facing small businesses in the current financial climate isthe lack of funding against certain customers. It is all well and good obtaining a factoring facility with a headline 95% prepayment if the finance company restricts funding against certain customers. Unfortunately many businesses will place that invoice finance with a factoring company promising the earth however if you are not careful you will end up with a finance company that potentially will not deliver.

When choosing a factoring comapny it is well worth asking the potential funder what credit limits they will place against your top ten customes. You will be surprised how this will vary across the number of available factoring companies. XL Business Finance has ten years experience of helping businesses choosing the right finance company and as such we can add value to your business by doing all the hard work.

In addition it is worth considering the overall credit limit. A bank owned factoring company although may offer a cheaper facility they are less likely to increase the overall funding limit as quick as an independent factoring company. Therefore as the turnover of the business increases you may find that funding is restricted. A potential customer told us recently that he wished he had chosen a more flexible bur only slightly more expensive independent company rather than the slightly cheaper less flexible bank based factorig company. A change of factoring company resulted in a much increased availability and more cash which massively helped the cash flow and performance of the business.

As discussed in previous blogs there are many criteria we will consider when choosing the right finance comapny. Size, location, quality of the debtor book, profitability, length of time established and market sectoir are all important factors.

 
 
 

XL Business Finance Ltd is a privately owned and independent business financing company with established links to many of the UK's leading finance houses. XL Business Finance provides a viable alternative to high street banks that lack the flexibility and imagination to provide a solution to most business users requirements. XL Business Finance can provide a full range of business financing solutions and we ensure a high level of customer service and pride ourselves on quick decisions. Our independent status will ensure any offer of funding and asset finance leasing is best suited to our customer’s needs.

XL Business Finance, Eaton Place Business Centre, 114 Washway Road, Sale, Cheshire M33 7RF UK.

 

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