Delayed payments are a persistent problem for small businesses, leading to increasingly severe effects and several concerns about their liquidity as a result. One in three businesses considers overdue payments one of the most serious dangers to their viability.
A significant gap between income and managing real cash flow could be one major issue, particularly if you have clients that want a “liberal” payment schedule and delay till the last day to pay.
One method of bridging the gap is to loan against the worth of the invoices you’ve issued, known as invoice financing.
What is Invoice Financing?
Invoice financing is a procedure by which businesses can obtain loans on unpaid bills. The businesses shall pay a share of the overall invoice sum to their lender.
Businesses can cover their quick liquidity needs by borrowing a share of the value of their unpaid bills using this kind of financing. These outstanding invoices are classified as receivables. It implies that businesses will obtain the agreed-upon amount for invoices raised at a later period.
In recent years, invoice finance has grown in popularity due to the immediate availability of collateral-free borrowing and a simple application procedure.
How Does It Work?
Typically, the lender will pay 70% to 90% of the invoice value as the liability. The following is a flowchart of how invoice financing tends to work:
- You provide your customers with items and services and immediately give them the invoice.
- Then, send the invoice details to the loan provider.
- In most cases, you get a part of the initial invoice amount within 48 hours (the lender’s risk guidelines determine the amount).
- Ordinarily, you will receive the invoice amount from your clients.
- You settle your debt after the payment by clearing the credit and keeping the portion of the amount that was not under your invoice financing agreement.
Generating and distributing invoices can be time-consuming, especially for businesses, many of which are digital post-COVID-19. ClearOne invoicing software allows you to produce and customize GST invoices and track and share them. You can also create invoices on your mobile using the basic and user-friendly app.
Invoice Financing Costs
Invoice financing fees come in a variety of kinds and sizes. While fee systems and amounts differ amongst financiers, the following are some standard fee items:
- Origination fee – Your loan application could be subject to an origination fee. It is often calculated as a percentage of the invoice value.
- Credit check fee – Factoring businesses typically conduct credit reports on your clients before issuing loans to you in order to assess default risks. Credit check fees may be carried on to you.
- Factor fee – While you submit a bill to a factoring company, a factor fee (often 1% to 5%) is charged to the invoice value. A factor charge is the sum collected by the factoring company.
- Interests – Interest is charged on loans and the sum taken on a line of credit.
- Service fee – A service fee, often described as a credit management fee, may be collected by the creditor for establishing and running the credit facility.
- Fee for collection – There will almost certainly be a collection fee if the factoring company is in charge of collecting money from your clients.
- Fee for late payment – If your clients fail to pay on past-due payments, factoring businesses may charge you an outstanding fee.
Advantages of Invoice Financing
- Financing: It helps in the inflow of cash for businesses.
- Competitiveness: It allows you to expand the payment terms to your clients, allowing you to be more competitive.
- Working Capital: It assists you in securing your cash flow.
- Growth: With invoice finance, the sum you can loan grows in tandem with the quantity of your invoices.
- Flexibility: It is simple to apply for and needs little risk.
- Strong Client Relationships: Invoice financing is used to make your clients unaware that their bills have been funded, allowing you to maintain your engagement with them.
Disadvantages of Invoice Financing
- Fee: These agreements are costly regarding fees (1%–4%) yet only cover a fraction of the invoice.
- Non-payment potential: You continue to experience the danger that your client may not clear the invoice on time, exposing you to considerable financial fines because of your late payment or requiring you to cover the entire cost of invoice financing alone.
- Minimal protection: It may not cover payment failure (unlike trade credit insurance).
- Financing is limited: You can never finance the same invoice more than once. Because invoices serve as securities, most lenders will only allow you single financing for every invoice.
Types of Invoice Financing
As a businessman, you have two alternatives for invoice financing. Invoice factoring and invoice discounting. While both of these forms of invoice financing work on similar principles, their funding structures are separate.
- Invoice factoring allows businesses to get finance by reselling their unpaid accounts to a third-party finance company. The creditor buys these receivables for a proportion of their net amount and assumes responsibility for collecting payments on these bills.
- Invoice discounting is done discreetly. Clients of the business are unaware that their outstanding invoices are being used to secure funding. In this case, the business has absolute ownership of the sales account and is dedicated to claiming the outstanding money against client invoices. Hence, invoice discounting can be a good option as well.
- Selective invoice finance, or spot factoring, helps you choose which individual invoice or client profile you would like to fund with this sort of invoice finance. This is a more flexible choice if you don’t want to offshore your entire sales record.
With these different types of invoice financing, you need to choose the one that suits you best based on your business and the client-relation type. However, no matter what type you choose, invoice financing does help you future proof your business.
Keeping track of the payments from various clients can be a difficult job. ClearOne simplifies this through online payment collection software, which can send payment links through Whatsapp, SMS, or emails. It also updates the payments instantaneously while displaying the same on the app, which helps you track payments in real-time.
Eligibility for Invoice Financing
To obtain invoice financing, you will normally need to meet tight criteria. Most suppliers will want a specific annual turnover, and you must have a successful track record.
Some other criteria include:
- To have Indian nationality
- Have a minimum business vintage of 3 years
- To be self-employed
- Have a CIBIL score of 685 or higher
- Age to be from 24 to 70 years (70 needs to be the age at maturity)
If you meet the requirements and plan to apply, check around for the cheapest deals. Costs and charges offered by various providers vary widely, and you need to be satisfied with the performance of assistance, so weigh your options based on your needs.
Aside from the technical definition, it’s critical to understand what invoicing financing is and isn’t, why businesses employ it, and how it functions to a greater extent. A thorough comprehension of the overall picture and procedure ensures that you are completely educated about this mode of financing and how it might create a change not only in the life of the business but also in the life of the businessman.