What is Invoice Finance and How can You Benefit from It? Your Questions Answered
Unfortunately, it’s not a rare story – you compose an invoice, send it to your customer, and wait for ages with either no news from the debtor, or worse, a notification that the invoice is being disputed or that the customer simply refuses to pay. For these occasions, there’s a solution: invoice finance. With it, there’s no need to write unpaid invoices off as bad debt yet.
What is invoice financing?
Think about money for a second. Strictly speaking, it’s nothing but an IOU from the government; a promise to honour the holder with a certain amount of purchasing power. Now consider a cheque – it’s nothing but a piece of paper with a signature, a promise to pay the holder a certain amount of money. It’s legal tender because it has to be honoured, and can therefore go into circulation. Your invoice has that same power: somebody owes you money, and the invoice can be transferred to someone else – or your invoice can serve as collateral for a loan.
Factoring is the process whereby a third party – a firm, a bank, a non-bank financier – buys that invoice (buys the debt) from you. You receive money (usually at a discount), and the entity that buys the invoice from you has the right to collect from the debtor. In other words, you sell your debt and the third party is responsible for the collection thereof.
Alternatively, you can use the unpaid invoice as collateral for a loan; meaning, a third party agrees to lend you money on the basis of the invoice. Of course you have to pay a fee or interest for the loan, but at least you have some cashflow. The original debt of the invoice is not transferred, however, so you are still responsible for collection.
The major advantages
Naturally, there are some very positive outcomes when you decide to engage in invoice financing, some obvious and some less apparent. Here’s a short list:
- You immediately improve your cashflow. Whether you opt for factoring or invoice discounting, you have cash in hand, and that can save a business.
- With factoring, you don’t have to worry about collecting anymore – this frees up precious time and, more importantly, gives you peace of mind.
- Factoring allows you to negotiate better terms with your suppliers.
- With invoice discounting, the third party is not directly involved in the collection process, which allows the transaction to remain confidential.
- Invoice discounting gives you time to negotiate with your customer and allows customer relations to prosper.
Invoice financing is nothing new – but for obvious reasons, it has become very popular recently. The advantages are simply too numerous. And if you want to take advantage of proper, above-board, and reliable invoice financing services, turn to Ultimatefinance.co.uk.