Explaining What Is Debtor Finance

The average business commercial payment time frame is currently around 60 days, a statistic which has steadily increased over recent years. A business trading on credit terms with other businesses, will over time accumulate a substantial asset on its balance sheet called Accounts Receivable, or Trade Debtors.

Debtor Finance is a broad description which describes a type of finance which uses trade Receivables as security for a cash advance. In technical terms there are a variety of legal models for debtor finance. In some situations it is structured simply as a loan, with the Receivables asset acting as security, much like a home mortgage.

On the other hand, factoring usually involves legal ownership of the debts passing to the financier, possibly on an undisclosed basis – i.e. the debtor is not informed – or more often fully disclosed where the debtor is made aware of the financing arrangement.

When debtor finance is in the form of a debt factoring arrangement, the cash advances available can be flexibly adjusted according to a percentage of debtor sales which provides a high level of convenience for a business which is expanding, and needing more cash to do so.

Security Requirements of Debtor Finance

All debtor finance arrangements carry some security requirements, firstly directly over the Receivables, but also possibly (less desirable from the borrower’s point of view ) supported by collateral assets and/or personal guarantees.

As with other forms of credit which are linked to the value of the underlying security the amount borrowed or financed will depend on the asset values. Typically debtor finance funding is permitted for about 70% to 90% of the value of the debtor invoices.

Advances and Cash Flows

A factoring arrangement which involves the financing of the entire debtors ledger, can effectively operate just like an overdraft. This means that within the overall financing limits, and taking into to account such factors as bad debts when they occur, the borrower can effectively draw and repay any amount at any time.

Smaller financing arrangements which include Invoice Finance or Invoice Discounting arrangements will generally split the financing into two cash flow lumps:

The first lump is the advance, for 70% to 90% of the invoice value
The second lump is the balance, from which the financiers recovers fees.
Each financing method has its pros and cons. Financing the entire debtors ledger will usually involve some contractual commitments for a period of time, at least 6 months, often a year or more. Invoice finance on the other is generally shorter term, and may not require a fixed term commitment. Invoice finance be very flexible when used on an ad hoc basis, helping to keep costs down, but closer monitoring of actual cash flows would normally be necessary.

When Is Debtor Finance The Best Option?

Debtor finance is most useful for a business which has relatively long cash conversion period, when compared to the cost of its major supplies. This is best explained by way of example: Simplistically if a business has to pay all its bills in an average of, say 21 days, yet the settlement terms of most of its customers are 45 days or more, then expanding the business will always absorb more cash than is available from the business in the short term.

This kind of cash flow stress most often arises in manufacturing companies, wholesalers and labor hire companies; in effect any business where the cost of sales is made up to a large extent by labor costs, and/or inventory.

If other sources of finance are not available, or are more expensive, then reaching into the company’s balance sheet for a debtor financing arrangement can release cash to the next project or job, while valued customers can still take advantage of their normal payment terms.

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Your Bank and Business Financing – Reality Check

Business owners and managers want to compare equipment finance companies to their bank and for a good reason; a bank is a company’s first point of reference when borrowing money or financing equipment or an expansion project. A bank is the most obvious place to start and a secure place to store your money and use their multiple services. But what a bank does not do well, both historically because of their structure and the recent tightening of the credit market, is offer business financing for capital assets (equipment). Yet many people get confused when looking for an equipment loan because they are not seeing the whole picture; this is a case where you definitely want to compare apples to apples to get the best results.

Here are a few points to compare; these are not set in stone but based on years of experience, these trends apply a majority of the time.

1) Total Dollars Financed – banks normally require that you keep a balance of 20% or 30% of the equipment loan amount on deposit. This means they are only financing 70% or 80% of your equipment costs because you have to keep a certain amount of YOUR money in a fixed account for the duration of the loan. In contrast, an equipment finance company will cover 100% of the equipment including all “soft” costs and will only request a one or two month prepayment. No fixed deposits required.

2) Soft Costs – banks also will normally not cover “soft” costs like labor, warrantees, consulting and installation which means these costs come out of your pocket. An equipment finance company will cover 100% of the equipment price including “soft” costs and some projects can be financed with 100% “soft” costs which no bank would ever consider.

3) Interest Rates – this is the most popular question in the finance world; what’s my rate? If the bank requires 30% deposit in a fixed account then that automatically raises a 5% interest rate to a 20% rate. Now people will argue that you get that deposited money back at the end of the term but that is money which you do not have access to and has an opportunity cost associated with it. Equipment finance companies target their financing rates between 3-5% for cities and 7-9% for commercial financing which is a real fixed rate and not under-stated as the bank rates can be thus independent finance company rates are very competitive with “true” bank rates.

4) Process Speed – banks often take weeks to review and approve a finance request while independent finance companies normally only take a few days and can work much more quickly. Finance underwriters only review business financing while a bank has other types of requests clogging their channel.

Banks also have many more levels of approval and review to pass while independent finance companies normally only have two, underwriting and credit committee. Even with complicated deals, the finance company’s process is always faster.

5) Guarantee – banks require, as a standard part of their documentation, a blanket lien on all assets, both personal and business assets are used as guarantee against default on the loan. Your business assets, your home, your car, and your boat can all be on the line when entering into a bank transaction. This may also be the case with an equipment financing company but if your business operation is solvent then only your business will be listed as collateral and not your personal assets; this is known as a “corp only” approval.

6) Monitoring – banks require yearly “re-qualifying” of all their business accounts which means on the anniversary date of your loan each year, you must submit requested financial documents to assure the bank that everything is going well and nothing has affected your business in a negative way. Finance companies do not require anything during the term of the loan or finance as long as the monthly payments are made on time. Nobody will be checking into your business or policing what you do.

When comparing your bank financing to an independent equipment finance company, you have to make sure you are evaluating all the key parameters, not just one. Clearly, the fine print and terms of the transaction are more important than the big numbers. Banks work well within their space but have proven time and again not to be as flexible or solution-oriented as an independent finance company which solely focuses on business lending can be.

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Diversify Your Business Finance

Introduction

The Government has announced a new initiative to help diversify business finance which will be led by UK industry experts from both the business and finance sectors.

UK businesses still rely heavily on bank funding to help finance their business activities even though there are many alternative sources of funding available to them in today’s ever changing financial marketplace.

The Government wants to ensure, in light of recent and current banking reforms, that the flow of finance to businesses is maintained. Alternative sources of finance will be crucial to help businesses deliver the wider economic growth the UK economy needs.

The panel of experts will seek to establish a framework of alternative finance sources by working with businesses and business investors, financial institutions and providers of alternative finance to coordinate and facilitate the availability of funding that businesses need.

Bank lending

Even though there has been a recorded increase in new lending from the largest banks this year many businesses are still unhappy with bank lending levels and how they have been treated by their banks.

Tighter lending criteria, non-renewal of overdraft facilities and poor communication by the banks are the common problems cited by businesses as making their funding objectives difficult to achieve.

Without the finance they need, UK businesses struggle to survive and grow, and so the UK economy does the same. This is why the Government is not only introducing schemes to increase bank lending but is also keen to encourage as much competition in the financial market as possible and provide a wide range of alternative sources of finance to UK businesses.

Alternative finance

There is already a wide range of alternative finance sources available to businesses.

One of the biggest barriers to increasing the take up of these sources of finance is simply general awareness. New and emerging providers of alternative financial products do not have the branch infrastructure that makes for the efficient and effective distribution of their products.

The other important factor here is that many owners and managers of small and medium sized businesses, which are the backbone of the UK economy, are unaware of the range of alternative finance available and where to find it.

New methods of communication are required and it is hoped this will be a key objective of the Government’s initiative.

Invoice Finance

Invoice finance is one of the most popular options in the alternative finance portfolio and has grown over the last fifteen years from about 13,000 companies using it in the UK to over 50,000 companies now.

This extremely flexible method of business finance advances funds against unpaid sales invoices. There are variations within the invoice finance family of products which includes invoice factoring and invoice discounting.

The invoice finance lenders will advance up to 95% against a company’s unpaid sales invoices and use the sales ledger as security by taking assignation of the invoice and so the outstanding debt is effectively owned by them.

When the invoice is paid by the company’s customer the invoice finance company will pay over the balance of the invoice that has not been funded after deducting their fees. There is usually a charge for the facility and an interest charge for the amount of funding advanced.

One of the main benefits of invoice finance is that the facility will grow as the business grows thus making it a very effective method of funding working capital.

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Merits and Demerits of Equity Finance

Equity finance means the owner, own funds and finance. Usually small scale business such as partnerships and sole proprietorships are operated by their owner trough their own finance. Joint stock companies operate on the basis of equity shares, but their management is different from share holders and investors.

Merits of Equity Finance:

Following are the merits of equity finance:

(i) Permanent in Nature: Equity finance is permanent in nature. There is no need to repay it unless liquidation occur. Shares once sold remain in the market. If any share holder wants to sell those shares he can do so in the stock exchange where company is listed. However, this will not pose any liquidity problem for the company.

(ii) Solvency: Equity finance increases the solvency of the business. It also helps in increasing the financial standing. In times of need the share capital can be increased by inviting offers from the general public to subscribe for new shares. This will enable the company to successfully face the financial crisis.

(iii) Credit Worthiness: High equity finance increases credit worthiness. A business in which equity finance has high proportion can easily take loan from banks. In contrast to those companies which are under serious debt burden, no longer remain attractive for investors. Higher proportion of equity finance means that less money will be needed for payment of interest on loans and financial expenses, so much of the profit will be distributed among share holders.

(iv) No Interest: No interest is paid to any outsider in case of equity finance. This increases the net income of the business which can be used to expand the scale of operations.

(v) Motivation: As in equity finance all the profit remain with the owner, so it gives him motivation to work more hard. The sense of inspiration and care is greater in a business which is financed by owner’s own money. This keeps the businessman conscious and active to seek opportunities and earn profit.

(vi) No Danger of Insolvency: As there is no borrowed capital so no repayment have to be made in any strict lime schedule. This makes the entrepreneur free from financial worries and there is no danger of insolvency.

(vii) Liquidation: In case of winding up or liquidation there is no outsiders charge on the assets of the business. All the assets remain with the owner.

(viii) Increasing Capital: Joint Stock companies can increases both the issued and authorized capital after fulfilling certain legal requirements. So in times of need finance can be raised by selling extra shares.

(ix) Macro Level Advantages: Equity finance produces many social and macro level advantages. First it reduces the elements of interest in the economy. This makes people Tree of financial worries and panic. Secondly the growth of joint stock companies allows a great number of people to share in its profit without taking active part in its management. Thus people can use their savings to earn monetary rewards over a long time.

Demerits of Equity Finance:

Following are the demerits of equity finance:

(i) Decrease in Working Capital: If majority of funds of business are invested in fixed assets then business may feel shortage of working capital. This problem is common in small scale businesses. The owner has a fixed amount of capital to start with and major proportion of it is consumed by fixed assets. So less is left to meet current expenses of the business. In large scale business, financial mismanagement can also lead to similar problems.

(ii) Difficulties in Making Regular Payments: In case of equity finance the businessman may feel problems in making payments of regular and recurring nature. Sales revenues sometimes may fall due to seasonal factors. If sufficient funds are not available then there would be difficulties in meeting short term liabilities.

(iii) Higher Taxes: As no interest has to be paid to any outsider so taxable income of the business is greater. This results in higher incidence of taxes. Further there is double taxation in certain cases. In case of joint stock company the whole income is taxed prior to any appropriation. When dividends are paid then they are again taxed from the income of recipients.

(iv) Limited Expansion: Due to equity finance the businessman is not able to increase the scale of operations. Expansion of the business needs huge finance for establishing new plant and capturing more markets. Small scales businesses also do not have any professional guidance available to them to extend their market. There is a general tendency that owners try to keep their business in such a limit so that they can keep affective control over it. As business is financed by the owner himself so he is very much obsessed with chances of fraud and embezzlement. These factors hinder the expansion of business.

(v) Lack of Research and Development: In a business which is run solely on equity finance, there is lack of research and development. Research activities take a long time and huge finance is needed to reach a new product or design. These research activities are no doubt costly but eventually when their outcome is launched in market, huge revenues are gained. But problem arises that if owner uses his own capital to finance such long term research projects then he will be facing problem in meeting short term liabilities. This factor discourages investment in research projects in a business financed by equity.

(vi) Delay in Replacement: Businesses that run on equity finance, face problems at the time of modernization or replacement of the capital equipments when it wears out. The owner tries to use the current equipments as long as possible. Sometimes he may even ignore the deteriorating quality of the production and keeps on running old equipment.

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Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

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What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

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What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

The results of this past election proved once again that the Democrats had a golden opportunity to capitalize on the failings of the Trump Presidency but, fell short of a nation wide mandate. A mandate to seize the gauntlet of the progressive movement that Senator Sanders through down a little over four years ago. The opportunities were there from the very beginning even before this pandemic struck. In their failing to educate the public of the consequences of continued Congressional gridlock, conservatism, and what National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation would do led to the results that are playing out today.. More Congressional gridlock, more conservatism and more suffering of millions of Americans are the direct consequences of the Democrats failure to communicate and educate the public. Educate the public that a progressive agenda is necessary to pull the United States out of this Pandemic, and restore this nations health and vitality.

It was the DNC’s intent in this election to only focus on the Trump Administration. They failed to grasp the urgency of the times. They also failed to communicate with the public about the dire conditions millions have been and still are facing even before the Pandemic. The billions of dollars funneled into campaign coffers should have been used to educate the voting public that creating a unified coalition would bring sweeping reforms that are so desperately needed. The reality of what transpired in a year and a half of political campaigning those billions of dollars only created more animosity and division polarizing one extreme over another.

One can remember back in 1992 Ross Perot used his own funds to go on national TV to educate the public on the dire ramifications of not addressing our national debt. That same approach should have been used during this election cycle. By using the medium of television to communicate and educate the public is the most effective way in communicating and educating the public. Had the Biden campaign and the DNC used their resources in this way the results we ae seeing today would have not created the potential for more gridlock in our government. The opportunity was there to educate the public of safety protocols during the siege of this pandemic and how National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation provides the necessary progressive reforms that will propel the United States out of the abyss of debt and restore our economy. Restoring our economy so that every American will have the means and the availability of financial and economic security.

The failure of the Democratic party since 2016 has been recruiting a Presidential Candidate who many felt was questionable and more conservative signals that the results of today has not met with the desired results the Democratic party wanted. Then again? By not fully communicating and not educating the public on the merits of a unified progressive platform has left the United States transfixed in our greatest divides since the Civil War. This writers support of Senator Bernie Sanders is well documented. Since 2015 he has laid the groundwork for progressive reforms. He also has the foundations on which these reforms can deliver the goods as they say. But, what did the DNC do, they purposely went out of their way to engineer a candidate who was more in tune with the status-quo of the DNC. They failed to communicate to the public in educating all of us on the ways our lives would be better served with a progressive agenda that was the benchmark of Senators Sanders Presidential campaign and his Our Revolution movement. And this is way there is still really no progress in creating a less toxic environment in Washington and around the country.

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