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The Logistics and Transportation Industry in the United States
The logistics and transportation industry in the United States is highly competitive. By investing in this sector, multinational firms position themselves to better facilitate the flow of goods throughout the largest consumer market in the world.. International and domestic companies in this industry benefit from a highly skilled workforce and relatively low costs and regulatory burdens.
Spending in the U.S. logistics and transportation industry totaled $1.33 trillion in 2012, and represented 8.5 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP). Analysts expect industry investment to correlate with growth in the U.S. economy.
A highly integrated supply chain network in the United States links producers and consumers through multiple transportation modes, including air and express delivery services, freight rail, maritime transport, and truck transport. To serve customers efficiently, multinational and domestic firms provide tailored logistics and transportation solutions that ensure coordinated goods movement from origin to end user through each supply chain network segment.
This subsector includes inbound and outbound transportation management, fleet management, warehousing, materials handling, order fulfillment, logistics network design, inventory management, supply and demand planning, third-party logistics management, and other support services. Logistics services are involved at all levels in the planning and execution of the movement of goods.
Air and express delivery services (EDS):
Firms offer expedited, time-sensitive, and end-to-end services for documents, small parcels, and high-value items. EDS firms also provide the export infrastructure for many exporters, particularly small and medium-sized businesses that cannot afford to operate their own supply chain.
High volumes of heavy cargo and products are transported long distances via the U.S. rail tracking network. Freight rail moves more than 70 percent of the coal, 58 percent of its raw metal ores, and more than 30 percent of its grain for the nation. This subsector accounted for approximately one third of all U.S. exports.
This subsector includes carriers, seaports, terminals, and labor involved in the movement of cargo and passengers by water. Water transportation carries about 78 percent of U.S. exports by tonnage, via both foreign-flag and U.S.-flag carriers.
Trucking: Over-the-road transportation of cargo is provided by motor vehicles over short and medium distances. The American Trucking Associations reports that in 2012, trucks moved 9.4 billion tons of freight, or about 68.5 percent of all freight tonnage transported domestically. Motor carriers collected $642 billion in revenues, or about 81 percent of total revenue earned by all domestic transport modes.
American Association of Port Authorities
American Society of Transportation and Logistics
American Trucking Associations
Association of American Railroads
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
Express Delivery and Logistics Association Industry Publications:
Journal of Commerce
Material Handling & Logistics
North American Industry Classification System For Transportation
The Transportation and Warehousing sector includes industries providing transportation of passengers and cargo, warehousing and storage for goods, scenic and sightseeing transportation, and support activities related to modes of transportation. Establishments in these industries use transportation equipment or transportation related facilities as a productive asset. The type of equipment depends on the mode of transportation. The modes of transportation are air, rail, water, road, and pipeline.
The Transportation and Warehousing sector distinguishes three basic types of activities: subsectors for each mode of transportation, a subsector for warehousing and storage, and a subsector for establishments providing support activities for transportation. In addition, there are subsectors for establishments that provide passenger transportation for scenic and sightseeing purposes, postal services, and courier services.
A separate subsector for support activities is established in the sector because, first, support activities for transportation are inherently multimodal, such as freight transportation arrangement, or have multimodal aspects. Secondly, there are production process similarities among the support activity industries.
One of the support activities identified in the support activity subsector is the routine repair and maintenance of transportation equipment (e.g., aircraft at an airport, railroad rolling stock at a railroad terminal, or ships at a harbor or port facility). Such establishments do not perform complete overhauling or rebuilding of transportation equipment (i.e., periodic restoration of transportation equipment to original design specifications) or transportation equipment conversion (i.e., major modification tosystems). An establishment that primarily performs factory (or shipyard) overhauls, rebuilding, or conversions of aircraft, railroad rolling stock, or a ship is classified in Subsector 336, Transportation Equipment Manufacturing according to the type of equipment.
Many of the establishments in this sector often operate on networks, with physical facilities, labor forces, and equipment spread over an extensive geographic area.
Industries in the Truck Transportation subsector provide over-the-road transportation of cargo using motor vehicles, such as trucks and tractor trailers. The subsector is subdivided into general freight trucking and specialized freight trucking. This distinction reflects differences in equipment used, type of load carried, scheduling, terminal, and other networking services. General freight transportation establishments handle a wide variety of general commodities, generally palletized, and transported in a containeror van trailer. Specialized freight transportation is the transportation of cargo that, because of size, weight, shape, or other inherent characteristics require specialized equipment for transportation.
Each of these industry groups is further subdivided based on distance traveled. Local trucking establishments primarily carry goods within a single metropolitan area and its adjacent nonurban areas. Long distance trucking establishments carry goods between metropolitan areas.
The Specialized Freight Trucking industry group includes a separate industry for Used Household and Office Goods Moving. The household and office goods movers are separated because of the substantial network of establishments that has developed to deal with local and long-distance moving and the associated storage. In this area, the same establishment provides both local and long-distance services, while other specialized freight establishments generally limit their services to either local or long-distance hauling.
General Freight Trucking
This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing general freight trucking. General freight establishments handle a wide variety of commodities, generally palletized, and transported in a container or van trailer. The establishments of this industry group provide a combination of the following network activities: local pickup, local sorting and terminal operations, line-haul, destination sorting and terminal operations, and local delivery.
General Freight Trucking, Local
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing local general freight trucking. General freight establishments handle a wide variety of commodities, generally palletized and transported in a container or van trailer. Local general freight trucking establishments usually provide trucking within a metropolitan area which may cross state lines. Generally the trips are same-day return.
General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing long-distance general freight trucking. General freight establishments handle a wide variety of commodities, generally palletized and transported in a container or van trailer. Long-distance general freight trucking establishments usually provide trucking between metropolitan areas which may cross North American country borders. Included in this industry are establishments operating as truckload (TL) or less than truckload (LTL) carriers.
General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Truckload
This U.S. industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing long-distance general freight truckload (TL) trucking. These long-distance general freight truckload carrier establishments provide full truck movement of freight from origin to destination. The shipment of freight on a truck is characterized as a full single load not combined with other shipments.
General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Less Than Truckload
This U.S. industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing long-distance, general freight, less than truckload (LTL) trucking. LTL carriage is characterized as multiple shipments combined onto a single truck for multiple deliveries within a network. These establishments are generally characterized by the following network activities: local pickup, local sorting and terminal operations, line-haul, destination sorting and terminal operations, and local delivery.
Specialized Freight Trucking
This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing local or long-distance specialized freight trucking. The establishments of this industry are primarily engaged in the transportation of freight which, because of size, weight, shape, or other inherent characteristics, requires specialized equipment, such as flatbeds, tankers, or refrigerated trailers. This industry includes the transportation of used household, institutional, and commercial furniture and equipment.
Used Household and Office Goods Moving
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing local or long-distance trucking of used household, used institutional, or used commercial furniture and equipment. Incidental packing and storage activities are often provided by these establishments. Specialized Freight (except Used Goods) Trucking, Local
Specialized Freight (except Used Goods) Trucking, Long-Distance
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing long-distance specialized trucking. These establishments provide trucking between metropolitan areas that may cross North American country borders.
A freight broker is an individual or company that serves as a liaison between another individual or company that needs shipping services and an authorized motor carrier. Though a freight broker plays an important role in the movement of cargo, the broker doesn't function as a shipper or a carrier.To operate as a freight broker, a business or individual must obtain a license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Freight brokers are required to carry surety bonds as well.
Freight broker services are valuable to both shippers and motor carriers. Freight brokers help shippers find reliable carriers that might otherwise be difficult to locate. They assist motor carriers in filling their trucks and earning money for transporting a wide variety of items. For their efforts, freight brokers earn commissions.
Freight brokers use their knowledge of the shipping industry and technological resources to help shippers and carriers accomplish their goals. Many companies find the services provided by freight brokers indispensable. In fact, some companies hire brokers to coordinate all of their shipping needs.
Often, freight brokers are confused with forwarders. Though a freight forwarder performs some of the same tasks as a freight broker, the two are not the same. A forwarder takes possession of the items being shipped, consolidates smaller shipments, and arranges for the transportation of the consolidated shipments. By contrast, a freight broker never takes possession of items being shipped thus in the absence of negligent entrustment, a freight broker is not normally involved as a party litigant in a cargo claimdispute, although as an accommodation, the freight broker may assist the shipper at their request and expense with filing freight claims.
NAICS Index Description
Bulk mail truck transportation, contract, local 484110
Container trucking services, local 484110
General freight trucking, local 484110
Motor freight carrier, general, local 484110
Transfer (trucking) services, general freight, local 484110
Trucking, general freight, local 484121
Bulk mail truck transportation, contract, long-distance (TL) 484121
Container trucking services, long-distance (TL) 484121
General freight trucking, long-distance, truckload (TL) 484121
Motor freight carrier, general, long-distance, truckload (TL) 484121
Trucking, general freight, long-distance, truckload (TL) 484122
General freight trucking, long-distance, less-than-truckload (LTL) 484122
LTL (less-than-truckload) long-distance freight trucking 484122
Motor freight carrier, general, long-distance, less-than-truckload (LTL) 484122
Trucking, general freight, long-distance, less-than-truckload (LTL) 484210
Furniture moving, used 484210
Motor freight carrier, used household goods 484210
Trucking used household, office, or institutional furniture and equipment 484210
Used household and office goods moving 484210
Van lines, moving and storage services 484220
Agricultural products trucking, local 484220
Automobile carrier trucking, local 484220
Boat hauling, truck, local 484220
Bulk liquids trucking, local 484220
Coal hauling, truck, local 484220
Dry bulk trucking (except garbage collection, garbage hauling), local 484220
Dump trucking (e.g., gravel, sand, top soil) 484220
Farm products hauling, local 484220
Flatbed trucking, local 484220
Grain hauling, local 484220
Gravel hauling, local 484220
Livestock trucking, local 484220
Log hauling, local 484220
Milk hauling, local 484220
Mobile home towing services, local 484220
Refrigerated products trucking, local 484220
Rubbish hauling without collection or disposal, truck, local 484220
Sand hauling, local 484220
Tanker trucking (e.g., chemical, juice, milk, petroleum), local 484220
Top-soil hauling, local 484220
Tracked vehicle freight transportation, local 484220
Trucking, specialized freight (except used goods), local 484230
Automobile carrier trucking, long-distance 484230
Boat hauling, truck, long-distance 484230
Bulk liquids trucking, long-distance 484230
Dry bulk carrier, truck, long-distance 484230
Farm products trucking, long-distance 484230
Flatbed trucking, long-distance 484230
Forest products trucking, long-distance 484230
Grain hauling, long-distance 484230
Gravel hauling, long-distance 484230
Livestock trucking, long-distance 484230
Log hauling, long-distance 484230
Mobile home towing services, long-distance 484230
Radioactive waste hauling, long-distance 484230
Recyclable material hauling, long-distance 484230
Refrigerated products trucking, long-distance 484230
Refuse hauling, long-distance 484230
Rubbish hauling without collection or disposal, truck, long-distance 484230
Sand hauling, long-distance 484230
Tanker trucking (e.g., chemical, juice, milk, petroleum), long-distance 484230
Tracked vehicle freight transportation, long-distance 484230
Trash hauling, long-distance 484230
Trucking, specialized freight (except used goods), long-distance 484230
Waste hauling, hazardous, long-distance 484230
Waste hauling, nonhazardous, long-distance
Information for the state of
Lack of immediate cash flow can hurt your company and hinder growth and expansion.
How Does Freight Factoring Work Freight Factoring Work
Transportation Factoring is also known as Accounts Receivable Financing because Transportation Factoring occurs when a business needs to access cash quickly, quicker than if it had to wait the 30 to 60 days (or longer) to receive payment from a customer. -How Does Freight Factoring Work Freight Factoring Work
HOW TO GET CASH AND GROW YOUR COMPANY
How Does Freight Factoring Work Freight Factoring Work Articles
Factoring at truckingfactoringcompany.com
The Best Kept Secret in Financial Services: Freight Bill Factoring!
If you're an existing owner of a trucking business, or perhaps you're planning on starting a trucking business, then you may be interested in Freight Bill Factoring. Freight Bill Factoring helps trucking businesses, both large and small, achieve their overall business goals; but before making any final decision you must fully understand how Factoring works.
Freight Bill Factoring has become very popular with trucking businesses and is often referred to as the financial backbone of the trucking business. If you're not familiar with Freight Bill Factoring, you may not know that factoring is a financing alternative for business owners: it gives them immediate access to additional financing capital they may otherwise not have access to. The process of Freight Bill Factoring is actually quite straightforward: it involves a factoring company purchasing bill of ladings at a discounted rate. This process is a win-win situation for both the trucking company who receives immediate funds and for the broker who pays for the invoices.
Freight Bill Factoring Is Not New!
Freight bill factoring is not a new idea; in fact, it has a long, rich tradition. Most civilizations that have engaged in commerce have also engaged in factoring in one form or another. For example, business relationships during the colonial period in North America were required to make cash payments in advance against Accounts Receivable in order for the business to continue with its commercial operations, prior to their users being paid for their goods. So, they were engaged in factoring!
Factoring Specialists Have Many Services to Offer
Of course, factoring has become a lot more sophisticated over the years, and today it's focused on financial management, credit worthiness, and on collections. However, the basic concept of purchasing Accounts Receivable has stayed the same. In addition, the modern factoring company of today can do a lot more than just funding: a factoring specialist can assist clients by evaluating and setting credit limits, verifying customer's credit worthiness, and professionally managing Accounts Receivable collections. Right across North America we see factoring companies existing in all forms and serving business sectors and industries of all types; and today, many large financial institutions even have their own factoring divisions. Generally, though, factoring companies are smaller, independently owned enterprises.
Banks Step Out as Factoring Steps In
Factoring has become very popular with trucking businesses because, as most business owners can verify, commercial lenders have become increasingly inflexible, with stricter regulations and ever-changing lending criteria. This inflexibility has forced both small and medium sized businesses to search for alternative financing sources, and this is where factoring has stepped in. Factoring is a simple, workable, solution-based process, providing an alternative for trucking businesses when traditional means of financing are not available. Factoring is proving to be a great financial remedy, particularly as banks and other lenders are becoming less friendly to small business owners.
Factoring Companies Operate Worldwide
The volume of factoring around the world has today exceeded the trillion-dollar mark! Factoring companies operate on every continent and, in the last four years, worldwide factoring transactions have increased by 60%. And that's why we say that Freight Bill Factoring is the best kept secret in financial services!
Lack of immediate cash flow can hurt your company and hinder growth and expansion.
How Does Freight Factoring Work Freight Factoring Work Articles
About Invoice Factoring and How to Choose the Best Invoice Factoring Company for Your Business
Most people have heard of invoice factoring, but knowing exactly how it works and how to choose the right factoring company for your business can be difficult to ascertain. We've put together this brief guide to help you understand invoice factoring and to provide you with enough information to help you make the right choice for your business.Most business-to-business (B2B)companies find it very frustrating when forced to wait for customers to pay their accounts. When payment terms are over-extended, businesses of all sizes can find themselves dealing with cash flow problems. For some customers it's industry standard to offer long payment terms, but there are other customers who demand longer payment terms simply because they can. This is where invoice factoring steps in to assist businesses.
So, how does invoice factoring work? Invoice factoring is a method of keeping a business's cash flow steady without the business being forced to take on debt or sell equity.
In this article we'll look at how the factoring process works, the benefits it offers to businesses, and we'll also determine which businesses qualify for factoring.
Explaining Invoice FactoringInvoice factoring is when Accounts Receivable are purchased at a discount price. Today, invoice factoring is one of the most popular financing methods, helping thousands of businesses grow and expand. In fact, you may be interested to know that the history of the United States began with invoice factoring! Apparently, the Pilgrims used invoice factors in London to finance their voyage to Plymouth on the Mayflower. And once colonies had been established, invoice factoring remained a popular financing method among New World traders and merchants. So, as you can see, business owners have been using invoice factoring for thousands of years. Today, Invoice factoring is still considered the safest way of obtaining the funds a business needs to grow and expand.
Basically, invoice factoring converts a business's current unpaid invoices into immediate cash; solving cash flow problems caused by net payment terms of 30, 60, and even 90 days. Without reliable cash flow a business will fail to thrive because inevitably it will fall behind on rent or payroll and miss out on great opportunities to expand the business. Invoice factoring allows management to concentrate on growth by eliminating the frustrations of unpaid accounts.
The process of invoice financing is the selling of Accounts Receivable to a reputable factoring company. Invoices, which could well be outstanding for up to 4 months, are purchased by the factoring company for up to 98% of their face value.
The three participants involved in a factoring transaction include -
-The business who issues the invoice;
-The customer, or account debtor, who owes payment on the invoice; and
-The financing company, or factor, who purchases the invoice and provides immediate cash.
I've Heard Invoice Factoring Called Other Things - What Is the Proper Terminology?
It's true, the term Invoice Factoring is used interchangeably with other terms like AR Factoring, Accounts Receivable Financing, Receivables Financing, Invoice Financing, AR Financing, and Receivables Factoring; so just keep in mind that all these terms refer to the same type of funding.
How Invoice Factoring Works
Once a customer receives a product or service from a business, they receive an invoice. With invoice factoring, the business can now "sell" this invoice to their chosen factoring company. In return, the business will receive a cash advance, somewhere between 70% and 90% of the value of the invoice. Now that the business has cash in-hand they're free to cover payroll and rent, take on new work, buy new equipment, invest in new technology, and even be on the receiving end of early-pay discounts from suppliers. Once the invoice has been paid to the factoring company the business will receive the remainder of the funds, less the agreed-upon factoring fee, which is typically based on the value and term of the invoice.
Invoice factoring results in a win-win-win situation for all three parties: the business concerned receives immediate cash on the invoice submitted, the customer enjoys favorable payment terms, and the invoice factoring company earns their fee.
Comparing Invoice Factoring with Traditional Bank Financing
The difference between invoice factoring and bank financing is that invoice factoring is not a debt, and it's this fact most businesses find appealing. As a business, you sell your Accounts Receivable to the factor and you receive a cash advance - that's all there is to it. It's up to you what you do with the funds because no debt means no restrictions.
An added benefit of invoice factoring is that it's the credit quality of the business's customers that are evaluated, which suits not-yet profitable or early-stage businesses selling to the government or established companies, yet still trying to establish themselves. The factoring rate businesses pay factoring companies is much more attractive than alternative financing arrangements that don't take into account the credit worthiness of a business's customers.
Other benefits of invoice factoring include a quick and simple application process, a higher approval rate when compared with banks and other forms of financing, and a quicker time to funding. When it comes to the size of funding, factoring companies are very comparable with banks in-so-much-as they can fund up to $10 million credit lines. The streamlined approach to invoice factoring provides businesses with much needed cash in-hand so the business can grow and prosper, meet all its financial obligations in a timely manner, still have cash to invest in up-to-date equipment, source new and bigger clients, and receive discounts for bulk buys or early payment.
Applying for Invoice Factoring is a Relatively Simple Process
Most businesses are familiar with the stress of applying for a bank loan, but applying for invoice factoring is a very simple process: it takes less paperwork and certainly much less time, and is not as stressful as trying to raise equity. Invoice factoring involves a very simple application process, eliminating the stress and unnecessary hurdles placed on small businesses trying to access finance.
Because invoice factoring provides quick access to funding, businesses find themselves in a position to take advantage of great opportunities, like expansion and accepting large orders. For many businesses who have been denied access to bank finance, being accepted for invoice factoring allows the business to continue growing and expanding. Once you've been accepted for invoice factoring, the factoring company is basically underwriting your customers to the same extent that they're underwriting your business. Of course, another bonus is that funds received from factoring your invoices can increase your available bank credit.
As your chosen factoring company, we're here to help collect on your receivables, but only if you ask us to. Following your direction, our account managers will politely but firmly chase up outstanding invoices. If your decision is that you prefer we don't speak with your customers under any circumstances, we accept that too. Invoice payments are directed to a specific account created under your company's name.
How Much Cash Will I Receive Immediately?
The amount of cash you'll receive immediately is an agreed-upon percentage of the face value of your invoices. Industry advance rates typically vary from between 70% and 90% of the face value of an invoice, which means that if you're owed $10,000, depending on the agreed-upon advance rate, you can expect to receive an immediate payment of between $7,000 and $9,000.
The remaining amount of between $1,000 and $3,000, less the factoring company's fee, will be forwarded to you once your customer has paid their invoice.
How Much Do Invoice Factoring Companies Charge?
Depending on the face value of the invoice, factoring fees typically range from between 1% and 5% per month; however, our own factoring fees range from between 1% and 3% per month. Transparency is vitally important when considering factoring fees, and businesses should be aware that invoice factoring companies who make it difficult to determine their all-inclusive fees are companies to be avoided at all cost. This lack of transparency is designed to confuse customers and they use this confusion to their advantage.
If you're unsure about the information you've received on invoice factoring you must proceed very cautiously, or alternatively, try a different factoring company. The information you receive must be clear and concise, leaving no room for doubt or confusion on your part. Another aspect of invoice factoring that you should be aware of is that there are invoice factoring companies out there who advertise rates of 1% (and even lower)which may sound very attractive; however, they make up for these low fees with a range of hidden charges.
One sneaky way these companies attract customers is to charge a low monthly factoring fee, but you'll be charged for two months if the invoice should go over by just one day.We charge invoice factoring fees on a daily basis, which means that however many days outstanding the invoice may be, this number of days will be used to calculate the fee chargeable. By this we mean that you won't be charged an extra month of fees simply because your invoice was outstanding for 31 days instead of 30.
Please Explain How Invoice Factoring Can Help Grow My Business
Today, businesses are choosing invoice factoring over merchant cash advances or bank term loans simply because it's the lowest risk option there is. The fact is, the sale has been completed and the invoice confirmed, so the only thing remaining is for the customer to pay the invoice. Provided you have confidence that your customer will pay your invoice in a timely manner there's nothing to worry about. However, with a bank loan, monthly interest payments can devastate small businesses, start-ups, and even large businesses. And, with bank loans, they either amortize or the total amount is due at the end of a specific period. This kind of debt stress can be devastating for business owners, who are often placed in the position of deciding whether to make bank interest payments, pay rent, or make payroll.
With invoice factoring, because you receive cash in-hand for your invoices, there's no stress, and you're free to grow your business in whatever way you see fit. For many businesses the only negative has always been waiting to receive payment on invoices, so now there'll be no more waiting and you'll have cash in-hand to meet your own financial obligations.
What Kind of Businesses Qualify for Invoice Factoring
Fortunately, it's actually quite easy to apply for and be approved for invoice factoring. With banks and other lenders, profitability, annual revenue, and credit scores can be obstacles to being approved for finance, but these factors typically don't apply with invoice factoring companies.
There are three things that invoice factoring companies are usually looking for -
-The business must have government or other business customers;
-Business invoices must be unpledged to other loans and be due and payable within 90 days. This means that you can't have another loan where you're claiming the same invoice as collateral; however, if you do have another loan it must be subordinated (rank after)the invoice factoring company's claim to your accounts receivable;-There should be no history of serious legal or tax issues connected to your business. Note that some factoring companies use a "time in business" or minimum credit score to approve or deny applications; however, we do not.
How Can I Choose the Right Invoice Factoring Company for My Business?
You've made the decision that invoice factoring may be a good fit for your business, so what should you do next? There are so many invoice factoring companies out there to choose from, so how do you determine which one is the right fit for you? The answer to this question is - very carefully! You need to know exactly what you're looking for. To start with, you're looking for an invoice factoring company that offers more than just funding. There are many factors out there claiming to be the most technologically advanced, the fastest, and the easiest to use, but be cautious. You need to receive good customer service from your factor and be very wary of high fees. Some factoring companies are forced to charge higher fees in order to cover the losses they experience because they underwrite poor quality clients.
Excellent Customer Service is a Must!
It's very important that a good working relationship be established between the invoice factoring company and the business because, without it, businesses can be left confused as to why their credit facility has been reduced or why certain invoices have been rejected. Great customer service and a personal touch is vitally important when it comes to invoice factoring. If your questions are not being answered in an honest and open fashion, or your calls and emails are not being responded to in a timely manner, then find another factoring company.
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Why Do Companies Choose Factoring?
We know that factoring is the ideal way for a business to access instant cash on their company's receivables, but there are other important benefits as well. Factoring can be a very handy financial instrument for many businesses.
Listed below Are Six Key Benefits of Factoring
No. 1: Back Office Solutions
Anyone running a business knows just how time consuming and expensiveit can be collecting payments from customers. When you employ a factoring company they'll take over that role for you using their own collection specialists: it's their job to follow up with customers until such time as your account has been paid in full. In addition, some factoring companies use online accounts, which means that you'll have the ability to track your customers' payments in real time.
Handing this time consuming part of your business over to the factoring company frees up your time to do what you do best - running your business, looking for new business opportunities, and providing your customers with excellent customer service.
No. 2: Better Quality Customers
Some factoring companies have their own rating systems for companies involved in your industry, in addition to having access to credit data on companies that could well become your new customers, and days pay information. Others create their own rating systems for companies working in your industry, which allows you to make calculated, informed decisions about both existing and new customers.
No. 3: Instant Access to Cash
When a company provides goods or services on credit it usually has to wait somewhere between 30 and 90 days for customers to pay on their invoice, and this very often leads to cash flow problems for the business. And that's the beauty of factoring! When you use a factoring company you'll typically receive an advance on an invoice within 24 hours. This immediate injection of cash allows businesses to purchase additional equipment, employ new staff, and cover other business expenses.
No. 4: Growing Your Business
Because factoring provides instant access to cash, it offers you the flexibility to grow your business at a faster pace. In addition, factoring is very simple to set up. A factoring account can be created within a matter of days, whereas a traditional bank loan can take weeks. And, there's no limit to the amount of funding a factoring company can provide, unlike bank loans. Of course, this is assuming the factoring company you choose to work with has a strong capital structure. Over a period of time, the volume of factoring can increase within months - from thousands to millions of dollars.
No. 5: Funding for Start Ups
Start Ups quite often require financing to get their business up and running; but because they have no cash flow statements or balance sheets, and no business history, they're highly unlikely to qualify for cash flow or asset based lending.
Factoring is not concerned about these requirements because it's main interest is in the credit history of your customers. Before a factoring company offers you financial assistance it will examine your customers' credit scores, their payment patterns, and general financial health. Typically, the factoring company will not be interested in how long your company has been operating.
No. 6: Factoring Is Not a Debt
Factoring does not become a debt to your business because it's not a loan. Your business receives financial support from the factoring company as and when you accumulate invoices, and the matter is settled once your customers have paid in full. It's true that if you're utilizing recourse factoring, you, as the factoring client, assume the risk if your customers default on payment; however, factoring companies usually allow businesses to work off that amount by retaining a portion of reserve payments or future cash payments.
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Factoring: An Overview
What Is Factoring?
'Factoring' is when a third party commercial finance company purchases the Invoices or Accounts Receivable from a business. The finance company concerned is called a 'Factor' and the transaction is known as 'Factoring'. Factoring is also known as 'Accounts Receivable Financing' because factoring occurs when a business needs to access cash quickly, quicker than if it had to wait the 30 to 60 days (or longer) to receive payment from a customer.
The majority of factoring companies purchase invoices and advance cash within 24 hours, although the terms and nature of factoring can differ between industries and different financial service providers. Depending on the industry, the customers' credit histories, and various other criteria, the advance rate can range from between 80% and 95%. The business also receives back office support from the factor. Once the factor has collected from the business's customers, the business will be paid the reserve balance of the invoices, less a nominated fee for assuming the collection risk.
The main benefit of factoring is that a business is not required to wait one or two months (sometimes more) for payment by a customer - the business will receive cash in hand to operate and grow their business. It's important to note that factoring is not a loan: there's no debt with factoring. Funding is unrestricted, which means that a business has more flexibility than borrowing from a bank.
The Five Simple Steps of Factoring
1. As a business, you provide a service to your customer;
2. The invoice for this service is sent to a factoring company;
3. On this invoice, you'll receive a cash advance from the factoring company;
4. It's now up to the factoring company to collect full payment from your customer;
5. Once payment has been received, you'll receive the balance of your invoice account from the factoring company - minus their fee.The Advantages of Factoring
There are many reasons why factoring has become a popular and valuable financial tool for businesses today. The key benefit of factoring is that a business receives a quick boost to its cash flow: in fact, many factoring companies offer cash on their Accounts Receivable within 24 hours! The factoring company takes responsibility for collecting customer payments, and may also evaluate the payment and credit histories of a business's customers.
Other Benefits Include:
' When a business needs access to cash, factoring can be customized and managed in order to provide the necessary capital;
' The business balance sheet will not show this financing as a debt;
' Factoring is not based on the company's credit or business history: it's based on the quality of its customers' credit;
' Factoring is not determined by the company's net worth: it provides a Line of Credit based on sales;
' There's no limit to the amount of financing through factoring, unlike a conventional loan;
' Factoring is an ideal solution for start up businesses that often require immediate cash flow.
Is the Concept of Factoring New?
No, it's not! In fact, the origin of factoring comes from overseas trade among nations and dates back several centuries to the 1400s when it became part of doing business in England. In the year 1620 it arrived in America with the Pilgrims. Like other financial tools, factoring has improved and evolved over the years. It became an effective way of creating cash flow in the United States at a timewhen companies faced strict limitations when trying to secure loans in the country's damaged banking system.
Who Uses Factoring?
Factoring is available for companies of all sizes, ranging from a one person business to Fortune 500 companies. Every business can use factoring as an effective way of increasing their cash flow. In addition, factoring spans all types of industries, from transportation, trucking, textiles, manufacturing and distribution, staffing agencies, and oil and gas.
The cash generated from factoring is used by companies to purchase new equipment, pay for inventory, expand operations, add employees, and basically cover any expenses related to the running of their business. The beauty of factoring is that it allows companies to make quick decisions and to expand at a faster pace.
How Does Factoring Work?
For the purpose of this post, we'll describe a fictional example as a way of illustrating a common factoring situation.
XYZ Transport is a trucking company: their intention is to double their fleet size over the next two years in order to service more clients in the West. The company has just successfully won a new customer on the West Coast who requires freight to be shipped from Oklahoma to Los Angeles. This new customer is more than happy to pay for the service within 30 days; however, that won't cover all the immediate costs involved, like payroll, fuel, and maintenance costs of running the route.
This is a familiar situation for the owners of XYZ Transport: the lack of available cash flow in the past has prevented the company from accepting new business. So now XYZ Transport has turned to a factoring company: they have agreed to sell the West Coast customer's invoice to the factoring company in exchange for a 90% advance on the total amount - within 24 hours! This much needed influx of cash will replenish the trucking company's reserves and allow it to continue running the Oklahoma - Los Angeles route. In addition, XYZ Transport now has the added flexibility of taking on new customers.
How Much Do Companies Factor?
Each company has its own unique business needs, so somecompanies only factor invoices for customers that are slow in paying, whilst other companies factor all of their invoices. Companies can factor receivables ranging from a few thousand dollars right through to millions of dollars each month.
What's the Difference between Factoring and a Traditional Bank Loan?
Factoring, also known as Accounts Receivable Financing, is a quick, flexible and effective way for businesses to create a steady cash flow stream. See below for how factoring is different to a Line of Credit at a bank or a traditional business loan
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Why Trucking Companies Use Factoring Companies.
As the owner of your own business, you may be more than aware already of the difficulty in making sure that cash flow issues do not become a problem down the line. After all, the worst thing that can possibly happen for your business is to find yourself embroiled in a long and difficult situation that leaves you forever trying to find the cash you need on an ongoing basis.
For any business in this situation, the problem can come for waiting for work to clear up and actually be paid into your account. Invoices, checks, and the like can take some time to actually to be processed which can leave you with short-term cash flow issues. Thankfully, there are options out there for businesses to look into - and one of these is factoring companies.
Factoring companies will, in exchange for your invoices, provide you with the cash today so that you don't need to worry about the waiting period that could make paying the bills and getting materials more difficult. With this type of setup, invoice factoring can become incredibly useful for many businesses who need to get out of a cash trap which they have found themselves in.
Because, depending on the size of the job, it can take up to 60 days for some businesses to get paid then it's important to cover your own back and not leave yourself cash short to pay the bills. After all, how many businesses have two months revenue just lying there to cover all their expenses until they get paid?
This is especially true of trucking companies. They tend to deal with lots of invoices which means a significant amount of collection time involves business owner themselves. Trying to get paid in time can become an incredible hassle and this is why you use trucking factoring companies who are happy to help out truckers specifically.
As we all know, trucking is an incredibly large industry with many companies out there employing hundreds of drivers. Unfortunately, many of these drivers end up in money troubles because they are still waiting for work from six weeks ago to actually pay them. When this is the situation for a trucking company, turning to factoring companies for assistance might be the best choice left.
This means that a trucking company can pay the wages of the staff, keep all the trucks topped off with fuel and continue to scale, grow and expand without always waiting for the money which is taking too long to come in. Trucking Businesses running without a factoring program put in place are leaving themselves at significant risk, as competitors cash out fast and continue to expand.
There's genuinely nothing to be worried about when it comes to using a Factoring company - they aren't like a bank or somebody who is going to leave you with a huge pile of debt to pay back. You give them genuine invoices from work you have already finished, you are merely speeding up the payment process.In the United States, where trucking companies thrive, factoring companies are not considered borrowing in any capacity. This confidential agreement then allows both parties to profit and enjoy a comfortable future - it gives the factoring company a guaranteed asset of income to add to the list and it gives the trucking firm the needed cash that they worked hard to earn.
The trucking company provides their invoices to the factoring company. The trucking factoring company then receive the payments from the trucking company's customers. Factoring has been around for hundreds of years and has been used for many years by many different industries - but none more so than truckers. While you may miss out on a small part of the money, something like 1-3% depending on who you work with, it means that you are getting the money today and can actually start putting the money to work.
After all, an IOU or an invoice is not going to pay for expenses, is it? For trucking companies when the money can be good one day and gone the next, it's up to the drivers to work sensibly and to ensure they are leaving themselves with a significant amount of time and finance to get through the week until they are paid again.
So the next time your trucking business is having some short-term cash flow issues and you are spending too much time chasing slow paying clients, why not start considering using a factoring businesses as a way to get your money and give yourself a more comfortable future in the eyes of your trucking staff and your bank balance?
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Medical Factoring: Healthcare Professionals Choose Medical Factoring As Their Preferred Financing Option
Healthcare professionals are finding that business loans and commercial lines-of-credit are becoming more difficult to qualify for, so today we're seeing more healthcare professionals looking to medical factoring to alleviate cash flow problems. All types of medical and healthcare practices can benefit greatly by choosing to factor their receivables and thus receive immediate cash payments.
In the past, healthcare has typically been a resilient industry, but today we see this industry facing financial challenges that leave practices struggling to meet their own financial commitments. Cash flow was virtually a non-issue for medical facilities, professionals, and their suppliers, but today with Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance companies working with strict reimbursement guidelines, professionals are forced to wait much longer than they previously waited to receive payment on their invoices. In addition, complicated documentation and billing requirements are resulting in fewer dollars and longer waiting periods.
Financial Difficulties Experienced by Healthcare Professionals
The above issues are creating serious problems for a large number of medical providers who not only must wait longer to get paid less money, but who are also forced to deal with growing operating expenses, including salaries and other benefits. Operating under these unsure conditions means that the viability of these businesses is being threatened and it's become almost impossible for them to pursue new growth opportunities. Today, a medical practitioner operating a relatively small practice could have receivables of up to $1 million tied up!
Any business that's confronted with cash flow problems will typically look to banks or other lenders for a loan. Offering the business a loan or line-of-credit can certainly be very helpful in the short term, but unfortunately neither of these products are an ideal financing solution because neither will permanently solve the real problem.
A business loan may be ideal for fixed capital purchases, but it's no solution at all for handling recurring business expenses. A line-of-credit can certainly be very helpful, but because it will have a credit limit and a fixed term it won't provide a renewable source of business capital. Once the credit limit has been reached or the term of the line-of-credit expires, the lender may either increase the credit limit or perhaps not renew it at all. It's a sad fact that, today, many healthcare professionals are finding themselves in this unfortunate situation.
Finding the Ideal Medical Financing Solution
The perfect financing solution would be one that's flexible and one that would provide a steady and reliable source of working capital. It would grow with the healthcare business, without the need to re-apply or having to approach a bank for an increase in the credit limit. In short, this perfect financing solution would provide working capital to finance both the current and future growth of the business. So, is there such a solution? Fortunately, yes there is! It's called medical factoring.
Explaining Medical Factoring
Medical factoring is a receivables factoring program designed exclusively for medical invoices. Because factoring medical receivables can be quite challenging, many factoring companies today are specializing only in the healthcare industry. It does require a certain amount of expertise to manage the medical claims process; plus, it becomes even more challenging when many healthcare receivables are either reduced or denied altogether by insurance providers.
What Types of Business Can Use Medical Factoring?
Many business owners are surprised to learn that factoring in general has been around for a long time. Medical service providers, in particular, seem to be completely unaware of the existence of factoring. The truth is that invoice factoring has become one of the most flexible and powerful business financing tools available today.
Many healthcare providers can benefit greatly from choosing medical factoring. Below we've listed just some of the healthcare service providers who can achieve huge benefits from a medical factoring program.
- Medical Centers
- Physicians: Both Specialists and General Practitioners
- Outpatient Clinics and Facilities
- Medical Staffing Services
- Medical Labs
- Dialysis Facilities
- Home Healthcare Providers
- Physical Therapy Clinics and Groups
- Rehabilitation Centers
- Medical Equipment Providers
- Medical Labs, and
- Many More
What Are the Benefits of Factoring Medical Receivables
The benefits to healthcare professionals are very similar to the benefits enjoyed by many businesses in many other industries. They include -
- Faster (almost immediate) payment;
- Increased percentage of billings collected;
- Consistent cash flow;
- Access to debt-free working capital;
- Stress-free outsourced accounting and collection; and
- Being able to improve your business credit.
Medical Practices Can Depend on Factoring for Reliable Cash Flow
Medical factoring is an excellent financing alternative for medical practices because practices receive consistent and flexible financing which is directly tied to their insurance claims. This means that the financing will increase as more claims are filed. It's highly desirable for all medical practices to achieve a scalable and reliable cash flow, thus ensuring sufficient liquid business capital to cover operating expenses.
And with medical supply companies the situation is very similar. Depending on the volume of sales these companies can achieve fast and predictable business financing by signing up for a medical factoring program. And, as sales continue to grow so does the amount of financing, providing the much-needed working capital required to both grow and maintain business operations.
Medical Receivables Factoring for Smaller Medical Offices
Medical factoring is especially beneficial for smaller medical offices. Office overheads and staffing expenses can be dramatically reduced because the factoring company will take control of the more tedious and time-consuming administrative work involved in collections and processing claims. This frees up remaining staff members to concentrate on delivering excellent medical care. If you're a small medical practice and you have good growth prospects but a slow cash flow, receivables factoring could well be the ideal tool to assist in financing the growth of your business. You'll find that many factoring companies have minimums, and there are factoring companies prepared to finance a medical office billing just $50,000 per month.
Explaining How Medical Factoring Works
In simple terms, if a healthcare business is dependent on third-party payors, those payments will be accelerated with medical factoring. Within just days of the initial billing, the majority of the amount billed will be deposited directly to the business's bank account. The instant rewards are a dramatic shortening of the collection cycle and the elimination of cash flow problems for the business concerned.
Importantly, receivables factoring is not a loan, so there are no credit or financial requirements; there will be no impact to your balance sheet and there are no arbitrary limits. Medical factoring is the ideal financing tool for business growth because you can factor as much billing as your business is capable of generating.
How Long before My Business Is Accepted for Factoring?
With medical factoring there are no lengthy delays, certainly not like when applying for bank finance! A medical factoring program will usually take around two weeks to set up. This timeframe allows the factor to determine the stability of the medical practice and to ensure the reliability of its third-party payors. Then, once a medical factoring program is in operation, the financing will be predictable and constant. Once claims have been submitted to the medical factoring company, claims are typically funded within 48 hours.
The process of medical factoring is very simple, as follows -
- Your medical practice periodically submits billings to Medicaid, Medicare, and insurance companies. At the same time, copies of these billings should be forwarded to your factor.
- Within 48 hours of receiving a copy of these billings, the factor will deposit an advance of up to 85% of net collectables into your bank account. The balance will be held by the factor until such time as the account has been paid in full.
- Once the factoring company has received payment in full, the balance of the billings - less the agreed-upon factoring fee - will be remitted to you.
Medical Factoring Fees
Medical factoring fees vary depending upon the size and types of claims generated by the medical practice. It's not known why medical factoring today is not as widely known as it is in other industries; however, interest in this type of financing is now becoming more popular and widespread as business owners are beginning to understand the many financial and other benefits of medical factoring.
Medical factoring in the healthcare industry is fast becoming a widely accepted tool to resolve shortfalls in working capital financing and as a long-term solution for patient accounting support and medical financing. It's certainly a tool that healthcare businesses should give careful consideration to because cash flow problems can stall growth and prosperity in businesses of all sizes and types.
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About Invoice Factoring
Perhaps youâ€™ve heard about Invoice Factoring but youâ€™re not sure how it works or how it might help your business. The purpose of this post is to provide a clear explanation of what Invoice Factoring is and how it works.Basically, Invoice Factoring is a viable alternative to traditional financing methods, providing your company with fast access to working capital. Thereâ€™s no large debt to repay and there are no strings attached. It probably sounds too good to be true, but we can assure you itâ€™s not! Invoice Factoring has become a lifesaver to many businesses, so letâ€™s go into this a little further to see how Invoice Factoring might help your business go from just so-so to really great!
How Invoice Factoring Works
A very brief definition of invoice factoring is that it converts your open invoices into immediate cash, which of course sounds perfect if youâ€™re experiencing a cash flow problem. Factoring saves you from having to wait the 60 or 90 days (sometimes even more) for payment by your customers. With invoice factoring you have the flexibility to factor whichever invoices you want and however many invoices you need, to ensure you have enough cash on hand to grow your business.
The following is a short description of how the process works â€“
Once you and your chosen factoring company have reached an agreement and set up your account, youâ€™re now free to begin submitting copies of your unpaid invoices to the factoring company. These invoices must be for products that have been delivered or for work thatâ€™s been completed. With invoice factoring you simply continue invoicing your customers as usual, then fax or email a copy of the invoice directly to your factoring company.
Now hereâ€™s the good part! Youâ€™ll receive a cash advance within 24 hours! Once the factor has verified your invoices, a deposit of as much as 95% of the value of the invoices will be deposited directly into your bank account.
You continue working as per usual, and the factoring company works to collect on your accounts. Itâ€™s now your factorâ€™s responsibility to engage in the active collection of these accounts, thus allowing you more time to focus on the big stuff, like providing your customers with excellent service and continuing to grow your business.
As a customer of the factoring company you can repeat this process with as many different clients as you want and as many times as you want. You may choose to factor all of your clients, or just the clients that are known for being slow-paying clients. The choice is yours!
The Benefits of Invoice Factoring
Once youâ€™re working with an invoice factoring company youâ€™ll have control over your cash flow, and more importantly, youâ€™ll have a working relationship with your factor that will help your business grow in lots more ways. Letâ€™s take a closer look at some of the ways a factoring company can help you grow your business â€“Credit Checks and Background Verification
Itâ€™s important to all businesses that they work with honest, reliable customers; customers who have a solid payment history. Sales must be turned into revenue as quickly as possible. However, we know that credit checks and background verifications can be very expensive and these costs very quickly eat away at your working capital. Now, it will be your invoice factoring company who provides these checks for you, at no additional charge. This means that any issues will be addressed before they affect your business, thus ensuring that youâ€™re working with top-quality customers.
Credit Repair and Credit Building
Even if your business credit is less than perfect, you can still apply for a competitive invoice factoring program. The benefit of this to the business owner is that, not only will factoring your open invoices cover your daily operating costs, it will also help pay down any current debt in order to rebuild your credit rating. The good news is that start-ups also qualify for invoice factoring so, if youâ€™re just getting your business off the ground, factoring is the ideal financing alternative to help you hit the ground running.
Other Money Saving Opportunities
Invoice factoring can certainly save your company money, and itâ€™s not only with competitive rates. By negotiating with your suppliers for early-pay discounts or other payment incentives, youâ€™ll soon discover new ways of putting your rejuvenated cash flow to good use. And donâ€™t forget that, depending on how much you factor, you could well qualify for a volume discount, and this will further reduce your rates.
Steady and Consistent Cash Flow
When you begin factoring your invoices youâ€™ll be able to regain complete control of your working capital. Whether youâ€™re simply tired of waiting up to 90 days for money thatâ€™s owed to you, or perhaps your business is subject to seasonal fluctuations, either way, invoice factoring is the ideal method for regulating your cash flow.
Now You Can Start Dreaming Big!
You may have become used to business being steady, but with invoice factoring youâ€™ll have the opportunity for business growth in many new ways .
o Youâ€™ll be able to attract larger clients, with better contracts;
o Increased business marketing efforts;
o New technology investments, or upgrades;
o The ability to employ more staff;
o Training and further education programs for existing staff;
o Relocation of your business, or site expansion.
Finally, No More Debt!
One of the most attractive things about invoice factoring is that itâ€™s not like a traditional loan: it wonâ€™t add additional debt to your balance sheet. In fact, itâ€™s actually the opposite; because Invoice Factoring provides you with the extra cash you need to be able to settle old debts. With factoring, itâ€™s already your money so thereâ€™s no money to pay back and no interest to pay. All factoring does is help you get your money into your bank account - quicker!
Why Havenâ€™t I Heard of Invoice Factoring Before?
This is a question a lot of business owners ask. Invoice factoring certainly isnâ€™t new, but maybe itâ€™s just been overshadowed in the past by bank loans and other types of business investments. The fact is that factoring goes right back to the days of the Roman Empire, where factors assisted businessmen (usually farmers) in growing their business. Then, later, it was used in the textile and clothing industry to help pay for raw materials, to finance transactions, and accept larger purchase orders. Today, invoice factoring is used by many different types of industries, such as:
â€¢ Staffing, HR
Becoming Familiar with Factoring Terminology
Donâ€™t be discouraged because you donâ€™t understand factoring terminology. See below for an explanation of general factoring terms :
â€¢ Account Debtor:
An account debt or is your customer.
â€¢ Accounts Receivable Ageing Report:
This is the name given to a report which shows the financial figure of unpaid receivables, in addition to how long theyâ€™ve remained unpaid.
â€¢ Accounts Receivable Factoring; also known as Invoice Factoring:
These two terms can be used interchangeably because they mean exactly the same thing.
â€¢ Discount Rate:
This refers to the percentage of the invoice charged by the factor as a fee for advancing funds.
â€¢ Due Diligence:
This refers to the background research carried out by the factor to determine potential customers.
â€¢ Factoring Advance Rate:
This rate is a percentage of the invoice thatâ€™s advanced within 24 hours to the client â€“ this figure is generally between 80 and 95% of the total amount of the invoice.
â€¢ Factoring Broker:
A factoring broker is a third party whose position is to connect business owners with appropriate factoring companies in order to meet the businessâ€™s goals and needs.
The right to retain possession of property until a debt has been discharged.
â€¢ Non-Recourse Funding:
Most businesses have experienced customers who fail to pay their invoices within the agreed payment terms, or worse, the invoice is never paid at all! Non-Recourse Funding is when the factor assumes all responsibility for unpaid invoices. Because the factoring company is accepting the risk, Non-Recourse Funding is more expensive than Recourse Funding.
â€¢ Recourse Funding:
With Recourse Funding, your company must buy back the receivables if your client fails to pay within the agreed payment terms.
This is the amount of the Accounts Receivable retained by the factor until such time as full payment has been made by the customer.
â€¢ Spot Factoring:
This refers to a one-off agreement that offers staffing companies the ability to factor just one single invoice.
Your Customers, and Factoring
Itâ€™s important that we point out here that factoring is not a negative thing, and your factoring company is definitely not a collections agency. In fact, itâ€™s important to your factoring company that they maintain good relationships with both you and your customers, and itâ€™s their aim to provide the best customer service possible. Itâ€™s in your factoring companyâ€™s best interests that the factoring process works as smoothly as possible.
The following will give you a general idea of how factoring works :
â€¢ Once youâ€™ve made the decision to start invoice factoring, your dedicated account manager will start by verifying that your debtors are indeed customers, in addition to advising them of your new remittance address. Itâ€™s important to remember that it makes no difference to your clients where they send their payment: they know their invoice must be paid, so this is simply a change of address for payments.
â€¢ Your factoring account manager will be very experienced and will assure your clients that theyâ€™ll be well taken care of, and that the factoring company will be managing your invoices in future by taking over your accounts receivable. And thatâ€™s all there is to it! Nothing will change between your company and your customers: youâ€™ll still invoice them as usual, and theyâ€™ll simply forward their payment to a new Post Office box. Your account manager will be available to help if any problems should arise.
What You Should Look For in a Factoring Company
Once you start doing your own research youâ€™ll discover that there are many factoring companies out there, but theyâ€™re definitely not all equal. The following are points to consider when comparing factoring companies:
As weâ€™ve explained, factoring is a little more expensive than a traditional bank loan, but some small businesses donâ€™t qualify for a bank loan, so being able to achieve some working capital is better than none at all. Do your research, and make sure you understand the overall cost of factoring, in addition to the extra smaller fees that may be charged by your factor. These extra fees may include account set-up fees, application fees, credit reports, costs to research any liens, charges for last-minute funding, or for money transfers. Not all factors charge these extra fees, and not all factors have hidden fees, which means that itâ€™s very important that you choose a factor youâ€™re comfortable with and one that you can trust.
This is a very important aspect of factoring, and one we canâ€™t stress enough. Make sure you very carefully read the fine print of your factoring contract! If you start working with a factoring company and then realize that youâ€™re locked into terms that donâ€™t suit your own particular circumstances, youâ€™re going to be extremely unhappy. These unsatisfactory terms might include how much youâ€™re able to factor each month, or being tied to a specific factoring company for the life of your business. If you sign up for a long-term contract, then change your mind, itâ€™s going to be a very expensive exercise trying to get out of the contract. Donâ€™t let this happen to you! Be very clear on how much you can factor each month, which clients are eligible for factoring, and how long youâ€™re signing up for.
At one point or another weâ€™ve all had to deal with a business with poor communication skills, and we probably all agree that itâ€™s extremely frustrating. So, imagine a business with poor communication skills thatâ€™s also handling your money! Naturally, when it comes to your business and your money, you need someone thatâ€™s going to immediately respond to your inquiries. All factoring companies are going to say their customer service is second-to-none, but be very cautious here. Pay close attention to when and how your potential factoring company responds to your calls and emails, because this is how theyâ€™ll be responding to your customers. If youâ€™re not 100% happy then move on to another factoring company, because there are certainly plenty to choose from!
â€¢ Industry Expertise
Remember that there are many factoring companies out there servicing many industries, so you should be looking for one that services your own industry. Ideally, youâ€™ll choose a factoring company that specializes in your niche, which means that theyâ€™ll already understand a lot about your business. The bonus of using a factoring company with industry expertise is that they may also offer programs specific to your industry, such as fuel cards and back-office support. Itâ€™s these extras that may prove very beneficial when making your final decision on a factoring company.
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Questions You Need to Ask Your Factoring Company
In today's marketplace we're seeing more and more factoring companies, and factoring fees, rates and agreement terms have become very competitive. This means that, as a potential factoring customer, this competitiveness should work to your advantage. However, there are some issues you must consider when choosing a factoring company to suit your specific requirements.
Before entering into any factoring agreement, here are some important questions you should ask -
What Are Your Terms?
As a factoring customer, you'll be looking for as much flexibility in your factoring agreement as possible. It may be that you choose a long term contract with your factoring company if it includes flexible rates or a price break. In today's competitive market, many factoring companies are agreeing to adjust their rates based on competitive offers from other factors or increased factoring volume.
The majority of factoring agreements are a one year contract, which appears to be industry standard, and this contract will renew automatically unless you provide the factoring company either 60 or 90 days notice.
What's Your Fee Structure?
The fee structure may vary depending on both the factoring company involved and your industry. Some factoring companies charge a flat fee, which is calculated as a percentage of the total value of the invoice. On the other hand, other factoring companies charge additional fees to cover costs associated with doing business, such as money transfers, software, and so on. Ensure that the factoring company you're considering working with is completely upfront and transparent with you about its terms and fees.
Are You Able to Offer Both Recourse and Non Recourse Factoring?
Recourse factoring is less expensive than non recourse factoring. With recourse factoring, you (being the client) are ultimately responsible if the factoring company is unable to collect on your customers' invoices. However, you're not necessarily required to pay the debt out of pocket if you have a recourse agreement and the customer defaults on payment. It may be that the factoring company will withhold a portion of future cash payments or payments held in reserve, with the money being placed in an escrow account until such time as the debt has been paid.
Non recourse factoring:
When you have a non recourse factoring agreement, the credit risk for the collection of customers' invoices lies with the factoring company.Therefore, we believe it's to your advantage to use a factoring company that offers both recourse and non recourse factoring, simply because you may find that some of your customers are more suitable for recourse factoring than others. In addition, you need a factoring company with a strong credit team because they can work with you to ensure you're dealing with good customers: to a certain degree this will relieve some of the pressure of being responsible for bad debt.
How Long Has the Factoring Company Been in Business?
With the marketplace becoming increasingly competitive, today we're seeing the creation of more and more factoring companies. However, many of these companies are recent start ups, with limited industry experience. Make sure you research the factoring company's history prior to entering into any factoring agreement: also research its background into providing financial services in your specific industry.
Do You Have the Capital to Grow with Me?
The fact that there's no limit to the level of financing is the major advantage factoring has over traditional bank lending. As your company continues to grow, so too should the funding of invoices grow with you. Do your research and learn as much as possible about your potential factoring company's client base and their capital structure.
Does this factoring company have a limit to the number of debtors it takes on? What's a typical account size? What's the factoring volume of their largest client? You'll probably find that factoring companies who have been serving your industry for many years will have greater capacity to finance your company as it continues to grow.
Is There Anything Else You Can Do for Me?
Obviously, factoring is more expensive than a conventional bank loan, and this is partly due to the back office services that your factoring company is able to provide. Besides collections and financing, many factoring companies will evaluate companies in your industry and provide credit information. Therefore, when looking for a factoring company for your business, make sure the one you choose offers additional services and products that can assist you in making good business decisions.
How Do We Start Factoring?
Fortunately, factoring companies are not unduly concerned about your balance sheet before they decide to work with you, unlike banks. However, they do have a process to follow when selecting new clients, so be sure you understand what the factoring company is looking for when it's considering you as a client. Are they looking at your credit ratings and/or your customers' payment histories?
Are they looking at your personal credit score?
In many cases a company will start factoring because it's looking for a quick injection of cash, so you need to know how many days the factoring company will take to review and process your application.
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Bookkeeping Mistakes Commonly Made by Freight Brokers
It's true that freight brokers shoulder a lot of responsibility; from matching shippers and carriers, to ensuring that each and every piece of cargo arrives at its proper destination. Freight brokers also have the added responsibility of accurate bookkeeping, because failure to prioritize bookkeeping can result in the loss of money.
Below we've listed some common bookkeeping mistakes made by freight brokers, and how to avoid them-
Handling the Accounting In-House
Many business owners try to save money by handling the books themselves, or perhaps delegating this very important task to a family member or an inexperienced employee. Sure, you may save time and money initially, but errors can be costly: when you attempt DIY accounting you could well end up with more expensive financing terms, higher bond premiums, or a number of other unforeseen expenses. It's very important that you hire a competent bookkeeper because, not only will you save money, but you'll know that the job will be done accurately, quicker, and more efficiently.
We understand only too well that running any business is time-consuming and hard work, and many freight brokers are simply too busy doing their day-to-day tasks to focus on bookkeeping tasks, such as the monthly reconciliation of credit card accounts and bank accounts. It's through reconciling statements that you get a clear idea of how much credit or cash you actually have, and you can also pick up on any errors that may have occurred.
It can be so tempting to postpone this rather tedious task, but the truth is that your credit card statements and bank statements must be reconciled every month, preferably the moment each statement becomes available. In this way you'll be able to identify any potential problems in a timely manner; problems such as lost checks, missing deposits, fraudulent charges, and so on.
Failing to Track Invoices and Receivables
You're not going to get paid if you're using poor accounting practices with your accounts receivable. Let's face it, getting paid equals cash, and cash is the lifeblood of every business. An experienced freight broker understands that your cash flow can be strained by the delay between when you pay your carriers and when you receive payment from your customers. If you're finding that tracking and collecting invoices is taking too long, why not consider invoice factoring? An invoice factoring company will purchase your invoices for a small fee, with the bonus being that you get paid immediately, plus you're spared the time and expense of having to deal with collections.
Don't Forget Liabilities
One of the major considerations a surety has when looking at your business financials in order to underwrite a bond is whether you have sufficient assets to cover your liabilities. Many times we see an inexperienced bookkeeper recording a liability, but when the payment is made they forget to reverse the liability. This is a serious error because it results in liabilities being overstated and net income being understated, which makes your business appear to be less financially secure than it really is. These serious errors can be avoided by employing the services of an experienced bookkeeper. We also recommend that you have another set of eyes (which may be an owner or a CPA) regularly review the balance sheet to check for unusual account balances
Too Many Expense Categories
Another common error we often see with inexperienced bookkeepers is creating too many expense categories, or miscategorizing expenses. Generally, most industries and businesses have a standard set of expense categories, and when a loan underwriter or surety sees too many categories, or the miscategorizing of expenses, it stands out like a big red flag. It tells them that your books are not well prepared. Use an accountant or experienced bookkeeper to correctly set up your accounting software right from the beginning, and don't automatically add new expense categories unless careful consideration has been made. Remember to ask your accountant or CPA for advice, because they'll be able to guide you on how to classify expenses.
Incomplete Information on Invoices
It's very important that, when you invoice your customers, you provide sufficient detail on each line item. Do you invoice by weight, per piece, or per mile? Or is the charge a flat fee? If there are additional charges to invoice, such as reimbursements for fuel or fees, these should be listed as separate line items. In addition, these charges must be clearly and accurately detailed in order to avoid any confusion. When you send invoices to your customers that include clear and concise details, it prevents pushback from your clients. If there's missing information on your invoices and your customers are confused by unrecognizable charges, it could well cause a delay in payment, which is the very last thing business owners need.
Not Understanding the Functionality of Accounting Software
Many freight brokers purchase an accounting software package because they're anxious to get their business up and running, but they fail to learn how to use it correctly. This is probably not an issue if you're already outsourcing your accounting and bookkeeping tasks; but if you're using this software in any way at all, perhaps to enter checks and run reports, it's important that you spend some time learning how to use all the available functions. When used correctly, the right accounting software can save you a lot of time, in addition to providing real-time information on the state of your business. It's this information that helps you make important business decisions!
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Oil Well Cleaning Owner Interview
The oilfield services industry is certainly a booming one these days thanks to a renewed emphasis on searching and drilling for oil on private and state properties. One of the more profitable ventures in this field is not the drilling for oil, but the cleaning of oil and gas wells to keep them operating at full efficiency. Oil and gas drilling is a dirty business and wells will quickly become clogged even with regular maintenance.
Jeffrey Fielding is the owner of an oil well cleaning company who works with several drilling companies in providing cleaning and maintenance of oil wells. Over the past couple of years, Jeffrey has managed to grow his business considerably thanks in large part to his perseverance and determination. However, things were really tight when Jeffrey first started up his company and at one point he was faced with a dilemma that he didn't know how to overcome.
The following interview with Jeffrey tells how he managed to expand his company at a crucial time thanks to oilfield services factoring. If it wasn't for the presence of factoring companies that worked in his field, Jeffrey might be in a completely different business today.
"Hello, Jeffrey. It's good to talk with you and I'm glad you were able to spare the time to share your story with us."
Jeffrey Fielding: "Thanks, I'm glad to be here."
"Jeffrey, tell us a little about how you got into the oil well cleaning business first as it's something our listeners may not be fully aware of."
JF: "No problem, I'll start at the beginning. About ten years ago I joined an oil well crew as a roughneck, working my way up through the business. It was hard work and our crew was usually out in the middle of nowhere, but the money was good and the opportunities kept building for me. I quickly learned the job and was hired by a number of drillers to work their rigs over the next few years during the boom in the oil industry."
"Right from the beginning, I took notice the oil well cleaning crews that would work each rig and started talking to the guys who were a part of that business. After a few years it became clear to me that oil well cleaning was really where it was at 'cause the work was really steady and the money was just as good, if not better than what I was making. So, with the money I had saved up along with a couple of partners I opened up an oil well cleaning company of my own."
"It certainly sounds like you struck gold so to speak. So tell us how your business started."
JF: "It was pretty straightforward as we got our business loan, purchased the equipment and hired a couple of experienced people to help us clean oil wells. We had some pretty good connections and the orders started to pile in, but then we ran into a problem that none of us could even dream of happening. We became victims of our own success."
"I don't think I quite understand, could you explain just how that happened?"
JF: "Sure, about six months in we suddenly got new drillers who wanted to use our services, but we didn't have the money to expand. We get paid by invoice which can take up to 60 days to see the cash which meant that we trying to pay down our loan, the payroll and the equipment, fuel and other costs and didn't have enough cash on hand to expand. We knew that if we didn't hire new people and buy new equipment that we would miss out on a golden opportunity. However, one of my friends told me about oilfield services factoring companies that could help us out."
"What are factoring companies?"
JF: "Basically, a factoring company will buy the invoice and get us the cash immediately. We had good credit and our invoices were certainly good as well. By using their services, we were able to get the cash in our hands quickly and pay for new equipment to then expand our business efforts."
"It certainly sounds like the factoring companies saved the day for you, but just how do they work?"
JF: "Well, it was a pretty simple process. We just filled out a few forms with the information that they requested and then we sold the invoices we had already collected, but had not collected to the factoring company. We got the cash we needed immediately and they collected the invoice."
"It certainly sounds pretty straightforward, but why didn't you just get another loan?"
JF: "My partners and I went over that and another loan would just be too big a burden. We were already paying off our old loan which was considerable and didn't want to have more debt hanging over our company. By going with the oilfield factoring companies, we didn't owe anyone, anything. We just collected the money that we were owed a lot more quickly."
"So, how is business now?"
JF: "It's better than ever. By using a factoring company I was able to buy new tubing, cleaning fluids, a new vehicle and other equipment that let us take on the new orders. We were able to expand the business quite a bit and our reputation is such that we work with several drilling companies."
"It sounds like a dream come true."
JF: "It really does, but I don't know what we would have done if factoring companies didn't exist. We still use them when we need cash for new equipment or products to do our job. It's quick, safe and brings us the money we need to continue our business."Jeffrey's company really benefitted from using oilfield factoring companies that served his industry. There are factoring companies for other types of businesses as well that can take invoices and turn them into quick cash for businesses that need to expand. For Jeffrey and many other small business owners, factoring companies can make the difference in the success of your efforts.
How Does Freight Factoring Work Freight Factoring Work Articles
Medical Invoice Factoring: A Viable Financing Option for Healthcare Professionals
Many healthcare professionals will attest to the fact that qualifying for a business loan or commercial line of credit is becoming harder and harder. Fortunately, there is a viable option, and it's known as Medical Factoring. Medical factoring is available for all types of healthcare businesses, including medical practices, and is the ideal financing option for businesses experiencing cash flow problems.
The Challenges Faced by the Healthcare Industry
Generally, the healthcare industry has excellent growth prospects and is quite resilient to economic turbulence, but it's also an industry facing more financial challenges than ever before. In years gone by, healthcare professionals, medical facilities, and medical suppliers found it reasonably easy to manage their cash flow, but today Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance companies have laid down strict guidelines for reimbursement, including onerous documentation and billing requirements, so-much-so that businesses not only receive less money, but must wait longer to receive it.
This situation can, and does, create financial issues for many medical providers who, while dealing with increasing operating expenses, salaries, and benefits, must also accept less and wait longer to receive their money. In many cases, the health provider's long-term viability is placed in jeopardy, and because of cash flow problems the business is unable to pursue new opportunities for growth. A physician running a relatively small practice could well have $1 million tied up in receivables!
The Problem with Bank Loans
When any business confronts a cash flow crisis their first port of call is usually a bank or other commercial lender, and a Line of Credit or business loan can certainly help in the short term; however, neither will permanently solve the problem and are therefore not optimal financing solutions. Bank loans are more suited to large fixed capital purchases, but they're not designed to cover short-term recurring business expenses. On the other hand, a Line of Credit is somewhat better, but because they have credit limits and fixed terms they're not able to provide the assurance a business needs of an unlimited, renewable source of business capital. Once the credit limit has been reached or the term of credit line ends, the lender has the right to not renew or increase the credit limit. And, unfortunately, this is the situation that many healthcare professionals find themselves in today.
The Perfect Medical Financing Solution
So, what's the ideal solution for medical financing? The perfect solution would be one that's flexible enough to grow and expand with the healthcare business; one where the business owner is not required to re-apply to a bank or other lender for credit limit increases. The ideal solution would provide a reliable and steady source of working capital, capable of financing both the current and future operations of the business.
Fortunately, there is a solution for healthcare professionals, and it's known as Medical Factoring. Medical Factoring, or Medical Receivables Factoring is an area of receivables factoring that deals exclusively with accounts that are medical in nature. Due to the fact that many healthcare receivables are either reduced or denied by insurance providers, and because of the expertise required to manage the claims process, factoring companies who factor medical receivables face significant challenges, so-much-so that it's almost a necessity for these companies to specialize in medical factoring. In fact, there are many factoring companies out there that do nothing else!
What Types of Business Use Medical Factoring?
Factoring has been around for hundreds of years and many industries have discovered the benefits of invoice factoring. However, many medical service providers are completely unaware of the existence of factoring and therefore don't realize that it's one of the most flexible and powerful business financing tools available today. Almost any healthcare provider can benefit from Medical Factoring, including -
- Medical Centers and Hospitals;
- Physicians - General Practitioners and Specialists;
- Outpatient Facilities and Clinics;
- Medical Staffing Services;
- Medical Labs;
- Dialysis Facilities;
- Physical Therapy Groups and Clinics;
- Rehabilitation Centers;
- Home Healthcare Providers;
- Providers of Durable Medical Equipment.
The Benefits of Medical Factoring
The benefits of medical factoring are many, and are similar to those enjoyed by businesses in other industries. They include -
- Fast payment;
- Consistent cash flow;
- Outsourced accounting and invoice collection;
- An increase in percentage of billings collected;
- Working capital finance that's debt free;
- Building business credit.
Receivables Factoring offers medical practices an excellent financing alternative to loans: the medical practice will have consistent and flexible financing tied directly to its insurance claims. This means that the amount of available financing increases as more claims are filed. Having a reliable cash flow in a growing medical practice ensures that there will always be sufficient liquid business capital to cover expenses.
Medical Supply Companies
In the same way, medical factoring offers medical supply companies quick and predictable business financing, directly tied to the volume of sales. The amount of financing grows as sales grow, automatically providing the working capital needed to both operate and grow the business.
Generally, medical factoring is particularly well suited for smaller medical offices. Because your chosen factoring company will be handling most of the administrative work involved in collections and claims processing, overhead expenses and office staffing can be kept at a minimum, thus allowing you to focus on what you do best - delivering the best medical care possible!
If you have a small practice with good growth prospects, but you also have slow cash flow, then you'll soon discover that medical factoring could well be the ideal financing tool to help you finance the growth of your business. It's true that most factoring companies have minimums, but there are factoring companies out there who will finance an office billing as little as $50,000 per month.
How Medical Receivables Factoring Works
Medical Factoring is quite simple: Basically, medical factoring accelerates payments for any healthcare business that depends on third-party payors. This means that within days of the initial billing (instead of weeks) most of the business's billed amount will be deposited directly into that business's bank account, thus drastically shortening the collection cycle and eliminating the constant headache of cash flow problems.
The added bonus of medical factoring is that it's not a loan, and as such, has no impact whatsoever on the business's balance sheet. There are no arbitrary limits, no credit limits, and no stringent financial requirements. The healthcare professional can factor as much of the billing as is generated by the business, thus making factoring the ideal financing tool for business growth.
How to Create a Factoring Program
Setting up a factoring program will typically take a couple of weeks at most. Obviously, the factoring company will need reassurance that the third-party payors are reliable and that their clients' practices are stable. However, once the factoring program has been established, medical financing is predictable and continuous. Claims will typically be funded within 48 hours after being submitted to the medical factoring company.
The Factoring Process
Medical Factoring is a very simple process -
- Periodically, your practice submits billings to Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies (note that certain medical factoring companies will do this for you), with copies forwarded to your factoring company;
- Within 48 hoursthe advance, or up to 85% of net collectables, will be deposited into your business bank account. The balance will be held in reserve to settle billing discrepancies;
- The factoring fee will be collected once a factoring company has been paid, with the balance of the billings being remitted to you. The fee charged by the medical factoring company will vary according to the size and types of claims generated by the practice.
The Future of Medical Factoring
It's true that medical factoring covers a relatively small portion of factoring activity overall; however, more healthcare professionals are learning about factoring and, today, we're seeing an increase in interest in medical factoring throughout the healthcare industry. As the benefits of this type of medical financing become more widely known, it's anticipated that medical receivables factoring will become more widely used.
Medical factoring provides a short-term solution for shortfalls in working capital financing, plus a long-term solution for medical financing and patient accounting support, and it's for these reasons that medical factoring as a financing tool deserves careful consideration by healthcare businesses.
You Can Find More Information at https://businessfactoring.org
and at factorinvoices.org/