July 26, 2023

What Is Accounts Receivable Financing?

Accounts receivable financing, also known as invoice financing or factoring, is a funding method used by businesses to convert outstanding invoices into immediate cash.
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Accounts receivable financing, also known as invoice financing or factoring, is a funding method used by businesses to convert outstanding invoices into immediate cash. It is a powerful tool for companies seeking to ensure operational continuity.

In a typical scenario, a business will sell its unpaid invoices to a factoring company at a discount. The factoring company then provides an immediate cash advance, which is a percentage of the invoice value. This allows the business to continue its operations without waiting for customers to pay their invoices.

This form of financing can be particularly useful for small to medium-sized businesses (more on this below), which often face cashflow challenges due to slow-paying clients. 

The ability to immediately convert invoices into cash provides these businesses with greater financial flexibility and the means to meet short-term obligations, such as payroll and operational expenses.

Note that accounts receivable financing is not a loan. Rather, it's an advance against your outstanding invoices. While it can provide immediate liquidity, it also involves fees and other factors that must be carefully considered. Furthermore, recourse factoring involves you buying back payments that the factoring company is unable to collect payment on.

Accounts Receivable Financing Benefits - REV Capital

What Are The Benefits of AR Financing?

Here are some of the primary benefits associated with AR financing. 

Immediate Access to Cash

AR financing allows businesses to obtain instant liquidity by converting their unpaid invoices into cash. This helps them manage operational costs and capitalize on new opportunities without waiting for clients to settle their invoices.

Does Not Increase Liabilities

Unlike traditional loans, AR financing is not a debt. This means it won't increase your company's liabilities on the balance sheet, making it an attractive option for businesses seeking to maintain a healthy debt-to-equity ratio.

Mitigates Customer Credit Risks

The factoring company usually handles credit checks to help businesses mitigate the potential risk of non-payment from customers.

Saves Time and Effort on Collections

Since the factoring company typically takes over the responsibility of collecting payment from customers, businesses can focus more on their core operations.

Are There Any Drawbacks To AR Financing?

Even with so many benefits, you don’t want to proceed with AR financing unless you understand the potential drawbacks. 

Cost Considerations

Immediate cashflow comes at a cost. Factoring companies charge fees for their services, which can range between 1-6%. This rate is debt-free, meaning you don’t have to worry about interest accrued as you would with a loan. Depending on your financial situation, this cost needs to be weighed against the benefits of immediate liquidity.

Shared Control Over Customer Relationships

At times, the factoring company handles collecting payments from your customers. This could affect your customer relationships, depending on the quality of the factoring company's service.

Dependence on Customer Creditworthiness

The amount of funding and the fees charged by factoring companies often depend on your customer's creditworthiness, not the financial health of your business. You may receive less funding or face higher fees if your customers have poor credit.

Not a Solution for Long-term Funding Needs

AR financing is an excellent tool for managing short-term cashflow problems. However, it doesn't address any underlying issues in your business model that may be causing persistent cashflow problems.

Comparing AR Financing To Traditional Loans

One primary difference between the two lies in the speed and ease of access to funds. Unlike traditional loans, accounts receivable financing is based on unpaid invoices and often provides immediate cashflow without a lengthy approval process.

Furthermore, while traditional loans increase a company's liabilities—impacting the debt-to-equity ratio and potentially their credit rating—AR financing doesn't contribute to debt in the same way. It's a cashflow management tool rather than a form of borrowing.

The approach to credit risk assessment also varies. Banks focus on a business's creditworthiness for a loan application, whereas factoring companies evaluate the creditworthiness of a business's customers because they pay the invoices.

Asset control varies, too. Assets often serve as collateral in traditional loan agreements and could be at risk in case of default. AR financing, however, involves selling the receivables instead of pledging them as collateral so businesses maintain control over them.

AR Financing & Traditional Loans - REV Capital

Who Can Benefit From Accounts Receivable Financing?

Accounts receivable financing can benefit a wide range of businesses, particularly those with cashflow gaps due to slow-paying customers. This includes small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that provide goods or services and then invoice their customers. 

Companies in industries with long invoice cycles—such as transportation, manufacturing, wholesale, staffing agencies, and B2B service providers—can find substantial value in AR financing. By transforming unpaid invoices into immediate cash, these businesses can better manage operational costs and seize growth opportunities without cashflow constraints.

Startups and businesses with less established credit histories can also benefit. Since factoring companies focus on the creditworthiness of the invoiced customers rather than the business itself, companies that may struggle to secure traditional financing due to a lack of credit history can still obtain the necessary funds for growth and expansion.

Getting Started With Accounts Receivable Financing

Starting with accounts receivable financing involves several steps. 

Partner with one of the best AR financing companies—such as REV Capital—that intimately knows the ins and outs of your industry. From there, submit an application along with details of your business and accounts receivables. Once approved, you can sell your invoices and receive an advance!

Contact us today to get started! 

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