Information for the city of Birmingham
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. The city's population was 212,237 according to the 2010 United States Census. The Birmingham Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of about 1,128,047 according to the 2010 Census, which is approximately one quarter of Alabama's population.Birmingham was founded in 1871, during the post Civil War Reconstruction period, through the merger of three pre existing farm towns, notably, former Elyton. It grew from there, annexing many more of its smaller neighbors, into an industrial and railroad transportation center with a focus on mining, the iron and steel industry, and railroading.
Birmingham was named for Birmingham, England, United Kingdom; one of the UK's major industrial cities. Many, if not most, of the original settlers who founded Birmingham were of English ancestry. In one writer's view, the city was planned as a place where cheap, non unionized, and African American labor from rural Alabama could be employed in the city's steel mills and blast furnaces, giving it a competitive advantage over industrial cities in the Midwest and Northeast.From its founding through the end of the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the South. The pace of Birmingham's growth during the period from 1881 through 1920 earned its nicknames The Magic City and The Pittsburgh of the South. Much like Pittsburgh, Birmingham's major industries were iron and steel production, plus a major component of the railroading industry, where rails and railroad cars were both manufactured in Birmingham. In the field of railroading, the two primary hubs of railroading in the Deep South were nearby Atlanta and Birmingham, beginning in the 1860s and continuing through to the present day. The economy diversified during the later half of the twentieth century. Though the manufacturing industry maintains a strong presence in Birmingham, other businesses and industries such as banking, telecommunications, transportation, electrical power transmission, medical care, college education, and insurance have risen in stature. Mining in the Birmingham area is no longer a major industry with the exception of coal mining.
Birmingham ranks as one of the most important business centers in the Southeastern United States and is also one of the largest banking centers in the United States. In addition, the Birmingham area serves as headquarters to one Fortune 500 company: Regions Financial, along with five other Fortune 1000 companies.In higher education, Birmingham has been the location of the University of Alabama School of Medicine (formerly the Medical College of Alabama) and the University of Alabama School of Dentistry since 1947. Since that time it has also obtained a campus of the University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham (founded circa 1969), one of three main campuses of the University of Alabama System. It is also home of the private Birmingham Southern College. Between these two universities and Sam University, the Birmingham area has major colleges of medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, law, engineering, and nursing. Birmingham is home to three of the state's five law schools: Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham School of Law, and Miles Law School. Birmingham is also the headquarters of the Conference, one of the major U.S. collegiate athletic conferencesFrom Birmingham's early days onward, the steel industry has always played a crucial role in the local economy.
Though the steel industry no longer has the same prominence it once held in Birmingham, steel production and processing continue to play a key role in the economy. Steel products manufacturers . In recent years, local steel companies have announced about $100 million worth of investment in expansions and new plants in and around the city. Vulcan Company, a major provider of crushed stone, sand, and gravel used in construction, is also based in Birmingham.In the 1970s and 1980s, Birmingham's economy was transformed by investments in bio technology and medical research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and its adjacent hospital. The UAB Hospital is a Level I trauma center providing health care and breakthrough medical research. UAB is now the area's largest employer and the second largest in Alabama with a workforce of about 18,750 as of 2011.
As of 2009, the finance & banking sector in Birmingham employed 1,870 financial managers, 1,530 loan officers, 680 securities commodities and financial services sales agents, 380 financial analysts, 310 financial examiners, 220 credit analysts, and 130 loan counselors. City Center in downtownThe telephone company that is now owned by ., which was formerly and before that , which had its headquarters in Birmingham, has a major nexus in Birmingham, supported by a skyscraper downtown as well as several large operational center buildings and a data center.The insurance companieshave their headquarters in Birmingham, and these employ a large number of people in Greater Birmingham.Birmingham is also a powerhouse of construction and engineering companies,each with more than $500 million in sales per year, are located in Birmingham. The Birmingham metropolitan area has consistently been rated as one of America's best places to work and earn a living based on the area's competitive salary rates and relatively low living expenses. One study published in 2006 by Salary.com determined that Birmingham was second in the nation for building personal net worth, based on local salary rates, living expenses, and unemployment rates.A 2006 study by web site bizjournals.com calculated Birmingham's "combined personal income" (the sum of all money earned by all residents of an area in a year) at $48.1 billion.Birmingham's sales tax, which also applies fully to groceries, stands at 10 percent and is the highest tax rate of the nation's 100 largest cities.Although Jefferson County's bankruptcy filing was the largest government bankruptcy in United States history, Birmingham remains solvent
Information for the state of Alabama
The state has invested in aerospace, education, health care, banking, and various heavy industries, including automobile manufacturing, mineral extraction, steel production and fabrication. By 2006, crop and animal production in Alabama was valued at $1.5 billion. In contrast to the primarily agricultural economy of the previous century, this was only about 1% of the state's gross domestic product. The number of private farms has declined at a steady rate since the 1960s, as land has been sold to developers, timber companies, and large farming conglomerates.
Occupations outside of agriculture were widespread by 2008. Employment in that year was 121,800 in management occupations; 71,750 in business and financial operations; 36,790 in computer-related and mathematical occupation; 44,200 in architecture and engineering; 12,410 in life, physical, and social sciences; 32,260 in community and social services; 12,770 in legal occupations; 116,250 in education, training, and library services; 27,840 in art, design and media occupations; 121,110 in healthcare; 44,750 in fire fighting, law enforcement, and security; 154,040 in food preparation and serving; 76,650 in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance; 53,230 in personal care and services; 244,510 in sales; 338,760 in office and administration support; 20,510 in farming, fishing, and forestry; 120,155 in construction and mining, gas, and oil extraction; 106,280 in installation, maintenance, and repair; 224,110 in production; and 167,160 in transportation and material moving.
We just collected the money that we were owed a lot more quickly.
Alabama Factoring Company
Before making your final decision and entering into a factoring agreement, check out the fees applicable and the terms of the contract. Both of these can vary a lot, depending on the factoring company and the industry it is serving. -Alabama Factoring Company
DISCOVER THE FORTUNE THAT LIES IN YOUR RECEIVABLES
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Factoring in the Future of a Trucking Business: A Story
John Thompson let the phone ring on his desk. He let his morning coffee cool and left his cigarette to ash itself in the tray, because he is trying to make the biggest decision ever for his trucking company. Thompson Trucking Company was at a turning point of growth and John had to decide if signing with a factoring company was the right way forward.
John's father had started as an owner-operator and had grown Thompson Trucking Company into a fifteen trailer fleet over forty years. There had been some hard times when it seemed everything was going to go under and even John's mother strapped herself into a cab to make hauls. His father had lived long enough to witness the price of hires drop during the recession and watch the eruption of fuel prices afterwards. Now the company was solely in John's hands and he wanted to live to see it in better shape for his sons.
To move Thompson Trucking Company ahead into the future, he needed a steady cash flow but there was just not enough money to go around. His employees needed to be paid. They had families and household bills too. Some of the refrigerated trailers were in need of repairs and he felt to stay competitive it was also a good idea to invest in specialized haulers to be ready for the constant requests he was getting for loads of new energy and agriculture equipment. Every time he had to turn down a request, Thompson Trucking looked weak in a very strong market.
His father would have told him to wait and to take his time adding on new technology. John allowed himself a good hard chuckle. His father had been against placing GPS units in the cabs. He would say, "Why do you need the voice of some woman to tell you to get off at an exit that has been the same exit that has been there for years?" Also his father had the habit of teasing all the drivers he caught switching into automatic even though driving in automatic was much more efficient though not manly in his father's eyes. His father days were long gone and technology was actually an important improvement for the business such as having Qualcomm to cut down on fruitless time communicating on the phone for bills of lading.
John believed a successful man is always thinking of his next step. What would be the next step for Thompson Trucking? And how would he be able to afford it? Funding was all tied up in the mortgage for the office and garage and in the fuel bills. He just finished paying off the small bank loan for installing satellite radio in the trucks for the guys.
But was factoring the answer? There was a lot he didn't understand about the process. It sounded a lot like ninth grade algebra which just didn't feel like it belonged as part of the trucking business. Factoring companies buy your invoices and manage your accounts receivable for a certain percentage of the invoiced amount. The factoring company gives the trucking business its payment right away which allows the business to have continuous cash flow so it can pay employees, buy fuel, and make repairs for upcoming hauls. Without the assistance of factoring, you have to wait for customers to send you the payment which is often 30 days late. In those 30 days, a trucking company can't pay its bills and employees in invoices.
Now it was time for John to do his homework. John had heard that there were companies that charged for same day money transfers and would only advance a percentage of the money owed to your company while holding the rest in a private account if they didn't get their bill payment within 60 or so days. Plus it was worse still if the customer didn't pay up at all because then the factoring company would take it right out of the money supposed to be coming to you! Through the grapevine, he'd also heard about how some companies suddenly slipped you onto a sliding scale of percentages even if you had already signed a lengthy contract for maybe 3% or 7% so there you are with 10% coming as a cost to you out of the freight bill. His friend Ronnie who had a trucking business in Missouri, was run nearly into the ground by a factoring company that charged him the full freight bill on top of the factoring fees. Well, what was the point of going to a factoring company if there was shady business like that going on?
But it turned out to be quite easy. All the factoring companies he researched were open about their business practices and very friendly on the phone when he called. Their customer service actually knew things about their company and spoke in nice clear English so he could understand what was being explained. He didn't mind signing an exclusive contract. He liked the idea of a long term commitment so he knew he wouldn't have to bother going back and forth to different companies and wasting time filing more forms. Nobody charged him for credit checks and they offered him a fuel advance on the pick-up of the load. Many companies offered a non-recourse factoring program that suited him just fine. Also he was happy to hear how much he was offered in terms of percentages on the freight bills. It was good money.
It was really refreshing dealing with the factoring people. They were more personable than those loan managers at the bank. It seemed as though those bank people spoke another language, but these factoring guys knew the trucking business and spoke to him like a client, not like a beggar for a handout. The factoring companies didn't worry over his credit and the debt troubles his father had had in the past of the company. Factoring was based on the credit of his customers and on their reliability which worked well for John because he and his father had built up good strong relationships over decades with their list of clients. So he knew they would understand when the factoring company contacted them for the invoices. His clients wouldn't think poorly of Thompson Trucking and the factoring companies appeared capable of handling the accounts receivable in the same polite manner that his father had used over the years.
John stepped out of his office to let his secretary know to expect the arrival of the factoring contract shortly. He felt exhilarated by the new possibilities that would make the future of the company fun again and put the stress of the difficult times behind him. With the capabilities of this new cash flow, John could actually expand Thompson Trucking Company further across the country and perhaps even go international into Canada. His heart felt full knowing his sons wouldn't have to worry about money because of the right decisions he had made for their trucking business.
We just collected the money that we were owed a lot more quickly.
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Invoice Factoring: Helping Temp Staffing Agencies Grow
When a temp agency is experiencing a cash flow problem, they generally have two options: the first option is to apply to a bank or other lender for a business loan, and the second is to use Invoice Factoring. In this article we'll take a look at why Invoice Factoring may be the best option.
Many companies who bill their clients have discovered that Invoice Factoring is a very effective way of addressing cash flow issues, and this is also true for temp staffing agencies. Typically, temp agencies don't get paid by their clients until such time as their job vacancy has been filled and the employee hired has actually commenced work, which means that it's very common for temp agencies to experience cash flow problems.
Any advertising required to successfully place job candidates is paid for by the temp staffing agency, meaning that they're not able to invoice their client until they've found a suitable candidate and the candidate has actually started work. So, the temp staffing agency must wait to get paid.
Why Invoice Factoring Works Well for Temp Staffing Agencies
Temp staffing agencies are typically paid per hour, with the amount due being based on the number of hours their placement has worked. Of course, during this time they still have to pay their own bills, and these might include rent, payroll, advertising costs, utilities, and so on. So, it's easy to see that this can put a big strain on a temp agency's cash flow.
Many expenses incurred by a temp staffing agency can't be put off, so the agency must be able to access cash straight away: their employees need to be paid on time, as do their rent and utility bills. All businesses require office supplies, so money must be available to keep the business running smoothly. In addition, temp agencies must have money on hand for advertising job openings. For all of these reasons, it's not either feasible or practical for a temp staffing agency to apply for a business loan, then sit, wait, and hope to be approved.
These businesses need money and they need it now; and that's why Invoice Factoring may be the perfect solution to their cash flow problem.
Explaining Invoice Factoring
When a business makes the decision to use Invoice Factoring in order to generate cash, their cash-flow problem can be resolved almost immediately. In many cases, the business can secure up to 92% of the value of their invoice within 24 hours! A word of caution though: if this is the first time the temp agency has worked with a factor it could take longer - somewhere between four and seven days.
Any temp staffing agency that's experiencing a cash flow crisis, or even agencies that only occasionally experience cash flow problems, should do as much research as they can to learn about factoring and how it might help their business grow. With this knowledge they can then consider Invoice Factoring as and when the need arises. Factoring really is the perfect way for a business to access cash money when it's most needed. In many cases, once a relationship has been established with the factor, the money will be delivered within 24 hours.
Cash When You Need It!
Of course one of the major bonuses of invoice factoring is that temp staffing agencies no longer need to worry about whether they will or won't qualify for a bank loan, because factoring will take care of their cash flow crisis. All they need to do is provide their chosen factor with the invoices they wish to sell, complete with the time-sheets for each employee, and the cash that's due and payable to them can be deposited into their bank account within 24 hours. Now, temp agencies will have no problems meeting their monthly obligations, and best of all, there'll be no need to take on new debt.
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Business Is Booming but Your Company's Cash Strapped!
A business needs good cash flow for many reasons, and many businesses have learned the hard way that business can be booming but they can still suffer from cash flow problems. There are many scenarios where a business might urgently require access to cash: it could be due to the sudden growth or expansion of a business, a major transaction may need to be expanded, perhaps there's a need to purchase equipment or even to employ more personnel.
Interestingly, research shows that many businesses (both small and medium-size) fail, not because business is bad, but because they experience difficulties when trying to meet short-term financial responsibilities. So how can a growing and profitable business get into serious financial trouble, or even go broke? It seems so contradictory, but on closer examination you'll see that it's not surprising at all.
Many Businesses Experience a Cash Flow Dilemma
It's so easy for a business to get into a situation where they have a cash flow problem: you only need one or two larger accounts to default on payment, or to take an additional 60 or 90 days to pay, and now you've got a cash flow problem!
Traditionally, business owners have depended on conventional lending sources for a business Line of Credit, and this often includes short-term Bridging Finance. But there are also many people in business who've used their personal credit cards for business-related expenses. Once business owners have exhausted traditional means of funding, the process of acquiring extended financing can become a time-consuming, trying, and often impossible task.
Fortunately, today, we have a viable and effective alternative for business owners to get through cash strapped periods, particularly during periods of expansion and business growth. This innovative form of financing is known as Factoring; it's also sometimes referred to as Asset Based Lending or Accounts Receivable Financing.
Factoring has become a workable and realistic solution for many businesses, particularly when cash flow is uncertain and threatens the viability, or even survival, of the business.
How Does Factoring Work?
Basically, when a business has credit-worthy accounts receivables, the factoring process provides the business with an instant cash injection on those receivables. So, sometimes, when a lender says 'no' to a business, a factoring company may say 'yes', thus offering the much needed cash injection that so many businesses require to move forward.
Factoring companies understand the financial needs of their trucking clients and react very quickly to provide them with the professional, personalized, hands-on attention that they require. Freight Bill Factoring is actually a very simple process: it provides a business with instant cash flow in order to satisfy its cash needs, which in turn enables the business to grow and prosper.
It works like this! Your company has quality accounts receivables, and needs a cash boost. A factoring company may purchase just one, or a group of your receivables, and in return will immediately give you up to 100% (less fees applicable) of the face value of these accounts. Once the customer invoice has been paid in full the balance is forwarded on. Yes, factoring costs more than other means of lending, but factoring clients believe the benefits far outweigh the costs.
The Benefits of Factoring
Possibly the greatest benefit of factoring is the short turnaround time, because factoring companies don't have a lengthy loan approval process, unlike banks and other lenders. This means that, with factoring, trucking business owners can have money in-hand by the end of the same working day!
In order to receive approval as a factoring customer, a trucking business must first-of-all be a reputable trucking business, and secondly, it must have credit-worthy customers. Once a business has been approved for factoring, funding will be provided on the same day. It's important to note, also, that ongoing financing is only limited by the amount of receivables available for purchase.
In the last decade we've seen factoring grow very quickly, and today it's become a financially feasible alternative for many trucking companies. Many trucking companies have stated that Freight Bill Factoring has made it possible for them to process orders and undertake loads from brokers that would otherwise have been impossible because of a lack of financing. Freight Bill Factoring is here to stay, and it clearly has a place in today's business environment. Because of factoring, a trucking company can expand its customer base, increase loads, and even survive a seasonal slump. Thanks to Freight Bill Factoring, many businesses have been able to expand and grow, and easily survive in what has become a very competitive industry.
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Medical and Healthcare Invoice Factoring
Don't Wait to Be Reimbursed - You Can Receive Payment Today!
Anyone in the healthcare profession is painfully aware that third-party payers like Medicaid, Medicare, HMOs, Workers Compensation, and other private insurers, can take what appears to be an unnecessary long time to settle your accounts. But there's good news, because with 'factoring' there'll be no more long waiting periods to receive payment on your medical receivables. For anyone in the healthcare profession who provides any type of medical services, factoring is here to assist with cash-flow.
Is There a Difference between Medical Factoring and Healthcare Factoring?
There actually is a difference between these two types of factoring, even though we hear many people using these two phrases interchangeably. Basically, when there is no third-party payer involved, then healthcare factoring applies, and if a third-party payer is involved, then medical invoice factoring companies are used.
Healthcare and medical receivables factoring is available for the following services -
- Group and Sole Practitioners
- Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Facilities
- Nursing Homes
- Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
- Medical Staffing Companies
- Medical Billing Services
- Medical Supply Companies
- Medical Coding Services
- Ambulance Providers
- Medical Transportation
- Medical Transcription Services
- Medical and Non-Medical Home Healthcare Providers
- Imaging Facilities Providing CT Scans, X-Rays, MRIs, and so on; and
- Many More!
Factoring for Healthcare Receivables
We typically associate healthcare receivables with customers who are not reliant on third-party payers. This includes sectors involved with medical staffing, medical supplies, medical transcription, medical coding and billing, and so on. Basically, it means that vendors who use healthcare factoring receive the benefits of an unlimited line-of-credit, all based on the services they provide.
You can see below that factoring healthcare receivables is a very simple process -
- As the healthcare vendor, you still invoice your customer for work you've completed. Some of the more common customers will include medical offices, nursing homes, hospitals, and so on.
- The next step is for the vendor to forward a copy of the invoice to the healthcare factoring company. Your factor will handle the collection of payment on your behalf.
- The factoring company will deposit an amount of money in the range of up to 85% of the gross value of the invoice into the vendors bank account within 24 hours, or less.
- The remaining (approximately) 15% will be held by the factor until such time as the account has been paid in full by the customer.
- Once the invoice has been paid in full by the customer, the factor will release the remaining 15%, less the agreed-upon fees, back to you, the vendor.
Factoring for Medical Receivables
Regardless of whether your business bills Medicaid, Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, a third-party insurance company, or HMOs, we have the perfect factoring solution for you.
The benefit to you of factoring your medical claims is that you'll receive upfront capital. It's the factor who will seek payment of your invoice.You can see below that factoring medical claims is a very simple process -
- As the provider, you'll continue submitting your claim to the third-party payer.
- At the same time, you'll submit a copy of the paperwork to your factoring company.
- The factoring company will deposit an amount of money in the range of up to 85% of the net collectable value into the vendors bank account within 24 hours, or less.
- Once the third-party payer pays your claim in full, the factor will release the remaining 15% (approximately), less the small agreed-upon factoring fee.
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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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The Difference between Accounts Receivable Financing and Factoring
Today, it's not as easy for businesses to access finance as it was in past years, and more companies are being forced to look for alternative, non banking financing options in order to access the capital they require to help their business grow.
Two of the more popular tools available to cash strapped business owners are Accounts Receivable Financing (A/R Financing) and factoring. Some business owners believe these two are the same, but there are, in fact, some small yet significant differences.
What Is Factoring?
Factoring is when a commercial finance company, also known as a factor or factoring company, purchases a business's outstanding accounts receivable. At that time, the factor will typically advance the business somewhere between 70% and 90% of the invoice's value. Then, once the invoice is collected from the customer, the remaining balance - minus a factoring fee - is released to the business. The factoring fee could range from between 1.5% and 5.5%. It's calculated on the total face value of the invoice and depends on how many days the funds are in use and other aspects, like the collection risk.
When a business has a factoring contract they can usually choose which invoices they want to sell to the factor: it's not generally an all or nothing process. Once the factor has purchased an invoice they become responsible for managing the receivable until the account has been paid. Essentially, the factor becomes the business's accounts receivable department and credit manager, analyzing credit reports, performing credit checks, mailing invoices, and documenting payments.
What Is Accounts Receivable Financing?
Accounts Receivable Financing is more similar to a traditional bank loan, however there are some key differences. Bank loans are secured with collateral; which might be real estate, the business owner's personal assets, or plant and equipment; whereas Accounts Receivable Financing is backed by the business's assets related to the Accounts Receivable. When a business has an Accounts Receivable financing agreement, a borrowing base is established at each draw against which the business is able to borrow money: this would typically be between 70% and 90% of the qualified receivables.
Between 1% and 2% is typically charged as a collateral management fee against the outstanding amount, and interest is only calculated as and when the money is advanced. An invoice must be less than 90 days old in order to count towards the borrowing base, and the finance company must deem the business credit worthy. There may also be other conditions to fulfil.
So, you can see that there are many similarities between Accounts Receivable financing and factoring; however, one is the sale of an asset (receivables or invoices) to a third party, while the other is actually a loan. In many ways, though, they do act similarly. Below we've listed the main features of each so you can determine which would be the best fit for your company.
Accounts Receivable Financing
' Generally, Accounts Receivable Financing is not as expensive as factoring;
' It can be easier to move from this type of financing to a traditional bank line of credit once a business becomes bankable again;
' Typically, a minimum of $75,000 per month is required in sales to qualify, so this type of financing may not be available to small companies;
' Due to the fact that the business will be required to submit all of its Accounts Receivable to the finance company, this type of financing can be less flexible than factoring.
' It's quite easy to qualify for factoring, and factoring is the ideal solution for start ups and financially challenged companies;
' Because businesses can decide which invoices they want to sell to the factor, factoring offers more flexibility than Accounts Receivable Financing;
' The company is able to track total costs on an invoice by invoice basis because factoring has a simple and straightforward fee structure.
Today we see both Accounts Receivable Financing and factoring as traditional sources of financing; effective when traditional bank financing is not an option. Factoring can carry a business through a period when an immediate cash input is required.
Somewhere between 12 and 24 months most companies are generally able to repair their financial situation and once again become bankable. However, some companies in certain industries continue factoring their invoices indefinitely.An example of this is the trucking industry, which relies heavily on factoring for cash flow injections.
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Benefits Of A Factoring Company Over A Traditional Bank Loan
Anyone who owns a business knows that there are times when the money goes out of your business much faster than it is coming in. This can put a company in a financial bind, making it difficult to purchase raw materials, pay their employees, or even keep the utilities on. The simple truth is that every company needs to have ready cash in order to keep their business running on an even keel and in order for it to grow. There are a number of different ways that a company can get the money they need to keep their business running and moving forward, but not all of these ways offer businesses the same freedom and benefits. This article will talk about two popular, but different types of financing available to business. The Traditional bank loan, and getting your financing through a factoring company.
Bank loans are an extremely traditional way for a business to get financing. While these loans are handy they are not available to every business. For example, a fairly newly established business simply may not have the assets to readily get a loan from a bank, even if they do, the standard collateral for a business loan is the business itself, which means that if you cannot make your loan payment, you risk losing your entire business. In addition, while you apply for a certain loan amount, that is all the financing you are entitled to. Once the loan is paid off, you can then apply for another loan if the need arises.
Factoring companies do not give loans, and the money you get from the factoring company does not put you in debt. Rather the financing you receive from a factoring company is based on money your business has all ready earned, but have not yet received. Factoring companies actually purchase your account's receivable or at least part of them for a percentage of their total worth, Normally around 80%-95%. The amount of money you can receive is based on the amount of money you have earned and the accounts receivable you are willing to "sell." Once you have set up factoring account it continues as long as you wish it too and the amount of money available to you even can grow as your business grows, giving you the ready cash you need to meet your own obligations.
Benefits of a Factoring Company Vs. A Bank Loan
While not every business can take advantage of factoring account financing (you have to have a business that has account receivables) for those that can use this type of financing there are several distinct benefits.
1. You Won't Incur Debt.
Since the factoring company actually buys your accounts receivable you don't actually incur debt like you do with a bank loan. This has many benefits including the fact, that this type of financing won't affect either your business credit rating or your personal credit rating. Should the unforeseeable happen and your business fails, you won't have to worry about anyone coming after your personal as well as your business assets to pay off a loan. With a bank loan, the debt goes onto your credit report, and even one late payment can adversely affect your businesses credit, and even the ability to get insurance and may even reflect upon your personal credit rating.
2. No Collateral Required.
Another benefit of using a factoring company instead of a traditional loan is that you aren't required to provide collateral to the factoring company in order to secure financing, because the company "buys" the accounts receivables; not loans you money based on them. In addition, while the factoring company does run a credit check on your customers whose accounts receivables are offered for financing, the state of your credit is not an issue. This makes it easier for fledgling businesses to get the financing they need through a factoring company (as long as their accounts receivables are in good order) then from a bank, who may not feel that you have been in business long enough to be worth the risk of issuing you a loan.
3. Receive Your Money Faster.
With a Factoring company you can actually get the money you need faster. Once the Factoring company assures itself that the customers in your accounts receivable are likely to pay their debt, the money is usually in the account within 24 hours. With a bank, there are vasts amounts of paperwork, then the loan has to be underwritten, which can take months before you actually see the loan if it is approved.
4. Interest is Paid Up Front.
Unlike a bank loan that continues to build interest that you have to pay the entire time you have your business loan with a factoring company, you don't have to continue to pay interest as they take it right off the top, deducting it from the total amount of accounts receivable. So not only are you relieved of those monthly loan payments, but you also don't have to worry about the building up of interest, as every penny in the account is yours to spend on the business.
As you can see, there are several benefits that makes considering financing through a factoring company over a traditional bank worthwhile. However, there are also a couple of other benefits that a factory company can offer your business is far beyond the scope of the bank. The most important benefits is that once you sell your accounts receivable to the factory company, you don't have to take time away from running your business to collect the money owed from reluctant to pay customers. The factoring company takes over that chore, since it is now their money to collect. Factoring companies are very good at collecting these debts, saving you the time and effort that you need to devote to your growing company.
In addition, since the factoring company evaluates the credit quality of your customers prior to purchasing the accounts receivable you gain valuable information into which customers are likely to pay and which ones are not so likely to pay.
While a Factoring company is not the only way for your business to obtain the money it needs to keep growing, it does offer a type of financing well worth considering.
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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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Factoring at smallbusinessbankloan.org
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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How Factoring Saved A Staffing Agency
The Bellosa Temporary & Permanent Hiring Agency has been experiencing a major uptick in business since the unemployment crisis began. The unemployed and underemployed workers have been keeping the phones ringing. The staffing agency is also fielding a lot of calls from employers too, looking for just the right hire. Company President and Vice President, Laurie Bell and Ted Stevens, have not experienced a boom in business since they first opened the doors in 2009, during the recession. They had an idea then that this would be a profitable venture.
The mantra that Laurie and Ted live by is that there "s always going to be people searching for work and of course employers will always be on the lookout for good workers. This is especially true in healthcare staffing, the industry they specialize in. This seemed to be a safe bet for them as they embarked on this venture, but with any small business, the only way to keep the doors open is to keep pressing forward and out perform the competition.
In a relatively short period of time Laurie and Ted had built a nice sized business, they were able to hit the ground running with some brilliant marketing programs and a number of contracts from insiders. They grew rapidly, the timing couldn "t have been better and they were very lucky in this aspect. By the fall of 2011 Laurie and Ted had weathered some ups and downs but they did have some solid clients like a few big insurance companies and a university hospital close by. These clients always paid their invoices on time. But they did start to notice a decrease in accounts receivables from some smaller clients such as rehab centers and private practices.
As winter approached they recalled previous winters and holiday seasons and realized that accounts receivables usually did slow down during this time. Laurie and Ted made the decision to delay their late payments until after the New Year. This plan didn "t really appeal to them as it "s no way to start a New Year, but they seemed to have no other options.
When New Year "s had come and gone they realized that their Accounts Receivables had gone from 30 days past due to 60 days past due. Before meeting with their accountant Scott, they "d decided something had to be done, but they didn "t know what.
Sitting in the conference room with Scott they listened as pulled all the figures up on his iPad saying,â€œOkay you two, I "ve been looking over the files you sent over and I can certainly see why you "re worried about your late A/Rs but there may be a way to fix this. Do either of you know what factoring is?â€ Scott inquired.
Laurie and Ted looked at each other quizzically, and then Laurie said â€œI think it rings a bell, but I "m not really sure. Can you explain it?â€
Scott began laying out the details, â€œYou are sitting on a pile of invoices that are past due. The more time that goes by without them being paid, the bigger the bind this puts your business in. It makes it very difficult for you to grow, much less hire anyone new. If you don "t have enough cash coming in . â€
Ted interrupted with, â€œThen it could make it difficult to take on any new business because we wouldn "t be able to hire the additional personnel we need and meet our weekly payroll. We need an inflow of cash and we really can "t wait. If we have to wait any longer on these invoices we "ll be in trouble.â€
Scott jumped in saying, â€œAnd this is precisely why I wanted to discuss factoring with you. The factoring company will purchase the invoices you are sitting on that are up to 3 months late, which gives you the cash you need now.â€ He then showed him a chart on a piece of paper he placed in front of them.
Laurie began to carefully scrutinize it asking, â€œIs this the fee schedule?â€
Scott answered, â€œYes it "s all right there. The factoring company makes 1% to 3% of the total amount of each invoice they purchase.â€
â€œThat "s sounds like a good deal to meâ€, Ted said.
The three of them sat there and talked this over for a while and then Laurie and Ted made the decision to go forward realizing this was the best way to keep them afloat. They knew if they couldn "t accommodate all the new clients they were acquiring the competition would get them and they would go down, they could just not afford to turn any business away.
They now needed to fill out an application and submit it to the factoring company and they also needed to show them a few back invoices, undergo a credit check for their company. Credit checks would also need to be done on the companies owing the debts that the factoring company would be purchasing.
It didn "t take long for Bellosa "s credit to be approved and the creditors " as well. Before long the factoring company purchased the overdue invoices and Laurie and Ted got the influx of cash they needed to cover things and allow them to continue growing their business.
The next time Laurie and Ted met with their accountant Scott, there were smiles all around.Scott said, â€œI "ve taken a look at your books so I know that factoring was the right solution for you.â€
â€œIt worked perfectlyâ€, Laurie stated and went on to say, â€œThe tiny amount we paid out for this influx of cash was certainly worth it.â€
Ted chimed in with, â€œWithout a doubt! Whatever the fees were we made back and more since we were now able to hire more personnel so we could take on more business. It worked out for us and for them I would say!â€
â€œThat "s what "s great about factoring!â€ Scott exclaimed with a look of satisfaction on his face.
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The Basics of Trucking Factoring
Whether you're the owner of a 50-truck fleet or an independent owner/operator, we all know that controlling your cash flow is vitally important to growing your business. Perhaps like many business owners you've become pretty clever at making creative use of your credit cards, because it's certainly preferable to going to your banker and begging for a business Line of Credit! Fortunately, there is another viable option for owner-operator businesses and small trucking fleets. The answer to the age-old cash flow problem is Freight Bill Factoring!
If Freight Bill Factoring is an unfamiliar term to you, then here's a brief explanation:
Freight Bill Factoring is the simple process of assigning your unpaid freight invoices to a third-party company (factoring company) for an amount that's less than you would receive if you were to bill your customer direct. The bonus of Freight Bill Factoring is that it enables you to get paid almost immediately upon completion of a run, thus giving you access to much-needed cash required for the day-to-day running of your business operations.
Here's a step-by-step explanation of how Freight Bill Factoring, or Trucking Factoring, works :
Once you've booked a load, you immediately email or fax details about the load, your customer, and your rate confirmation to the factoring company;
The factoring company will quickly respond by advising if that particular customer has been approved for load factoring;
You pull the load;
When the load has been delivered, you email or fax your load-related documents, including the Bills of Lading, to the factoring company;
Within 24 hours the factoring company will make a direct deposit into your Comdata account or your bank account for the amount of approved charges: this could be anywhere between 60 and 90% of your billing;
Once the invoice has been paid by your customer, you'll receive the balance.
It's true that Freight Bill Factoring is not for everyone, but it is an ideal way of accessing the cash you need to provide stability to your trucking business and keep your wheels turning whilst you wait for your customers to pay their accounts.
Obviously, the best option for any business is to invoice your customers directly and wait to receive payment, but unfortunately many customers are painfully slow when it comes to paying their invoices. If you're experiencing a cash flow problem, then working with a factoring company could well provide the financial cushion you need to keep your trucks on the road. It's up to you to do your own research and determine whether factoring makes sense for your business. We trust that the information we're providing here will provide you with enough knowledge to help you make a wise decision.
The Cost of Freight Bill Factoring
As explained above, there's a cost involved with Freight Bill Factoring, and it's up to you as the business owner to determine whether it's worth the cost. The cost of Trucking Factoring can vary from as little as 1.5% up to around 5% of the line haul revenue.
You also need to be aware that there could be a number of fees, charges, and other expenses if you employ the services of a Freight Bill Factoring company. Generally, when you've assigned your Bills of Lading to a Trucking Factoring company, you'll receive an immediate advance of between 60 and 90% of the anticipated revenue: of course, this figure will depend upon the factoring company you use. Once your customer has paid their invoice, the balance will be remitted to you.
It's also important to note that all Freight Factoring companies are not equal, so here are some key questions a business owner should ask when considering hiring the services of a Trucking Factoring company:
Recourse or Non-Recourse: Which Freight Factoring Service Do You Provide?
You may not be familiar with these terms, but you need to be, because the ramifications of not understanding these terms could seriously affect the profitability of your business.
means that, should your customer fail to pay the factoring company, the factoring service can come back to you for reimbursement; while
means that you have your money whether the invoice does or doesn't get paid.
Will You Bill My Customer for All Future Loads or Can Factoring Be Done on a Load-by-Load Basis?
Let's say you have a temporary cash shortfall problem that you're trying to resolve by hiring the services of a Freight Factoring company: many businesses require that the factor handle all future collections owed to you by that specific customer. However, depending upon the customer, this may not be the path you wish to take. You should be aware, though, that some factoring companies are very rigid with this requirement.
There are Freight Bill Factoring services out there that allow you to choose on a load-by-load basis as to whether you'd like them to handle the collection on your behalf or whether you prefer to deal with the process of billing and payments yourself. And these services generally let you decide whether you want to receive payment when the invoice is actually paid or whether you want immediate payment. This can be very useful for small businesses because it can save a lot of time by allowing you to use the Freight Factoring service as a kind of de-facto billing service.
Is There a Price Difference If the Factoring Company Bills a Customer for All Loads Pulled?
Some Freight Factoring companies require that all billings originate through them, while others allow you to decide on an invoice-by-invoice basis whether you want the factoring company to do it, or whether you'd prefer to bill your customer yourself. If you choose to use their services on a spot-usage basis and choose not to have a certain invoice factored, you'll probably still have to pay the $15-$20 billing charge. You'd then receive payment once the customer has settled their account.
Are Extra Fees Payable for Additional Services?
It's not usual for a freight factoring company to automatically pay your customer's invoices: they need assurance that your customer is a reliable, good-paying customer, so they'll typically require a credit check to ensure they'll be paid. Most Freight Factoring companies will arrange for a customer's credit check on your behalf, and this credit check could incur a nominal fee. On the other hand, there are factoring companies out there that are happy to provide you with access to a list of customers that are already pre-approved - these are companies that currently meet the factor's credit requirements. This can be very useful information to a trucking company, particularly if you need to know the credit rating of a prospective customer prior to booking a load.
How Much of the Freight Bill Do You Advance; and Do You Require a Deposit?
It's very rare that a Freight Factoring service will advance 100% of your freight invoice, and that's just one of the reasons why it's imperative that you take the time to do your own research and find out what your chosen factoring company's policy is. You also need to know if this will change from load to load or if the same policy applies to all your customers and all freight bills. p> Regarding deposits, some freight factoring services do require deposits, while others don't. Again, before you finalize any contract with a Trucking Freight Factoring company, be very sure that you know exactly what you're signing up for. p>
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