Invoice finance, debt factoring, invoice discounting or single invoice finance, are all variations of a theme: good cash management and not always a sign of desperation. Companies should choose to hold cash rather than illiquid invoices because cash can be reinvested in the business to generate high positive net present value, or can be used to pay off expensive debt. Both increase the company’s profit & loss. Invoices do not. Invoices are a drain on the business, generating no return yet costing money to fund outstanding debtors, either because of interest on debt or because of an opportunity cost, plus they represent a credit risk.
Factoring and invoice discounting have tarnished reputations because many of the firms that offer them take a multitude of fees off of the company selling its invoices and they often commit the company to selling more invoices than it would like to.
Single invoice finance is similar to conventional factoring but it can have several key advantages:
An illustrative quote: A single invoice finance company would buy a £100 30-day customer invoice off a company for up to £87.50 paid upfront less the buyer’s fee, and a retention of up to £10 when (if) the debtor pays the invoice, so £97.50 in total (less VAT on the fee). No further fees and no commitment to sell further invoices.
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