Have you heard of selling accounts receivable? Sometimes known as factoring, this type of financing is increasingly popular due to its speed and efficiency. If you’ve faced rejection from lenders in the past, you should devote a long look at accounts receivable financing. What are accounts receivable? Accounts receivables (AR) are legally enforceable claims for payment held by a business for goods supplied or services rendered that customers have ordered, but not paid for. These are typically in the form of invoices raised by a business and delivered to the customer for payment within an agreed-upon time frame. AR is shown as an asset on a company's balance sheet, representing money owed to the firm. What does it mean to sell accounts receivable? Selling accounts receivable (aka factoring) is a financial strategy where a business sells its outstanding invoices or accounts receivable to a third-party company, referred to as a 'factor'. The factor pays the business a significant portion of the amount due up front, then proceeds to collect the full amount from the indebted customer. This method of cash flow management enables businesses to obtain immediate funds and mitigate risks associated with delayed payments or bad debts, thus improving their financial stability. The distinct structure of accounts receivable financing makes it stand out from most other types of small business financing. In some ways, it has more in common with the sale of an asset than it does with a traditional loan. But the result is the same, as you’re provided with the cash needed to run your business. Let's consider a real-life scenario as an example. Imagine you own a business, ABC Manufacturing, and you have an outstanding invoice of $50,000 from XYZ Retailer, which is due 90 days from now. However, you need the funds immediately for operational expenses. Here, you can approach a factoring company and sell your invoice. The factoring company may offer to pay 80% of the invoice value (i.e., $40,000) upfront. After collecting the full amount from XYZ Retailer at the end of the 90 days, the factoring company will then pay you the remaining balance of $10,000, minus their fees. So, while you receive less than the full invoice amount, you get access to immediate cash that allows smoother running of your operations. Six benefits of selling accounts receivable. Let's delve into the advantages of this financial approach by discussing the seven core benefits of selling accounts receivable. These advantages can help businesses navigate tight cash flow situations and maintain steady business operations. 1. It removes the burden from your shoulders. Nobody likes to track down those who owe them money. With accounts receivable, a factoring company does all the dirty work for you. They’re experts at collecting money and can do it faster than you ever would! 2. Your credit score won’t be scrutinized. When a factoring company is deciding whether or not to approve your request, they’ll focus on the financial health of the customers who owe you money (since that’s the key to them getting paid). The credit score of your own business might not even enter the picture. This means that you probably won’t have your credit pulled, which can help keep your score healthy. 3. You can actually build your credit score. When you have a healthy cash flow, you’re better able to meet your financial obligations. This means more prompt payments to your suppliers, partners, and landlords. The ultimate result is a boost to your credit, which opens the door to more attainable and affordable financing in the future. 4. There’s no need to risk collateral. The lower risk associated with accounts receivable financing also means that you won’t need to put up your personal belongings as collateral. This can be a huge deal, as other types of small business financing often require you to provide collateral—which increases your personal liability. 5. Money comes fast. There are times when your business requires expedited funding, meaning the weeks-long approval processes of SBA loans simply won’t cut it. With accounts receivable financing, you can access your money in as little as 24 hours to boost your cash flow. 6. There’s no need to worry about repayment. Speaking of financial obligations, accounts receivable financing is nice because it doesn’t add to your list of monthly payments. The factoring company is compensated through their work tracking down your unpaid invoices, so you don’t need to worry about paying them a dime. How to find the right factoring company. You’ll find a range of quality among factoring companies. Some factors to consider when evaluating a factoring company include: Receivables percentage - This is essentially the percentage of the invoice amount that the factoring company will pay you upfront. A higher percentage could mean more cash in hand, but note that this might also come with higher fees. Fees - Factoring companies might charge additional fees for their services. These can include processing fees, account setup fees, credit check fees, etc. Be sure to ask for a clear and detailed fee structure. Customer service - The quality of customer service is crucial in this business. You'll want to work with a factoring company with a reputation for being responsive, transparent, and easy to work with. Read reviews and consider asking for references from current clients. Add-on services - Some factoring companies offer additional services such as credit insurance, online account access, and collection services. These can be beneficial but might also come with extra costs. Evaluate if these add-on services provide value to your specific business needs. Types of accounts receivable financing. As for which exact financing product is best, there are a few kinds of accounts receivable lending to consider. Let’s look at the key differences. Accounts receivable - This is one of the most common versions, also known as factoring. After selling your purchase orders and accounts receivables, you receive upfront cash and also a cut of the payments collected. Inventory financing - You can acquire a revolving line of credit for your business with this asset-based form of lending. Your inventory serves as collateral. Single invoice factoring - When short-term money is needed, you can advance the payment of a single invoice to increase your cash flow. Which type of accounts receivable lending is right for you? That totally depends on your unique circumstances and strategies. Make sure to consider all the options and take the time to do your due diligence—then you’ll be in a position to make an informed decision that allows you to proceed with confidence.