Unlocking the Power of Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing: A Guide for Small Businesses.
Businesses may need to consider getting a loan when they are facing financial challenges or opportunities that require additional capital.
Table of contents
Common situations when businesses might consider getting a loan include expanding their business, covering operating expenses, taking advantage of a business opportunity, improving working capital and the list goes on.
So you’re thinking about getting accounts receivable (A/R) financing (also known as accounts receivable (A/R) loans), before you decide if this is the right loan type for your business goals this post we’ll help you understand:
- What is an accounts receivable loan and how does it work?
- How do accounts receivable loans differ from business term loans?
- How do lenders underwrite accounts receivable loans?
- What businesses are best suited for accounts receivable financing?
- What businesses are best suited for accounts receivable financing options?
- What are some accounts receivable financing options?
- How common are accounts receivable loans used to raise capital?
- Advantages and disadvantages of using an accounts receivable loan.
Making the business loan process better (in every aspect) is a problem we’re absolutely in love with and why we created Levr.ai.
If securing an accounts receivable (A/R) financing is the right loan for your business, be sure to create a free Levr.ai account to make getting funds faster, easier and more intelligent than ever.
What is an Accounts Receivable (A/R) Loan?
Accounts receivable (A/R) financing (or sometimes called an accounts receivable (A/R) loans) is a type of loan that is secured by a company’s accounts receivable, or the money that is owed to the company by its customers for goods or services that have been sold on credit.
The lender advances funds to the company based on a percentage of the value of the accounts receivable, and the company uses the funds to finance its operations. The lender typically charges a fee for the loan, and the company repays the loan, plus interest, as its customers pay their invoices.
This type of financing is often used by companies that have a lot of accounts receivable but may have difficulty obtaining traditional bank financing.
Sounds simple enough—right? But how does this kind of financing help your business? Keep reading and find out.
How Accounts Receivable (A/R) Loans work and how they can benefit your business.
Accounts receivable (A/R) financing, also known as invoice financing or factoring, works by allowing the business to borrow money based on the value of its outstanding invoices.
The process typically involves the following steps:
- The business sells its accounts receivable (A/R), or unpaid invoices, to a lender or factoring company at a discounted rate.
- The lender or factoring company advances the business a portion of the invoice value, typically between 70% and 90%.
- These funds are then used to meet business short-term cash flow needs.
- Once the customer pays the invoice, the lender or factoring company will collect the full invoice amount and remit the remaining balance, minus a fee, to the business.
Accounts receivable (A/R) financing can be a quick and convenient way for your business to access cash, especially those that have a lot of outstanding invoices and struggle getting traditional loans approved.
It’s especially helpful for businesses that have a lot of customers with long payment terms, and they can use this type of loan to bridge the gap.
However, it’s important to note that invoice financing or Accounts receivable (A/R) financing can be expensive, as the fees and interest rates can be higher than traditional loans, and it can also have an impact on the business’s credit score.
Looking for accounts receivable financing?
Levr.ai can help you find the right loan—it’s easy and fast
How do Accounts Receivable (A/R) Loans differ from the commonly used Business Term Loan?
A business term loan is a type of loan that is typically used for long-term investments, such as the purchase of equipment or real estate.
The loan is typically repaid in fixed payments over a set period of time, and the interest rate is usually fixed. Interest rates on an accounts receivable (A/R) loan is typically higher than on a term loan.
Understanding how lenders underwrite an accounts receivable (A/R) Loan will provide more clarity for why interest rates tend to be higher on accounts receivable loans than a Business Term Loan, and or other financing options.
Learn how lenders underwrite an Accounts Receivable (A/R) Loan.
When lenders are underwriting an accounts receivable (A/R) loan, they will typically evaluate the following factors:
- Creditworthiness of the borrower:
Lenders will typically check the credit score and financial history of the borrower to assess their ability to repay the loan. They will also look at the borrower’s credit report to see if there are any red flags, such as past bankruptcies or defaults.
- Quality of the accounts receivable (A/R):
Lenders will typically review the borrower’s accounts receivable (A/R) to assess the creditworthiness of the customers who owe the invoices. They will look at factors such as the age of the accounts receivable (A/R), the payment history of the customers, and the likelihood that the invoices will be paid on time.
- Sales and cash flow:
Lenders will evaluate the borrower’s sales and cash flow to determine if the business has the ability to generate enough revenue to repay the loan. They will look at financial statements such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements to assess the financial health of the business.
Lenders may require the borrower to provide collateral, such as real estate or equipment, to secure the loan. This is especially the case when the lender is a bank.
- Industry and market:
Lenders will also evaluate the borrower’s industry and market to assess the overall risk of the loan. They will look at factors such as the economic conditions in the industry, the competitiveness of the market, and the overall stability of the business.
- Management Team:
Lenders will also look at the management team of the borrower and their experience in running the business. They will want to ensure that the management team has the experience and skills to successfully run the business and repay the loan.
These are not the only things lenders look at when looking to underwrite an accounts receivable (A/R) loan, but these are some of the most common to keep in mind as you’re collaborating with business partners and decision makers when applying.
What businesses are best suited for Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing?
Accounts receivable (A/R) financing is best for businesses that have a high volume of outstanding invoices and a strong customer base. This is because the loan is based on the value of the outstanding invoices, so the creditworthiness of the business is less important than the creditworthiness of the customers.
This type of financing is particularly well-suited for:
- Small and medium-sized businesses:
A/R financing is often used by small and medium-sized businesses that need short-term cash flow but may not qualify for traditional bank loans.
- Businesses with long payment terms:
Businesses that have customers with long payment terms, such as 30, 60 or even 90 days, can use A/R financing to bridge the gap between the time when they make the sale and when they receive payment.
- Businesses in seasonal or cyclical industries:
Businesses that experience fluctuations in cash flow, such as those in seasonal or cyclical industries, can use A/R financing to even out their cash flow.
- Businesses with rapid growth:
Rapidly growing businesses may have trouble keeping up with cash flow needs and can use A/R financing to support their growth.
- Businesses in industries with low credit scores:
Businesses in certain industries such as staffing or trucking, might have a harder time getting traditional loans due to the nature of their businesses, but they can still use A/R financing as a way to raise capital.
It’s important to keep in mind that A/R financing is not for every business and has its own set of disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of this type of financing before making a decision.
As always, it’s also important to shop around and compare the fees, interest rates, and terms of different financing options before making a decision.
What are some of the most common and best Accounts Receivable (A/R) financing options?
There are several options for businesses looking to finance their accounts receivable, including:
- Invoice Factoring:
Invoice factoring is a type of accounts receivable financing where a business sells its unpaid invoices to a lender or factoring company at a discounted rate. Factoring companies typically advance between 70% and 90% of the invoice value and charge a fee for their services. Invoice factoring is a good option for businesses with a high volume of outstanding invoices and a strong customer base.
- Invoice Discounting:
Invoice discounting is similar to invoice factoring, but it is typically done through a lender rather than a factoring company. The lender advances a percentage of the invoice value, but the business is responsible for collecting payment from its customers and maintaining control of its accounts receivable. Invoice discounting can be a good option for businesses that want to maintain more control over their invoicing and collections process.
- Asset-Based Lending:
Asset-based lending is a type of financing where a business borrows money based on the value of its assets, which can include accounts receivable. Asset-based lenders will typically advance between 50% and 80% of the value of the assets. This can be a good option for businesses that have a wide variety of assets, including accounts receivable, inventory, and equipment.
- Lines of Credit:
A line of credit is a type of loan that allows a business to borrow money as needed, up to a certain limit. Many banks and other lenders offer lines of credit that can be used to finance accounts receivable. This can be a good option for businesses that have a steady cash flow and need flexibility in their financing.
Ultimately, the best option for your business will depend on your specific needs and financial situation. It’s important to shop around and compare the fees, interest rates, and terms of different financing options before making a decision.
How common is it for businesses to leverage an Accounts Receivable (A/R) Loan to raise capital?
Accounts receivable (A/R) loans, also known as factoring or invoice financing, are a common form of financing for small and medium-sized businesses.
These types of loans allow companies to borrow money based on the value of their outstanding invoices, rather than relying on traditional forms of lending such as bank loans.
The exact prevalence of A/R loans may vary depending on the region and industry, but they are widely used as a financial tool for businesses in need of short-term cash flow.
Beyond Bank Loans: Exploring the advantages and disadvantages of using an accounts receivable (A/R) loan to raise capital for your business.
Based on the above factors, the lender will determine if the risk is acceptable and if the loan should be approved, and at what terms and conditions.
Advantages of using an accounts receivable (A/R) loan to raise capital for your business include:
- Quick access to cash:
A/R loans allow businesses to access cash quickly, as the loan is based on the value of outstanding invoices rather than the creditworthiness of the business.
A/R loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including working capital, inventory, and equipment purchases.
- No impact on credit score:
Since the loan is based on the value of outstanding invoices, it does not impact the credit score of the business.
- No need to give up equity:
A/R loans do not require the business to give up equity in the company, unlike other forms of financing such as venture capital or angel investment.
- It can help with cash flow:
A/R loans can be a good solution for businesses with customers that have long payment terms, by providing cash flow in the meantime.
However, there are also a few disadvantages for accounts receivable (A/R) financing to consider:
A/R loans can be more expensive than traditional loans, as the fees and interest rates can be higher.
- Loss of control:
In some cases, businesses may have to give up control of their accounts receivable and collections process to the lender or factoring company.
If the borrower’s customer base has a high risk of default or if the market conditions are unfavorable, it can increase the risk of the loan.
Some lenders have limitations on the type of invoices that they will accept, and the maximum amount of financing that they will provide.
- It can affect relationships with customers:
Invoice factoring companies may contact the business customers directly, which can negatively impact the customer-business relationship.
Overall, it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using an an accounts receivable (A/R) loan before making a decision. It’s also important to shop around and compare the fees, interest rates, and terms of different financing options before making a decision.
It’s important to keep in mind that taking any loan it should be well thought out, and the business should be able to demonstrate its ability to repay the loan and the expected return on investment.
Businesses should also consider other options such as business term loans, merchant cash advances (MCA), venture debt financing, or SERD financing along with accounts receivable financing before making a final decision.
Important information: Levr.ai provides financial education services in the form of blogs, posts, templates, and support documents and are intended to inform and educate readers on various financial topics, including but not limited to budgeting, investing, and small business finance. Levr.ai’s website and/or blogs etc. (mentioned above) are not to be confused with a certified accountant or financial advisor, and the information provided should not be construed as professional advice.
Clients are solely responsible for their financial decisions and actions, and Levr.ai is not liable for any damages or losses that may result from such decisions or actions. The information provided is general in nature and may not be suitable for all individuals or situations.
Clients are encouraged to seek the advice of a certified accountant or financial advisor for specific financial advice tailored to their individual circumstances. Levr.ai does not endorse any specific financial products or services and is not responsible for any third-party information or links provided.
Find the right loan for your business
Getting started is free, easy, and secure