managementul creanțelor sursă de lichiditate

Debt management – a source of liquidity

If you are familiar with managing a business, you have probably made efforts at least once to convince a customer to buy the goods or services you provide, only to find that after the sale, you cannot immediately collect the corresponding price.

Therefore, any experienced entrepreneur knows how important it is to invest in marketing efforts to ensure that their business benefits from a high volume of orders. On the other hand, the benefit of sales obtained through marketing efforts can only be felt when the invoices issued are actually converted into money that the entrepreneur can reinvest in the business.

Most of the time, invoices are collected after a period of 30 to 180 days, which can slow down the development of the business.

What are receivables and why is managing them essential?

We can speak of a receivable whenever a company is owed money for services rendered or products supplied which, although invoiced, have not yet been paid by customers.

Receivables management is a vital aspect of business management. This process is essential to generate inflows of funds into the accounts or cash of the company, having a significant impact on cash flow.

When the terms offered are relatively generous (for example, they can reach up to 180 days), the business may face, at least temporarily, a liquidity deficit, even if the volume of sales is satisfactory.

The internal system of receivables management and influencing factors

You should know that effective receivables management cannot be achieved in the absence of rigorous internal processes, the most important of which are:

  • Invoicing and payment processing;
  • Communication with customers;
  • Financing and credit policies;
  • Debt collection policies.

The way in which each of these processes is structured contributes to the factors that affect receivables management. For example, in the case of credit policies, the impact may vary depending on:

  • The way in which the necessary information is collected during creditworthiness analyses for making credit decisions;
  • The duration of the commercial credit granted;
  • The discount policy, among others.

Perspectives on the approach to credit management and the role of this process

In the traditional approach, credit management starts from a more restrictive vision, focusing mainly on planning and controlling customer debts related to sales made with the granting of commercial credit. This perspective emphasizes that the objectives of an efficient credit management process include optimizing billing, collections, and debt recovery to minimize the period in which the company is paid for sales and to reduce payment risks as much as possible.

However, the modern approach to this process has at its center the ultimate goal of maximizing cash flow while minimizing costs and maintaining good relationships with customers. In other words, an integrated approach to credit management will consider both liquidity and business profitability, without neglecting the importance of commercial aspects.

In this approach, the financing policies of your company will support an efficient credit management, designed to reduce pressure on payment terms granted to customers and allow greater flexibility in commercial credit policies.

Specific challenges faced by entrepreneurs in debt management

Perhaps you have also tried to negotiate advantageous payment terms with your main clients, but in order to take advantage of the sales opportunity, you have sometimes had to prioritize their commercial policies and offer them generous payment terms, even accepting payment for invoices up to 180 days after the sale!

As is natural, this aspect has probably generated challenges in honoring the short-term financial obligations of your own business: payments to suppliers, employees, the state or owners.

At other times, prompt payment for goods and services may have been conditioned on granting significant discounts to customers, discounts that have significantly reduced the commercial margins you could have obtained if you had had a more generous working capital.

In these circumstances, you may be looking for solutions that allow you to manage liquidity in an appropriate manner, while maintaining prices and good relationships with customers, in order to encourage future sales.

Factoring – the financing tool that supports the receivables management efficiently

Fortunately, there is a financial instrument that can practically solve both cash-flow issues and support beneficial commercial relationships: factoring! 

In this operation, a specialized entity in invoice financing, called a factor, participates, along with a company interested in securing its working capital, called an adherent. The factor is usually a bank or an alternative financing institution, while adherent can be any commercial entity that issues invoices with payment terms (although SMEs are the main beneficiaries). 

Through factoring, which can be accessed online using marketplace platforms, your company’s receivables can be transformed into cash, without having to wait for the due date. Therefore, it may be opportune to use this instrument, especially if the invoices issued to your customers have relatively long payment terms (30-180 days). 

It is important to note that factoring is not a loan but an alternative form of financing that allows you to more easily obtain the necessary funds for your company. Additionally, factoring improves receivables management by quickly transforming them into working capital.

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