Our Free app has got even better!
At Cottons, we offer one of the best FREE accounting app available. After listening to feedback we have updated our app with even more new features!
Budget Report 2018 – A Summary
Chancellor Philip Hammond presented his second Autumn Budget on Monday 29 October 2018. In his speech, he stated that ‘austerity is coming to an end – but discipline will remain’.
Cottons gains inclusion to Handpicked Accountants
Cottons are delighted to announce that we are the latest accountancy firm to gain inclusion on Handpicked Accountants, an exclusive network of the very best accountants in the UK. Launched in 2017 by the professional services company Begbies Traynor, Handpicked Accountants aims to connect individuals and small business owners with trusted local accountants.
At Cottons, we fully appreciate the importance of small business owners having the support and guidance of an accountant they can rely upon. We pride ourselves on delivering the very highest level of customer service to all our clients whether their business is a start-up taking its first steps, or a well-established company with a growing list of needs.
David Tattersall, Head of Client Relations at Handpicked Accountants, said, “We are thrilled to welcome Cottons Accountants to the Handpicked Accountants family. With over 75 members of staff spread across 4 offices, Cottons have the breadth of experience and expertise to help your business thrive, regardless of the sector or industry. We have no hesitation in recommending the services of Cottons to any Handpicked Accountants customer in the Rugby, Northampton, Daventry, and London area.”
You can view our page on Handpicked Accountants here: https://www.handpickedaccountants.co.uk/west-midlands/rugby/cottons-chartered-accountants
Are you being targeted by email scammers?
Despite all our best efforts, criminals are targeting SMEs with increasingly clever email scams. Businesses need to be incredibly cautious when making payments to suppliers and to be especially aware if they receive new bank details to pay to.
We have recently been contacted by several businesses who have fallen foul of an email invoice scam. We advise our clients to be vigilant to ensure their hard-earned money isn’t finding its way into a criminal’s bank account!
The article below highlights some of the key scams currently being used and the best ways to protect yourself and your business.
Understanding your business’s true potential.
As many businesses have discovered, growth not only takes a strong vision but also a clear business strategy. The difficulty in building this strategy occurs in navigating an ever-changing financial environment.
The secret to getting an amazing accountant at a local rate…
When it comes to selecting an accountancy firm, businesses can feel a little overwhelmed by the range of choice presented on the local market. It is easy to be intimidated by approaching a larger accounting firm.
How Open Banking Can Empower Businesses To Grow
“Open banking” is a new directive which was introduced in the UK in January. It has the potential to fundamentally change the way companies manage their finances, access capital and make strategic decisions.
Alternative Sources Of Finance For Early Stage And Growing Businesses
It is common for ambitious businesses to require capital or debt financing in order to help them grow their top line revenues prior to them becoming profitable. Since the financial crisis, it has become even harder for SME businesses to access debt finance and growth capital. However, over the last decade, a plethora of different funding options have emerged, facilitated by generous tax breaks from the Government as well as technological developments.
The Tax Challenge
Here at Cottons Chartered Accountants, we understand what it is like to be a small business.
Get Into Fit Financial Shape In 2018
The new calendar year is a great time to take stock of your finances. Reviewing your finances in January and February provides sufficient time before the end of the tax year, at the beginning of April, in order to make sure that you are fully utilising all of the tax reliefs which are available to you.
Maximise Savings by Using Tax Relief Schemes
Reviewing your finances throughout the year provides sufficient time before the end of the tax year, at the beginning of April, in order to make sure that you are fully utilising all of the tax reliefs which are available to you.
Small Business Trends For 2018
Many small business owners work in the present, a space which is fast-moving and always evolving.
How to Obtain Bank Funding
In the wake of the credit crunch bank lending to businesses became almost more of a holy grail than an everyday option, however, nearly a decade on from the crash, as the economy continues to stabilise, banks are becoming more open again.
Business Funding With Invoice Factoring
For most businesses, there will come a time when an injection of funds is required, but in such a fast-paced, metamorphic business landscape, it’s no surprise that the financial world favours immediacy.
So how can a business get the finance it needs? What are the options? And how can it get organised to ensure it gets a yes from the lender? Let’s think about Invoice Factoring.
What is Invoice Factoring?
Invoice factoring is a form of debt financing which allows businesses to borrow money to the amount of their outstanding invoices. This form of funding grants businesses quick access to cash and is relatively low-risk in comparison to other forms of debt financing.
Invoice Factoring is commonly used by businesses as a short-term cash flow stabiliser, rather than for making a large capital investment.
Factoring invoices are usually suitable for businesses offering contracted work or companies that trade with other businesses or government agencies.
How Does It Work?
The first step in invoice factoring is completed when the borrowing party issues a bill to their customer on an account due in a 90-day time frame.
The business then sells their accounts receivable to a lender e.g. a lender gives the business the cash due on the invoice before the client pays. When the client pays the lender then receives their cash back. There is a fee and the application process varies depending on the provider you choose.
It should be noted that once you submit your application the lender will assess how eligible you are as a debtor – criteria to consider include; the amount the business wishes to borrow, the sum of their open account(s), the credit history of the business’s customers and any other credit risks.
Once an application is approved, the factor can then release a portion of the requested fund to their debtor, this is typically 80% of the borrowers’ pending invoices – this is referred to as the ‘advance rate’. Risk factors that can affect the advance rate are the debtor’s industry and the size of the transaction.
Following approval, a business’ customer will be notified that the company has assigned receipt of outstanding invoice payments to the factor, this is known as a ‘notice of assignment’ and allows remittance to be dispensed into a lockbox account.
If a client pays the sum of the unsettled invoice and meets the terms of the original invoice, the factor is then able to forward the borrower the remaining invoice amount. This will include the deduction of factoring fees also referred to as a ‘reserve amount’.
Invoice factoring is a great way for businesses to release tied up funds from unpaid invoices.
This process saves time as businesses don’t have to wait for their customers to pay their bill. Furthermore, admin time is saved as most factoring providers will pursue invoice payment directly from the client.
Invoice factoring also allows the business to manage their cash flow more easily as the payments are dispensed in instalments.
Like most other forms of debt financing, factoring providers charge disbursements monthly in addition to other extra fees.
Factoring companies can set stipulations for debtors based on how many regular customers a business gets and how much foreign trade they do.
Small businesses often prefer to maintain working relationships with their clientele, and this can be made difficult if factoring companies manage credit control as they take over the customer liaison role.
Is Invoice Factoring Right for Your Business?
The Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) have reported that over 45,000 businesses across a range of industries are currently using invoice factoring in the UK. If your customer base trades on credit terms, you would like to increase your working capital or grow your business and you need an immediate cash flow boost, invoice factoring may be worth considering.
Cottons Chartered Accountants and Invoice Factoring
Cottons understand what a business needs to do to secure invoice based lending. Recently we notably assisted a client in achieving invoice finance in less than three weeks through Close Brothers and enabled a company takeover.
Talk to us about getting your business in shape for finance and introducing you to the correct lenders.
Cottons have chartered accountants in London, Northampton, Rugby and Daventry. Our local offices support local businesses of all sizes with a firm understanding of their individual economic areas. Contact us if you would like to know more about our reliable tax and accounting services for your business.