The 2009 week, I enjoyed a few days in Edinburgh attending the Asset Based Finance Association’s annual conference. ABFA represents the asset based finance (invoice finance and asset based lending) industry within the United kingdom and also the Republic of eire, and also the conference is attended by the majority of the senior leaders in the market.
Once more, the problem being most debated was: How can we get more companies to the advantages of asset based finance?
The invoice finance marketplace is growing, obviously – gradually. Nowadays there are around 45,000 companies within the United kingdom utilizing it, but to place this into some kind of context it’s believed that more than 400,000 companies are appropriate for this kind of funding and is taking advantage of it. We are barely scratching the top.
And it is less attractive to smaller sized SME’s, with under 1.7% of these funding their business having a factoring or invoice factoring facility.
So, why aren’t more SME’s using asset based finance?
1. There’s not enough advocates.
ABFA member studies have shown that 86% of clients using asset based finance are satisfied or very satisfied, although not enough seem to be compelled to inform others about how exactly it benefits their business. A contented client is definitely an advocate and also the industry must do more to leverage this.
Too couple of professional advisors, particularly accountants, understand and promote the advantages of invoice finance & ABL. Until they are doing, we can’t achieve the numerous a large number of SME’s that may be growing with this support.
2. There’s still an excessive amount of jargon.
Although most of the leading funders take steps to simplify the word what utilized in their contracts along with other correspondence, we have not done enough to get rid of jargon completely. Front-line invoice finance staff still use an excessive amount of it.
A beginning point is always to eradicate utilisation of the words ‘factoring’ and ‘invoice discounting’ – each of which are out-dated, and replace ‘asset based finance’.
3. The prices is (a minimum of perceived) as complex.
Most providers adopt a really similar prices structure but you may still find a lot of variances, including ancillary charges.
Some possess the brought the way in which with ‘bundled’ or single fee prices but this isn’t always suitable for all facilities, particularly bigger ones.
A standardised method of client on-boarding, such as the explanation of charges and expenses, is needed – implemented through formal industry training and accreditation.
4. Saying goodbye may be the hardest factor to complete…
Short-term contracts did a great deal to address the perception it’s difficult to get away from invoice finance however the simple fact is, the entire process of terminating a center or switching to a different provider isn’t as straight-forward accurately.
Asset based funders should stick to the example set by a few banks along with other financial organisations, and make certain that the expertise of departing them is really as positive as all of those other relationship.
5. We’ve got the technology is stuck at nighttime ages.
There has been some notable developments recently, like the capability to extract real-time data from client’s accounting systems, usually, technology within the asset based financial markets are not developing rapidly enough – an example being the possible lack of a dependable mobile platform.