Tag Archives | trade credit

Unsecured Credit

See Also:
Debits and Credits
Credit Letter
Direct Tax
Credit Memorandum (memo)

Unsecured Credit Definition

Define unsecured credit as credit not collateralized by an asset. It is a common form of credit used for business. Furthermore, an unsecured credit line comes in many forms, including the following:

Though it may go unmentioned, many businesses use it to successfully finance any of their operations.

Unsecured Credit Meaning

Unsecured credit means credit which, when unpaid, can not be reclaimed through the seizure of an asset. This is important to note because unsecured credit facilities may be confused with secured credit. Though lenders have other methods to regain the value of the credit they offered, such as a court decree saying the lendee must repay the lendor, there is no asset promised by the receiver of the credit.

On a small scale, unsecured credit loans are more simple to acquire than secured credit. The perfect example of this is a credit card. Credit cards are the easiest method of credit to acquire outside of the financing of “friends, family, and fools”.

On a large scale, an unsecured credit agreement is fairly difficult to acquire. The example of this would be mezzanine debt financing: mezzanine financing is virtually as difficult to acquire as venture capital. In this situation, companies generally use an unsecured credit facility when they can not receive secured credit. This situation occurs when the company can not meet the requirements or obligations of the secured credit lender or prefer to keep their assets free of obligation.

The business owner makes the final decision on whether secured or unsecured credit is the best decision. A general rule of thumb would be that if the company has more to lose by collateralizing an asset then not receiving the financing, unsecured credit may be their best option. consult a trained CFO to find the best option for your business.

Unsecured Credit Example

For example, Karl is an entrepreneur who has started a company which manufactures precision electronics for the military. Because Karl makes each item to changing specifications, Karl must keep a lot of supplies on hand. He must have a strong base of credit to cope with the changing demands which his customers provide.

Karl has recently outgrown his current lines of credit. To make matters more complicated, almost all of his assets are already promised as collateral for other loans. With no option left, Karl must find an unsecured credit provider. He knows that credit cards will surely not be able to support his needs. He sees mezzanine debt financing as the only option.

After consulting with a trained CFO, Karl realizes that his company will actually lose profit by receiving the funding. The CFO clearly spelled this out in the financial analysis he provided. It seems the best option is for Karl to grow a little slower. Though he will have to deny some customers, it will ultimately result in a stronger business which is financed by free cash flow. Though Karl does not feel like as much of a “high roller”, he is happy that he made the prudent decision.

unsecured credit

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Trade Credit

See Also:
5 Cs of Credit
Credit Sales
Standard Chart of Accounts
Income Statement
Free Cash Flow

Trade Credit Definition

Trade credit refers to postponing payment for goods or services received. It is buying goods on credit, or extending credit to customers. It is also receiving goods now and paying for them later. And trade credit is delivering goods to a customer now and agreeing to receive payment for those goods at a later date. Trade credit terms often require payment within one month of the invoice date, but may also be for longer periods. Most of the commercial transactions between businesses involve trade credit. This type of credit facilitates business to business transactions and is a vital component of any commercial industry.

If a consumer receives goods now and agrees to pay for them later, the goods were purchased with trade credit. Likewise, if a supplier delivers goods now and agrees to receive payment later, the sale was made with trade credit. There are two types of trade credit: trade receivables and trade payables. Trade credit payables and receivables can become complex and it is important to manage trade credit properly and accurately.

Accounting Trade Credit

For accounting purposes, the value of goods bought on credit is recorded on the balance sheet in an account called accounts payable, representing money the company owes for goods it already received. These are trade payables.

While the value of goods sold on credit is recorded on the balance sheet in an account called accounts receivable, representing the money owed to a company for goods it already delivered to customers. These are trade receivables.

Trade credit is essentially a short-term indirect loan. When a supplier delivers goods to a buyer and agrees to accept payment later, the supplier is essentially financing the purchase for the buyer. Trade credit is an interest-free loan. As long as the buyer postpones payment, the buyer is saving the money that would have been spent on interest to finance the purchase with a loan. At the same time, the supplier is losing the interest it would have earned had it received the payment and invested the cash. Therefore, the buyer wants to postpone payment as long as possible and the supplier wants to collect payment as soon as possible. That is why suppliers often offer discount credit terms to buyers who pay sooner rather than later.

Trade Receivables Definition

Trade receivables represent the money owed but not yet paid to a company for goods or services already delivered or provided to the customer. The goods were delivered and the sale was recorded. But the cash was not yet received. Record trade receivables as an asset on the balance sheet in an account called accounts receivable.

Trade Payables Definition

Trade payables represent the money a company owes but has not yet paid for goods or services that have already been delivered or provided from a supplier. The goods were received, the expense was recorded, but the cash was not yet paid. Trade payables are recorded as a liability on the balance sheet in an account called accounts payable.

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Retainage

Retainage Definition

What is retainage? What is a retainage fee? In the contracting business, vendors define this term as a portion of the payment that is withheld until the completion of a project. The client doesn’t pay the contractor remaining payment until all work on the project is complete. It is defined the risk clients take when paying contractors. Its result is a protection for their money, time, and other resources.

Negotiate retainage upfront and represent it as a percentage of the overall cost of the project. A common withheld payment amount is 10%. This incentivizes the contractor to provide quality work up until the very end of the project. As a deal-sweetener, or for small scale projects and rushed jobs, a client may offer to forego this percentage to a familiar and reputable contractor. This definition can vary somewhat depending on industry and company focus.

Retainage Collection

Similar to accounts receivable and other forms of trade credit, an uncollected retainage receivable is essentially an interest-free loan with a cost equal to the cost of financing current assets and the time value of money.

Therefore, from the contractor’s perspective, a shorter collection period is optimal. Typical collection periods for retainage accounts receivable can be as long as 6 months or as short as 45 days. If you want to be very efficient, then consistently collect the withheld amount from clients within 90 days of project completion. A reduction is surely needed if collection occurs beyond the marker of 6 months.

Collection Hurdles

Typically there are three steps to complete before the contractor can collect retainage. These three steps are: completing the punch list, putting together the close-out package, and submitting this invoice.

Define a punch list as a list of minor details and leftover items related to the project. The bulk of the project may be complete, but small tasks may remain unfinished. For instance, a punch list may include an unpainted portion of a ceiling, faulty wiring for a light bulb, or a problem with plumbing. The client will not pay the retainage until these minor items have been taken care of, so this is an important step to complete in speeding up collections.

The close-out package is a collection of documents related to the project. Some clients, especially in the medical field, expect a close-out package prior to paying retainage. The close-out package consists of copies of legal documents, liens, warranties, certificate of occupancy, test results, operations and maintenance manuals, and other relevant paperwork and documentation. Gather these documents and send them to the client in a timely manner to ensure prompt payment of retainage.

And finally, it is important to submit the retainage invoice to the client as soon as possible after all other necessary steps have been completed. Prior to submitting the invoice, finalize all subcontractor pricing.

Three Steps for Retainage Collection

1. Complete the punch list
2. Assemble the close-out package
3. Mail the retainage invoice

Complications

Certain matters can complicate retainage negotiations, retainage collection, and retainage release. These issues can arise from change orders and arrangements with subcontractors.

Often, over the course of a contracted project, the client will request changes deviating from the original project plans. For instance, in a construction project the client may request to move a wall, alter or relocate windows or doorways, or add or change other features. These change orders inevitably add to the cost of the project as a whole and change the amount withheld.

Getting pricing in from all subcontractors on additional work can be difficult. A project manager must rely on subcontractors to submit pricing in a timely manner so that they can generate the final progress billing and retainage billing. Oftentimes, pricing can snowball at the end of a project.

A dedicated project manager will be pro-active with regards to pricing from subcontractors. So that he may invoice the retainage as soon as possible after they complete the project.

Retainage bonds further confuse the matter, with needs varying by location and governing body. Generally, file some kinds of retainage bond with the local municipality. Amounts and requirements are subject to the preferences of local government. Make sure to consult an expert when filing for any type of payment bond.


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retainage

See Also:
Progress Billing for a General Contractor
How to Maintain an Effective Job Schedule
Work in Progress
How to manage inventory
Trade Credit

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Credit Sales

Credit Sales Definition

In accounting, credit sales refer to sales that involve extending credit to the customer. The customer takes the product now and agrees to pay for it later. Credit sales are a type of trade credit. They create receivables, or moneys owed to the company from customers.

Credit sales terms often require payment within one month of the invoice date, but may also be for longer periods. Many companies offer discounts for early payment of receivables. For many companies, all of their sales are credit sales. Most of the commercial transactions between businesses involve trade credit. Trade credit facilitates business to business transactions and is a vital component of any commercial industry.

Sales made on credit are essentially like offering an interest-free loan to the customer. It represents a cost to the seller and motivates the seller to collect receivables quickly.

Credit Sales and Average Collection Period

The average length of time it takes a company to collect payment for credit sales from customers is called the average collection period. A shorter collection period shows a company that is able to collect its receivables quicker. In addition, it shows they reduced the implied cost or opportunity cost of the interest-free loan to the customer.

On the other hand, a company that has a comparatively long average collection period is clearly having trouble collecting payments from customers and this could be a sign of inefficient operations.

Credit Sales Example

For example, if a widget company sells its widgets to a customer on credit and that customer agrees to pay in a month, then the widget company is essentially extending an interest-free loan to the customer equal to the amount of the cost of the purchase.

As long as the customer puts off paying for the purchase, the widget company is paying interest on loans that are tied up in the accounts receivable account due to the sale that was made on credit. In this sense, the widget company is paying interest on the customer’s loan.

The widget maker would be better off trying to get the customer to pay as soon as possible. To do so, the widget company may offer a discount to the purchase price for early payment. For example, the widget company may offer its customers a deal like 2% ten, net thirty. This deal states that the customer gets a 2% discount if they pay within ten days, otherwise they pay the full amount in thirty days. The 2% discount, when calculated out as yearly savings, turns out to be quite a substantial discount and a powerful incentive for the customer to pay early.

credit sales

See Also:
Trade Credit
5 Cs of Credit
Collateralized Debt Obligations
Cash Flow Statement
Balance Sheet

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2/10 net 30

See Also:
2/10 Net 30 Example
Credit Sales
Letter of Credit
Line of Credit (Bank Line)
Net 30 Credit Terms
5 C’s of Credit (5 C’s of Banking)

2/10 net 30 Definition

2/10 net 30, defined as the trade credit in which clients can opt to either receive a 2 percent discount for payment to a vendor within 10 days or pay the full amount (net) of their accounts payable in 30 days, is extremely common in business to business sales. Anywhere a vendor offers credit terms it is likely that they also offer some discount to motivate early payment.

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2/10 net 30 Meaning

2/10 net 30 means a discount for payment within 10 days. The purpose of this is to shorten accounts receivable cycles for those who provide credit terms. This is essential when vendors have accounts receivable turnover cycles which exist longer than preferred. A business that offers a 2/10 net 30 discount is expressing that it is more important to have cash as quickly as possible than it is to have the full amount of their payable. The fact that lack of cash is one of the main reasons businesses fail makes these terms commonplace. Businesses love to offer 2/10 net 30 for 2 reasons: it makes customers happy while speeding up cash cycles.

Variations on this method include 2/10 net 40, 2/10 net 45, 2/10 net 60, 2/10 n 30 EOM (end of month), and more. These terms may also be referred to in a variety of terms: 2/10 n 45, 2/10 n 60, 2/10 days net 30, 2 percent 10 net 30 days.

The 2/10 net 30 discount makes no statement on the payment of bills beyond 30 days. Vendors may or may not have a late payment penalty for such customers. It is up to the discretion of the purchaser to decide the best method of closing accounts payable when 2/10 n 30 is available.

2/10 n 30 journal entries vary depending on the accounting method used. LIFO vs FIFO, accounting vs economic income, and many other matters make 2/10 n 30 accounting somewhat complicated. Strong company policies must be in place to ensure smooth bookkeeping.

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2/10 net 30 Formula

There is no single 2/10 net 30 formula. Despite this, 2/10 net 30 interest rate equations can often fall into this model:

If paid within 10 days:
Invoice Amount X 98% = 2/10 net 30 effective interest rate

If paid within 30 days:
Pay the invoice in full

2/10 net 30 Calculation

2/10 net 30 calculations are quite simple once understood fully.

The invoice amount is $10,000 and 2/10 net 30 accounting is in place.

If paid within 10 days, then:
$10,000 X 98% = $9,800 due with in 10 days

If paid within 30 days, then:
$10,000 is due

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2/10 net 30

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