If you're tired of waiting weeks or even months for invoices to be cashed and need a more consistent source of working capital, invoice financing can help you manage your business cash flow.
Invoice financing is a type of business loan with reduced risk, as it's secured by outstanding invoices. Unlike other types of business lending, there are no interest payments or asset requirements, and finance is limited to the size of the invoices.
Invoice financing is a type of receivables finance and includes invoice factoring and invoice discounting. Invoice discounting is where you select specific invoices to send to the finance company, whereas factoring involves the finance company having your full invoice ledger and collecting all the debts when they're due.
If you choose specific invoices to finance, you will receive a certain percentage of the invoice, usually 80-90%, within 24 hours. The remainder of the invoice will be transferred to you when the customer pays, minus the invoice company's advance fee.
Invoice factoring is usually settled monthly, but there are a number of different types you can consider.
How much does invoice financing cost?
Most invoice funding companies will pay you around 80-95% of the total value of your invoices within 24 hours. An advance fee will also be charged, usually 2-5% of the invoice amount. The exact costs involved will depend on your business, though many invoice funding providers also charge set transaction, exchange and discount fees.
Compare invoice financing products
Waddle Invoice Finance
Waddle Invoice Finance
Make additional repayments
100% confidential application
Waddle Invoice Finance
Close cash flow gaps with Waddle. Borrow against your unpaid invoices with a line of credit up to $1m.
Cloud accounting integration
Get funds in 48 hours
Choose the customers for funding
Flexible terms – no lock-in contracts and only pay for what you use
Less admin – no uploading of invoices, easy reconciliation
Invoice financing suits a range of businesses, including the following:
Smaller businesses. Late payments to small businesses are a real issue and invoice financing offers a way to ensure businesses get paid on time. It also helps with planning as they know how much they will be charged to bring forward invoice payments.
Larger businesses. Invoice financing is also used by larger businesses and corporations as a cash flow tool to ensure late payments do not negatively affect the running of the business.
Seasonal businesses. Cash flow can be tricky for all businesses, but this is true for seasonal businesses in particular. Invoice financing offers a way for businesses with seasonal lulls to bring forward payments to keep things moving.
Common questions about invoice financing
This will depend on your provider. Some offer a completely confidential service while others will want to verify your clients. Having your provider in contact with your clients can be useful, as they can help you to chase up those that have unpaid invoices. Just make sure they don’t communicate with clients in a way that could undermine your relationship with them.
While the invoice financing company might approach your customers, it remains primarily your responsibility to have the invoice paid. Once it is, you will usually receive your residual share within 24 hours.
Different companies will have their own policies, but you will likely need to notify them as soon as possible and transfer the funds into the correct account to avoid any negative marks on your credit file.
This will depend on your invoice financing provider. Some providers will cover the cost but increase future fees while others offer packages whereby you choose whether to bear responsibility.
What types of invoice factoring are available?
There are three main types of invoice factoring, so it's important to choose the one that best suits your business:
All-of-turnover invoice factoring. This is for businesses that want a long-term solution for invoice factoring, with providers usually offering their services on a 12-month contract. Although not very flexible, all-of-turnover invoice factoring can offer the highest possible turnover rates with the lowest fees.
Partial ledger invoice factoring. Partial ledger invoice factoring will also require you to sign a contract, but it also offers more flexibility. You can choose to capitalise on your invoices at particular times during the year and even ask your provider to focus on processing invoices from select clients.
Spot factoring. This could be the right kind of factoring if you need to process a single batch of invoices. While not being tied to a contract can be a good thing, you can be charged multiple fees and a high advance rate by a provider keen to capitalise on your limited business.
How to compare invoice financing providers
As with other types of business lending and credit platforms, there are several factors you should consider and compare in order to select the best invoice financing provider for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Advance fees. These are typically charged at up to 3% of each invoice. However, funding providers may increase this if they view your company as less financially secure, for example, if you have a poor credit rating.
Additional fees. Some invoice financing providers will charge you exchange and transaction fees along with discount fees from early payment offers made to your clients.
Loan amount. Many invoice financing providers are set up to offer a personal, efficient service to small businesses, but may also be able to cater to large companies with a higher quantity of invoices. Funding will also increase as the business and invoices grow.
Repayment options. Make sure you know each provider’s policy on late repayments, just in case a client lets you down.
The benefits and drawbacks to consider before you apply
In spite of its differences with credit cards, loans and overdrafts, invoice financing is still a form of borrowing and as such it comes with both benefits and drawbacks.
No repayments. Without the stress of ongoing repayments, you can focus your efforts elsewhere.
No more secured assets. Forget the constant anxiety that comes with securing property and personal possessions.
No interest rates or penalty fees. Repayments are only reliant on the money you’re owed, which cancels the need for interest and fees.
Plan your finances effectively. Because you know when the money will be in your account, you can make decisions on future outgoings with more confidence.
A flexible service. Unlike a long-term loan, you can decide exactly how long you require the services of an invoice financing provider.
Funding limited to size of invoices. Unlike a regular business loan, you will only be able to borrow up to the value of your invoices.
If clients don’t pay, it’s your problem. Invoice financing providers will cover the cost of missed payments by increasing advance fees, so you could see your credit score affected.
Elizabeth Barry is Finder's global fintech editor. She has written about finance for over five years and has been featured in a range of publications and media including Seven News, the ABC, Mamamia, Dynamic Business and Financy. Elizabeth has a Bachelor of Communications and a Master of Creative Writing from the University of Technology Sydney. In 2017, she received the Highly Commended award for Best New Journalist at the IT Journalism Awards. Elizabeth has found writing about innovations in financial services to be her passion (which has surprised no one more than herself).
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of banks, insurers and product issuers. We value our editorial independence and follow editorial guidelines.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product or service.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money here.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.