The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2012-03-13T07:14:00Z Debtor finance popularity grows as cash flow pressures bite business 2012-03-13T07:14:00Z debtor-finance-popularity-grows-as-cash-flow-pressures-bite-business costs and a strong Australian dollar are increasingly looking to debtor finance as a means to address their cash flow challenges, new figures show. Institute of Factors and Discounters (IFD) statistics reveal that total Australian debtor finance turnover in the December 2011 quarter was $16.3 billion – a four per cent increase from the preceding September 2011 quarter. Turnover for the 12 months to December 2011 was $61.4 billion – up 4.6 per cent from the 12 months ending December 2010. By comparison, total business credit is rising more slowly than debtor finance, with recent RBA statistics showing that business credit increased by just 1.4 per cent[1] over the year to January 2011. Rob Lamers, Head of Debtor Finance of Oxford Funding (a wholly-owned debtor finance subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank) said the growth in debtor finance, especially in the SME sector, was being driven by an increasing number of businesses looking for a more efficient way to manage their cash flow. “Factors such as economic pressure from the continued strength of the Australian dollar, high wage costs and interest rates are putting strain on the cash flow of many businesses,” said Lamers. “Additionally, property assets are not increasing as much as they have historically, so alternatives such as debtor finance, which is not secured by property but by a business’s assets, become more viable.” “Access to funding that scales with the growth of a business’s sales is especially appealing for businesses seeking this flexibility for seasonal fluctuations.” The IFD figures also reveal that factoring is leading the way nationally, with total factoring finance provided to businesses increasing 42.3 per cent in the December 2011 quarter over the same 2010 quarter. “With our ability to tailor both our factoring and invoice discounting solutions around businesses’ requirements, Oxford is able to cater to a broad market in search of specialist cash flow funding,” says Lamers. “This explains why our 16.6 per cent growth in total turnover from calendar years 2010 to 2011 is ahead of the industry average.” New South Wales and ACT businesses made the most use of factoring and discounting solutions, accounting for 38 per cent of total turnover. They were followed by Victoria (28 per cent), Queensland (15 per cent), Western Australia (11 per cent), South Australia and the Northern Territory (8 per cent) and Tasmania (0.2 per cent). ENDS About Oxford Funding Oxford Funding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX: BEN), is a specialist provider of debtor finance or cash flow solutions to small and medium enterprises. Since its inception in 1994, the company has continued to remain at the forefront of the Australian debtor finance industry due to its flexibility, product range and commitment to best practice service delivery. Oxford is a member of the Institute for Factors and Discounters of Australia and New Zealand (IFD). About Debtor Finance Debtor finance provides businesses with immediate cash by releasing funds tied up in their unpaid sales invoices. This flexible line of credit allows businesses to manage their cash flow and to meet everyday creditor and payroll requirements, without a bank overdraft or real estate asset security. For more information, see www.oxfordfunding.com.au. [1] Reserve Bank of Australia. Financial Aggregates. Jan 2012. http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/frequency/financial-aggregates.html Businesses urged to prepare for economic uncertainty 2012-01-31T05:19:00Z businesses-urged-to-prepare-for-economic-uncertainty-1 Melbourne, 31 January 2012 - Businesses need to do some housekeeping at the start of 2012 to prepare for what may be a tumultuous year ahead, suggests debtor finance specialist Oxford Funding. The latest business bad debt claims report by National Credit Insurance (Brokers) showed that November 2011 submissions remained steady, equal to October 2011 and slightly fewer compared to the same period in 2010. However Rob Lamers, Head of Debtor Finance at Oxford Funding, said businesses should not become complacent with the numbers. "While the number of claims have stabilised, the amount each claim represents is still high. Businesses can still miss tens of thousands of dollars, which is more than enough to be fatal for a small or medium organisation." The construction industry, particularly the electrical, building and hardware, steel and plumbing sectors, topped the list for the highest aggregate amount of claims, collectively more than $4 million out of pocket. The electrical industry alone chased debts worth almost $1.3 million with just 12 claims, an average of more than $100,000 per claim. Lamers suggested businesses use the traditionally slow period at the beginning of the year to get their accounts in order to prepare for forthcoming economic turbulence. "The US is in trouble, Europe is in trouble: the Australian economy can't help but be affected by what's going on globally. Now is the time to make sure your accounts receivable is functioning as it should be. Cash flow is of the utmost importance for sustaining your business," he said. "If you're having trouble with cash flow, look at sharpening your credit policies and debt recovery procedures, or consider an outsourced solution such as debtor financing. In an uncertain environment like this, never underestimate the value of getting paid on time." ENDS About Oxford Funding Oxford Funding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX: BEN), is a specialist provider of debtor finance or cash flow solutions to small and medium enterprises. Since its inception in 1994, the company has continued to remain at the forefront of the Australian debtor finance industry due to its flexibility, product range and commitment to best practice service delivery. Oxford is a member of the Institute for Factors and Discounters of Australia and New Zealand (IFD). About Debtor Finance Debtor finance provides businesses with immediate cash by releasing funds tied up in their unpaid sales invoices. This flexible line of credit allows businesses to manage their cash flow and to meet everyday creditor and payroll requirements, without a bank overdraft or real estate asset security. For more information, see www.oxfordfunding.com.au. Debtor finance even more popular as a solution to cash flow woes 2011-09-01T23:22:00Z debtor-finance-even-more-popular-as-a-solution-to-cash-flow-woes Melbourne, September 2, 1011 - Businesses facing volatility and uncertainty in the economy are increasingly turning to debtor finance as a solution to their cash flow problems, with new figures released by the Institute of Factors and Discounters (IFD) revealing a 6.1% rise in total receivables finance (also known as debtor finance) to Australian businesses in the June 2011 quarter ($15.2 billion) compared to the March 2011 quarter ($14.3 billion). The figures also reflect a 7.3% rise compared to the June 2010 quarter last year ($14.1 billion). The total debtor finance provided to businesses in the financial year 2010/2011 was $60.6 billion. Rob Lamers, head of debtor finance at Oxford Funding (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited) said the growth in debtor finance, especially in the SME sector, was being driven by the challenging economic environment that many businesses faced. “With ongoing economic instability, more businesses are searching for forms of finance that can keep their cash flow under control,” he said. “Debtor finance allows them to do that, with the added appeal of using business assets, rather than real estate, as security.” A recent report on the June quarter 2011 by credit bureau Dun & Bradstreet showed that Australian businesses are taking 53.4 days to pay their bills. Dun & Bradstreet also found that the number of payments that were 90 days or more overdue jumped almost 20% compared with the June quarter 2010. “Many Australian businesses cannot afford to wait 53 days to be paid, especially smaller businesses which have fewer resources and cash reserves,” said Lamers. “As a result, we expect the use of debtor finance to be a growing trend in Australia as more businesses become aware of its effectiveness in improving their cash flow. We have certainly experienced this trend within Oxford Funding, where our total debtor finance provided to businesses rose over 20% in the past year.” The largest users of debtor finance in the December quarter were the wholesale trade at 36% of total receivables and manufacturing at 22%. New South Wales and ACT businesses accounted for the largest portion of new debtor finance for the quarter with $5.4 billion (36%), followed by Victoria with $4.0 billion (26%), Queensland with $3.1 billion (21%), Western Australia with $1.5 billion (10%), South Australia and Northern Territory with $1.0 billion (7%), and Tasmania $41 million (0.3%). ENDS About Oxford Funding Oxford Funding, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX: BEN), is a specialist provider of debtor finance or cash flow solutions to small and medium enterprises. Since its inception in 1994, the company has continued to remain at the forefront of the Australian debtor finance industry due to its flexibility, product range and commitment to best practice service delivery. Oxford is a member of the Institute for Factors and Discounters of Australia and New Zealand (IFD). About Debtor Finance Debtor finance provides businesses with immediate cash by releasing funds tied up in their unpaid sales invoices. This flexible line of credit allows businesses to manage their cash flow and to meet everyday creditor and payroll requirements, without a bank overdraft or real estate asset security. For more information, see www.oxfordfunding.com.au. Property market plunge jeopardises small businesses 2011-05-31T03:31:00Z property-market-plunge-jeopardises-small-businesses A waning property market will put a number of small businesses at risk, according to Oxford Funding CEO Rob Lamers. Small business owners, particularly of start-ups, often secure finance using the value of their homes, but the tepid sector may cost businesses vital funding. According to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, for the fifth weekend in a row, demand remained subdued at auctions in Melbourne over the past weekend. The clearance rate was 59 per cent from the 829 auctions reported last weekend, compared to the same weekend last year which saw 990 auctions held and a clearance rate of 72 per cent achieved[1]. "The slowdown in the property market will affect business cash flow if a loan is secured by a property's value," said Lamers. "Now that auction clearance rates have dropped, a property may undergo a revaluation that results in reduced credit." A property previously valued at $1 million would typically attract 80% funding credit, which means the business could borrow $800,000. A revaluation of that property to $900,000 would mean a business could only borrow $720,000—a significant reduction of $80,000. Lamers said many small businesses secured loans against property, but this may not be the most appropriate long-term solution, as credit would not increase as the business grew. "It's better to have finance secured by your business, not your home, which doesn't grow to match your business," he advised. “Moreover, the lack of separation between personal and business assets places increased risk and pressure on business owners.” "Debtor finance is credit secured against a business’s sales invoices, which are assets of the business and increases as your sales increases. By leveraging your debtors’ ledger for funds, you can reinvest in business growth without being restricted by the property market.” The debtor finance sector grew 6.6% in the 2011 March quarter compared with the same quarter last year, according to industry body The Institute for Factors and Discounters (IFD). Of the rise, factoring turnover increased by 14%, the highest Australia has seen for the 12 months ending 31 March 2011. The other type of debtor finance, invoice discounting, experienced a rise of 1%. Oxford Funding (a subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited) provides both factoring and invoice discounting products. Its turnover, up 21% in the 2011 March quarter compared with 2010, was well above average, with factoring experiencing a hike of 39% and invoice discounting up 6%. "Having both factoring and invoice discounting products means Oxford Funding is well positioned in the current marketplace," said Lamers. -- ENDS – About Oxford Funding Oxford Funding, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX: BEN), is a specialist provider of debtor finance or cash flow solutions to small and medium enterprises. Since its inception in 1994, the company has continued to remain at the forefront of the Australian debtor finance industry due to its flexibility, innovative product portfolio and commitment to best practice service delivery. Oxford is a member of Factors Chain International (FCI). www.oxfordfunding.com.au [1] Figures from REIV website http://www.reiv.com.au/home/inside.asp?ID=142 Growth in business insolvencies fueling cash flow woes 2011-03-07T02:11:00Z growth-in-business-insolvencies-fueling-cash-flow-woes While 2010 may have been the year of the start up with Dun and Bradstreet reporting a large growth in the number of new businesses, higher interest rates, high profile insolvencies and lengthening debtor days saw 23 per cent of businesses fail. Cash flow, or the lack of it, was a key contributing factor to business failure, with the continued credit shortage leaving many small businesses unable to meet operational expenses. While business groups with up to 19 employees experienced the most significant increase in failure rates from 2009, larger businesses conversely experienced a decline in failure numbers. Rob Lamers, chief executive officer of debtor finance specialist Oxford Funding (a subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited) says that compared to larger businesses, many small businesses face more challenges in overcoming a rough patch. “With capital and other resources typically being less accessible for many small businesses, they may need to look to less mainstream financing options such as debtor finance, which can often be more appropriate for businesses in certain industries.” Lamers explains that with debtor finance, outstanding debts which are the curse of small businesses can be turned to their advantage. “By leveraging their debtors’ book for cash, businesses are able to use funds up-front to reinvest in the business for growth without being restricted by slow payers.” Recent data from the Institute of Factors and Discounters for the December 2010 quarter point to a 7.4 per cent increase in debtor finance on September 2010 figures, with total debtor finance turnover reaching $16.1 billion for the quarter. The annual turnover for the 12 months to the end of December 2010 was $58.7 billion. The biggest users of debtor finance in the December quarter were the wholesale trade sector at 34 per cent of total receivables and manufacturing at 21 per cent. ENDS About Oxford Funding Oxford Funding, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX: BEN), is a specialist provider of debtor finance or cash flow solutions to small and medium enterprises. Since its inception in 1994, the company has continued to remain at the forefront of the Australian debtor finance industry due to its flexibility, innovative product portfolio and commitment to best practice service delivery. Oxford is a member of Factors Chain International Cash flow fears fuels debtor finance growth 2010-11-30T05:29:00Z cash-flow-fears-fuels-debtor-finance-growth Latest IFD figures reveal more businesses are turning to debtor finance to smooth out cash flow as interest rates and bad debtors bite.Debtor finance grew in the three months to September to $15 billion, up 6.3% on the June quarter Worsening cash flow conditions fuelled by an increasing number of businesses going under, lengthening debtor days and higher interest rates has contributed to a rise in total debtor finance turnover for the September 2010 quarter by 6.3% to $15 billion, compared to $14.1 billion in the June 2010 quarter, according to a new report by the Institute of Factors and Discounters. Rob Lamers, chief executive officer of debtor finance specialist Oxford Funding (a division of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited) said: “Despite the strengthening economy, the recent interest rate rises is starting to impact the ability for businesses to pay suppliers on time creating an uncertain cash flow climate for many businesses across Australia. This has to some extent attributed to the healthy 6.3% growth in debtor finance this quarter.” “By leveraging their debtors book for cash, businesses have been able to use funds up-front to reinvest in the business for growth without being restricted by slow payers. As the economy recovers and businesses see an increase in sales and corresponding debtor levels, we expect to see the debtor finance industry enjoy further strong growth,” said Lamers. Invoice discounting turnover accounted for $14.1 billion and factoring turnover was $0.9 billion. The biggest users of debtor finance in the September quarter were wholesale trade at 31% of total receivables, followed by manufacturing at 21%, property and business services at 11% and labour hire at 10% “Despite the fact that the number of customers using the service is down from the previous quarter (5,251 compared to 5,366), the size of the debtor book has grown from $6.5 billion for the June quarter to $6.9 billion for the September quarter, indicating that larger businesses are starting to embrace debtor finance,” said Lamers. -- ENDS – About Oxford Funding Oxford Funding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX: BEN), is a specialist provider of debtor finance or cash flow solutions to small and medium enterprises. Since its inception in 1994, the company has continued to remain at the forefront of the Australian debtor finance industry due to its flexibility, innovative product portfolio and commitment to best practice service delivery. Oxford is a member of Factors Chain International (FCI). www.oxfordfunding.com.au Businesses continue to favour debtor finance 2010-02-26T03:20:00Z businesses-continue-to-favour-debtor-finance The flight to alternative financing strategies, such as debtor finance, to fund growth continues with new figures released by the Institute of Factors and Discounters (IFD) revealing strong uptake of debtor finance facilities amongst businesses, particularly those in the wholesale and manufacturing sectors. For the five years ending December 2009, total debtor finance turnover doubled from $31 billion in the year ending December 2004 to $63 billion in December 2009. Over this period, the standout adopters of debtor finance were wholesalers and manufacturers. In December 04 wholesale trade accounted for 36% of discounting turnover and 17% of factoring turnover. In December 09 wholesale trade made up 41% of discounting turnover and 20% of factoring turnover. This represents an increase of 12% (discounting) and 15% (factoring). Likewise, in December 04 manufacturing accounted for 17% of discounting turnover and 18% of factoring turnover. In December 09 manufacturing was 19% of discounting turnover and 24% of factoring turnover. This represents an increase of 2% (discounting) and 25% (factoring). Much of the recent demand is for full service debtor finance facilities (often referred to as Factoring) which Rob Lamers, chief executive officer of debtor finance specialist Oxford Funding (a division of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited), attributes to the growing demand by businesses for assistance with debt collection to maintain healthy cash flows to fund growth. For the quarter ending December 2009, industry turnover was up for both factoring and discounting, with Queensland ($2,997.2 Million), WA ($1,448.7 Million) and NSW/ACT ($5,753.2 Million) being the main contributors to the increase. Industry sectors driving the growth during this quarter by total debtor finance turnover were wholesale trade, manufacturing and labour hire. Commenting on the report, Lamers said, "Debtor finance has enjoyed strong growth over the past ten years, averaging an increase in turnover in excess of 20 per cent year-on-year. Our discussions with a number of industry sectors showed customers that make the decision to open a debtor finance facility tend to be long term advocates of the product and are maintaining facilities as a flexible source of funding to support their business growth.” -- ENDS About Oxford Funding Oxford Funding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX: BEN), is a specialist provider of debtor finance or cash flow solutions to small and medium enterprises. Since its inception in 1994, the company has continued to remain at the forefront of the Australian debtor finance industry due to its flexibility, innovative product portfolio and commitment to best practice service delivery. Oxford is a member of Factors Chain International (FCI). www.oxfordfunding.com.au Business owners opt to keep personal assets separate when funding business growth 2010-02-11T03:44:00Z business-owners-opt-to-keep-personal-assets-separate-when-funding-business-growth With many businesses still riding out the effects of the global financial crisis (GFC), more business owners are choosing not to risk their own personal assets in pursuit of expansion. Debtor finance specialist, Oxford Funding observed that business owners are more concerned about risk exposure and are choosing funding strategies such as debtor finance that separates personal wealth and enterprise development. The GFC was a financial wake up call for businesses. In Australia, where debtors rarely settle their debts within the standard 30 days payment period, cash flow pressures can be especially acute as Rob Lamers, CEO of Oxford Funding explains: “The GFC saw many business owners left financially exposed as payment terms blew out and a record number of debtors defaulting on what they owe due to insolvency. “As a result what we are now seeing are business owners preferring not to put their personal wealth on the line to fund business growth. Instead many are seeking alternative funding arrangements, such as debtor finance, which doesn’t require personal assets for security, allowing business owners to separate their personal assets from the business.” Brisbane-based Transport Solutions is one company who opted for debtor finance to help smooth out their cash flow, rather than putting their home on the line to fund business growth. When the GFC hit in 2009, Transport Solutions soon found that its cash flow was under significant stress. “We had some fast paying clients, but most were dragging out payments and taking longer to settle accounts,” said Debbie Larcombe, Transport Solutions’ Financial Controller. “When one customer who owed us $70,000 went broke, our cash flows encountered tremendous strain and put us dangerously close to the edge.” Transport Solutions approached Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, initially to request an overdraft that would allow the company to fund its mandatory outgoings, but was recommended Oxford Funding’s debtor financing as an alternative funding solution. “At the outset, I was sceptical and a little nervous about debtor financing,” Larcombe admits. “But it’s flexibility and the fact that we didn’t have to put-up personal assets as security, made it the most attractive option. “One of the best features of the Oxford solution is that we can apply it to the invoices we choose,” said Larcombe. “Currently, we’re using debtor finance with about half our ledger, drawing down only enough each week to meet our wage and truck payment obligations.” Transport Solutions’ debtor finance strategy focuses on customers who, while reliable, take the longest to pay. “We don’t factor our dependable, 30 day payers, but those who regularly take 50 or 60 days,” said Larcombe. As a small operator in the transport sector still riding out the effects of the financial crisis Larcombe admits that their business would struggle without debtor finance. “It provides us with the security we need to grow with confidence and is now an important part of our long-term financing strategy.” ENDS About Oxford Funding Oxford Funding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX: BEN), is a specialist provider of debtor finance or cash flow solutions to small and medium enterprises. Since its inception in 1994, the company has continued to remain at the forefront of the Australian debtor finance industry due to its flexibility, innovative product portfolio and commitment to best practice service delivery. Oxford is a member of Factors Chain International (FCI). www.oxfordfunding.com.au Debtor Finance Growth Remains Strong 2009-11-18T00:53:54Z debtor-finance-growth-remains-strong-1 Debtor Finance continues to record strong growth, with total turnover for the 12 months ending September 2009 up 2.4% to $64.3 billion, a solid increase on the $62.8 billion in turnover recorded for same period the previous year. Much of this growth has been driven by demand for full service debtor finance facilities (often referred to as Factoring).According to a new report by the Institute of Factors and Discounters, in the September 2009 quarter Factoring turnover grew 11.3% to $841 million while Discounting turnover fell 7.7% to $15.1 billion. Total debtor finance turnover for the September quarter was down 6.8% to $16 billion compared to the same quarter last year.Commenting on the report, Rob Lamers, CEO of debtor finance specialist Oxford Funding (a division of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited) said, "While turnover is down this quarter as economic conditions strengthen and businesses gain increased confidence in their debtors, the underlying growth in the adoption of debtor finance facilities remains strong."“Our discussions with a number of industry sectors showed that assistance is still required with putting in place proper credit structures as well as help with collections processes to maintain healthy cash flows to fund growth,” said Lamers.According to the Report wholesale trade (38%), manufacturing (21%) Property and Business Services (9%) were the top industries driving growth in debtor finance. -- ENDS –About Oxford Funding Oxford Funding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX: BEN), is a specialist provider of debtor finance or cash flow solutions to small and medium enterprises. Since its inception in 1994, the company has continued to remain at the forefront of the Australian debtor finance industry due to its flexibility, innovative product portfolio and commitment to best practice service delivery. Oxford is a member of Factors Chain International (FCI). www.oxfordfunding.com.au Twelve tips for a cash happy Christmas 2009-11-13T07:27:00Z twelve-tips-for-a-cash-happy-christmas With Christmas fast approaching, crisis weary wholesalers are looking to reap the rewards of the annual spending splurge.But heightened consumer activity isn’t all good news. To meet increasing demand, businesses often need to increase their wage, stock and operating costs before Christmas profits are realised – putting a stressful strain on cash flow.To cash in on the Christmas cheer – without putting their operations in the red – finance specialists Oxford Funding offer the following tips to small businesses:On the first day of Christmas: Review your invoicing procedures and ensure that your invoices are issued immediately goods are shipped. On the second day of Christmas: Update your cash flow projections to anticipate any Christmas shortfalls. Sales activity usually leaps 30 per cent.On the third day of Christmas: Review your stocks and supply chain, looking for ways to tighten ship or for old inventory you can quickly move on. On the fourth day of Christmas: Consider shortening your payment terms or offer incentives to your debtors for settlement by new year. On the fifth day of Christmas:Consider taking deposits when orders are made. On the sixth day of Christmas: Monitor your increasing wage and supply costs – make sure you have a plan to stay cash flow positive. On the seventh day of Christmas: Maintain your cash reserves by taking full advantage of the payment terms offered by your suppliers and paying on the last day, or ask for discounts for earlier payment On the eighth day of Christmas: Quickly chase up customers you know to be slow-paying, or consider asking them for up-front payment during the Christmas period. On the ninth day of Christmas: Watch out for January – follow up outstanding invoices before your customers and their accounts departments go on holiday.On the tenth day of Christmas: Sign-up for debtor finance for the option of receiving 80 per cent of invoice values within 24 hours of issue, instead of offering debtors discounts for early settlement On the eleventh day of Christmas: Consider getting credit checks on any new customers to ensure that they can pay. On the twelfth day of Christmas:Sit back, relax, say farewell to the crisis and welcome the new year! ENDS About Oxford Funding Oxford Funding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo Bank (ASX: BEN), is a specialist provider of debtor finance or cash flow solutions to small and medium enterprises. Since its inception in 1994, the company has continued to remain at the forefront of the Australian debtor finance industry due to its flexibility, innovative product portfolio and commitment to best practice service delivery. Oxford is a member of Factors Chain International (FCI). www.oxfordfunding.com.au Defaults up! Small businesses in cash crisis as bad debts take hold 2009-07-29T03:31:08Z defaults-up-small-businesses-in-cash-crisis-as-bad-debts-take-hold Melbourne, 29 July 2009 – The economic crisis is continuing to take its toll on small business with many falling into a vicious spiral of debt as debtors continue to delay payments or not pay at all, cash flow specialists Oxford Funding observed today.New data released by the National Credit Insurance (Brokers) P/L paints a gloomy picture for small business. In June 2009, claims against bad debts jumped 105 per cent above June 2008 figures, with a record 131 claims made through NCI against defaulting debtors. Worst hit was the building sector, with Building/Hardware recording $2.29 million worth of defaulted debts, followed by Other Steel ($1.45 million) and Fuel Distributors ($506,671).Mr Rob Lamers, CEO of Oxford Funding, said it was obvious that an increasing number of Australian businesses were not able to cope with current economic pressures and were defaulting on what they owed. “The financial tsunami has hit small business and it’s now increasingly important for them to keep a careful watch on their customers’ ability to pay,” Lamers said. “Protecting cash flow is the most important challenge companies face,” he continued. “In the debtor finance industry, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing growth in the uptake of our services. More and more businesses are looking for assistance putting proper credit structures in place, and help with collections processes that can get their cash flowing again.”Lamers said that Oxford Funding was seeing increased interest in its full-service debtor finance solution – the Partnership Facility. The facility provides flexible debt management and debt collection services in addition to a debtor financing service through which businesses can receive 80 per cent of an invoice’s face value within 24 hours. It permits businesses to essentially wholly or partially outsource their accounts receivables functions.One user of the service – Evan Tareha, General Manager of Enduro Engineering – said that his company has turned to the facility as a tool for managing debtors during a period of growth. “At Enduro, we’re taking advantage of various opportunities for expansion through projects funded by the government’s stimulus package. As we expand, we’re using the partnership facility to manage our debt. In addition to helping us protect our cash flows, its biggest advantage is that it frees us to concentrate on developing the business, not chasing payments.”Tareha added that the Partnership Facility’s flexibility is another key feature. “Using the facility, we can make arrangements specific to each of our clients, from the number of days payment can be outstanding, to how Oxford approaches payment collection.”For those businesses struggling with outstanding debts at the moment, Rob Lamers advises: review your debt repayment schedule and payment terms; invoice on delivery; and follow up outstanding invoices immediately.-- ENDS –About Oxford FundingOxford Funding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo Bank (ASX: BEN), is a specialist provider of debtor finance or cash flow solutions to small and medium enterprises. Since its inception in 1994, the company has continued to remain at the forefront of the Australian debtor finance industry due to its flexibility, innovative product portfolio and commitment to best practice service delivery. Oxford is a member of Factors Chain International (FCI). www.oxfordfunding.com.auMedia Contact:Melissa Shawyer, The PR GroupTel: 0412 044 048Email: Melissa@prgroup.com.au Rise in debt claims adds to business woes 1970-01-01T02:00:00Z rise-in-debt-claims-adds-to-business-woes Melbourne, August 29, 2011 - The combination of a 40% rise in business-to-business bad debt claims and an increase in payment terms is another blow to Australia’s already dented business confidence, according to Rob Lamers, Head of Debtor Finance at Oxford Funding.Statistics released by National Credit Insurance (Brokers) show that claims received in July 2011 were 40% higher than the average for the same period over 2004-2010.The industries that suffered the most from bad debt, recording both the highest number and value of bad debt claims, were electrical with 21 claims in July 2011 worth more than $2.4 million, building/hardware with 20 claims worth almost $1.1 million, and steel with 9 claims amounting to almost $0.80 million.“The statistics show that there are a growing number of organisations defaulting on their business-to-business payments. That will have a follow-on effect for other businesses if not nipped in the bud,” said Lamers.These figures join a recent report on the 2011 June quarter by credit bureau Dun & Bradstreet, which revealed that almost two-thirds of Australian businesses take more than the standard 30-day period to settle their accounts.The report also found that the number of payments that were 90 days or more overdue jumped almost 20 percent compared with the June quarter 2010.Lamers said this indicated that small businesses are finding things difficult at the moment. “Economic troubles in the USA and Europe, soft consumer demand and high Australian dollar has seen business confidence in Australia decline. With many businesses forced to wait over three months for much needed cash, there is even more pressure on businesses to stay cash flow positive.”Lamers said that a business which manages its cash flow closely and provides for bad debts in their forecasts is more likely to survive falling confidence. “Talk to your business adviser or accountant about how you can improve your cash flow. Products such as debtor finance may help get your cash flow back on track.”For a copy of the bad debt claim report, please email caroline@prgroup.com.au- ENDS - About Oxford Funding Oxford Funding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo Bank (ASX: BEN), is a specialist provider of debtor finance or cash flow solutions to small and medium enterprises. Since its inception in 1994, the company has continued to remain at the forefront of the Australian debtor finance industry due to its flexibility, innovative product portfolio and commitment to best practice service delivery. Oxford is a member of Factors Chain International (FCI). www.oxfordfunding.com.au About Debtor FinanceDebtor Finance offers business operators access to a flexible source of finance which unlocks funds tied up in invoices, thereby creating of an immediate injection of cash. The service allows businesses to manage their cash flows and to meet everyday creditor and payroll requirements without a bank overdraft or real estate asset security. For more information, see www.oxfordfunding.com.au