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  • BANKRUPTCY FRAUD WARNING SIGNS - A CHECKLIST

    Use the following list to identify signs of bankruptcy fraud.

    • Failure to keep commonly used business records; incomplete or missing business records
    • Unusual depletion of assets shortly before bankruptcy filing
    • Assets are concealed
    • ...
     
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  • Creditors, Suppliers and Security Breaches

    Once upon a time, all the suppliers had to worry about what was the credit of their customers and the legal effectiveness of the security liens that they took on inventories. Now, debtors and creditors alike, for that matter, live under the constant threat of security breaches which can have consequences of a material order of magnitude. As a lawyer advising payments companies, I thought it would be interesting to discuss security breaches ...

     
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  • Black Holes and Old Invoices

    My article titled Black holes and Credit Management published in To Your Credit’s fall 2007 edition began with this paragraph:

    “Credit management is an integral and highly visible part of the cash-to-cash business cycle, in which cash invested by shareholders is used to produce and deliver goods and services that are sold for even more cash.

     
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  • Receivable Insurance Tips

    It is critical that you understand your obligations under the credit insurance policy you have signed and that you are complying with them.

     
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  • Predictive Indicators - Learn how to read the signs and improve your bottom line

    Managing your company’s exposure to risk has become a challenging task. There is more pressure to speed up the credit review process and more responsibility resting on your shoulders to be accountable for your decisions and improve company profitability.

     
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  • Identity Theft - Practical tips for credit professionals

    Every year, identity theft results in millions of dollars of reported losses for Canadians. This has serious implications for credit professionals when it comes to the collection, protection, usage and disposal of the information they gather on their customers. Whether your company accepts payment by credit card, by wire transfer, via e-commerce or by the ageless paper-based cheque method, you need to ensure that your department plays its part in having the necessary checks and balances in place.

     
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  • Demand Promissory Notes and the (New) Ontario Limitations Act

    Hare v. Hare (218 O.A.C. 164), a December 2006 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, has important ramifications for the use of demand promissory notes in tax planning. Legal and tax planners should be aware that standard drafting language used in promissory notes may bring about unintended consequences.

     
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  • PPSA & Legislative Q's
     
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  • Financial Ratios and Related Tools

    A ratio by itself is an incomplete figure that could be misleading if analyzed in isolation. To perform an analysis, inter-related ratios should be examined and calculated over a period of time to see the trends, and then compared to ratios of industry or peers.

     
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  • Role of the Credit and Collections Department in Business

    Companies expect their credit department to be sales oriented. Put simply, this means the credit department should be looking for reasons to justify establishing open account terms and/or releasing orders pending, rather than looking for excuses to hold orders or to reject applicants for open account terms. Having this simple idea in mind can make

     
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  • Role of the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB)

    The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) is part of Industry Canada. Their role is to ensure public confidence in the market place by protecting the integrity of the bankruptcy and insolvency system.

     
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  • The 4C's of Credit for Business

    Credit people look carefully at trade accounts, especially in tough financial times, before they ship goods. What credit managers look for can be...

     
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  • Understanding Accounts Receivable Metrics: DSO, CPI, CEI

    Finance professionals calculate DSO by dividing Total Accounts Receivable (A/R) by Total Credit Sales multiplied by the number of days in the measurement period.

    For companies using Collection Productivity Index (CPI), it is the amount of cash collected per collector as a % of the opening A/R for each fiscal quarter. As quarterly sales are not linear month to month, (heavily weighted in a particular month) you will find this to be...

     
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  • What is a Proposal?

    Under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, a Trustee or an Administrator of Proposals files a Proposal or an arrangement between you and your creditors to have you pay off only a portion of your debts, extend the time you have to pay off the debt, or provide some combination of both.

     
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  • What to do when a customer files for Bankruptcy

    Find out exactly what the situation is. Most people when they think of bankruptcy only think of the final stage, where the customer is no longer in business. In reality there are a few different types and various levels of severity.

     
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  • Credit Rules (Axioms)

    If short-term credit suppliers are paid by asset conversions, then the primary interest should be centered on the balance sheet and their focus of attention should be liquidity.

     
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  • Credit and Collections as a Revenue Generator
    Next time you are spending quality time with a client, at a board meeting, or getting an update from the CFO you may want to inquire about practices of their company’s credit and collections department. The credit and collections department is constantly interacting with the company's customer base. This provides them with opportunities to augment sales, identify customer needs and problems, and / or be proactive in collecting those slow paying accounts. A properly operated credit and collections department can enhance profits and earnings per share.
     
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  • Risk Assessment

    Risk assessment is a step in a risk management procedure. Risk assessment is the determination of quantitative or qualitative value of risk related to a concrete situation and a recognized threat (also called hazard). Quantitative risk assessment requires calculations of two components of risk (R):, the magnitude of the potential loss (L), and the probability (p) that the loss will occur.

     
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  • Credit and Collections Department Should Be Generating Revenue

    Next time you are spending quality time with a client, at a board meeting, or getting an update from the CFO you may want to inquire about practices of their company's credit and collections department. The credit and collections department is constantly interacting with the company's customer base. This provides them with opportunities to augment sales, identify customer...

     
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  • Collection and Dispute Management

    The objectives of the Collection team are to:

    • Facilitate a seamless processing of Sales orders within a specific risk guideline defined by the Credit and Collection department
    • Liaise with the Sales department and the credit department to anticipate any future discrepancy between the Sales plan and the maximum risk exposure
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  • Construction Credit

    Construction credit is a unique and specialized form of mercantile credit. Although the field follows many of the same principles, practices and procedures as mercantile credit, there are a number of factors that make the practice unique. In order to be successful, the credit professional must...

     
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  • Leasing and Rentals

    Merchantile Credit Managers are well trained to deal with how to manage the credit and collections of the transactions of selling of a product or services from one business to another.  However, the Leasing or Rentaling of a facility or a piece of equipment deserves special  consideration.

     
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  • Acceleration Clauses in the Event of Default – Are they enforceable?

    All leases have an acceleration clause when there is a default, however there is not a consistent approach as to what the damages will be. Some leases require the defaulted lessee to pay the balance of payments due without discount while others utilize a net present value formula applying a discount rate close to, but generally below, the interest rate implied in the lease. A few still use “the rule of 78’s” (but few under 50 know what that means). The recent case, Hav-A-Kar Leasing Ltd. v. Vekselshtein 2012 ONCA 826 (“Hav-A-Kar”) discussed this matter but may have not quite got it right.

     
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  • How a commercial lender will evaluate your creditworthiness for a loan

    When you apply for a commercial loan, lenders assess your credit risk based on a number of factors known as the “5 C’s of Credit.” Understanding these factors will help you build your personal and company credit standing while ensuring your ability to obtain credit when your business needs it most.

    Here is a breakdown to help you better understand these factors and what all lenders look for:

     
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  • The warning signs that preceded Carillion's fall

    Not since the financial crisis has the collapse of a business had such a political impact, but the warning signs had been flashing at Carillion for all to see, says Jane Fuller.

     
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  • Already pinched, many Canadians anxious about higher rates
     
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  • Direct payments and construction insolvency
    Main contractor Carillion’s entry into liquidation has resulted in many employers seeking to establish relationships with subcontractors, under which they will be paid directly in order to stay on site and finish the relevant project. On the face of it, this seems like an attractive solution, and may leave some employers wondering why they didn’t procure their projects by construction management in the first place. However, establishing direct relations is not without risks, and requires safeguards for employers and subcontractors alike. Those are set out in the last section of this article, but it is important to understand the pitfalls, particularly of direct payment, first.
     
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  • Do You Have a Credit Policy for Your Organization?

    If your business lets your customers receive goods or services now in return for a promise to pay later, then your business grants credit. And you are not alone. Most businesses grant a credit to their customers, especially if their customers are other businesses (B2B—business-to-business). In fact, this is the most common type of credit offered in the business world and most of the credit offered in this way is unsecured.

     
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  • How to Better Know Your Customers

    As a credit manager, a critical part of your role is to identify who you can trust and to what extent you find their claims realistic. This is translated into knowing your customers well and defining whether they can pay you as agreed. Naturally, you may not have much information for new clients. The amount of credit awarded requires careful consideration when managing new and existing customers. Luckily, there is a method for evaluating how creditworthy they can be.

     
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  • Waiting too long to collect

    My colleagues think that my role is the worst possible in the company. This is mostly because my job involves calling customers for money. But I have a secret for you: I like making those calls. Rest assured, I’m not an extortionist who likes to torment poor souls. I just love what I do, especially knowing that I contribute to my organization’s success.

     
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  • Do Not Miss the Warning Signs of Insolvency!
     
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Q and A (3)
  • What can creditors do to protect themselves when a customer remits a cheque, for less than the full amount owing, and marks it "Paid in Full" or words to that effect? Also, what can a creditor do to protect themselves in this situation when their company uses a "lock box" or "shared service" center and the A/R personnel may not even see the cheque prior to it being negotiated? Is the law that governs these scenarios Federal or Provincial?
    https://creditedu.org/knowledgecentre/index.php/site/qa/3

    Courts are very familiar with this tactic and will generally not give effect to it. A cheque marked “paid in full” may very well be evidence of an agreement to reduce the debt owing, but it is easily rebuttable by clear evidence that the creditor accepted the payment only as partial payment. This is based at least partially on the concept of consideration. Put simply, this concept involves the idea that you do not get something for nothing. What the debtor is attempting to do in this situation is to receive a discount on its debt without providing any real benefit to the creditor in return. The courts will not allow a debtor to unilaterally alter its agreement with its creditor - which is what it is attempting to do with the notation on the cheque.

    One possible method of dealing with such attempts would be regularly forwarding statements thanking the debtors for any payments received and indicating the account balance to date. If the debtor then challenges the statement arguing that payment had been made in full by way of the cheque in question, all the creditor would have to do would be to respond by saying it was received in partial payment. Unless the debtor is able to produce some sort of an agreement with the creditor showing the creditor’s agreement to accept the reduced amount in full satisfaction for the amount owing, it is extremely unlikely that the courts find in favour of the debtor.

    Of course, if the creditor notices the notation before it deposits the cheque, it can also send a specific letter to the debtor thanking it for the payment and saying that the payment has been applied against the amount owing, that the creditor did not agree to accept the payment in full satisfaction of the amount owing and that the balance remains owing by the debtor.

    The law governing these scenarios is the common law of contract, which is a matter within the jurisdiction of the provinces. As such, the law as interpreted in one province may not necessarily be applied in another. However, frequently the courts in one province will consider and often follow the decisions of courts in other provinces.

  • We see more and more public companies partially or completely reorganizing as Income Trusts. What are the advantages and disadvantages to the company and what could the ramifications be to trade creditors? Is there anything we should be questioning or looking for in this type of transaction?
    https://creditedu.org/knowledgecentre/index.php/site/qa/4

    An income trust (the "Trust") is essentially an investment vehicle which a corporation (the "Corporation") can establish in order to divert and distribute its revenues in a generally more tax efficient manner to the investors of the Trust.

    While the pros and cons of establishing an income trust are largely tax driven, extremely complex and beyond the scope of this forum, income trusts basically operate by taking the monies raised by the Trust from its investors and loaning them to the Corporation. Such loan can either be on a secured or an unsecured basis. Revenues from the Corporation's operations are then paid to the Trust in order to service the loan with those monies then being available for distribution to the Trust's investors.

    The typical structure sees virtually all of the Corporation's distributable income paid out without corporate tax because the income is being used to service the Corporation's debt (e.g., the loan from the Trust). If the investors of the Trust are tax-exempt entities such as RRSPs or pension funds, payments to them from the Trust will be received on a more favourable tax basis than if the monies were distributed as dividends.

    While the establishment of the Trust will not alter the manner in which the Corporation carries on its business (note that the Trust does not carry on business - it is simply an investment vehicle), the difference is that with the establishment of the Trust, the Corporation has a new and typically large creditor (being the Trust) whose debt must be serviced by the Corporation.

    From the perspective of companies doing business with the Corporation and extending credit to the Corporation, while the creation of the Trust in and of itself will not negatively impact upon the Corporation's ability to carry on its business, companies doing business with the Corporation may be at a greater risk should the Corporation subsequently run into financial difficulties. Aside from the Corporation having less flexibility to refinance since cash flow will be committed to debt service on the monies owing to the Trust (and other lenders), the Trust represents a new creditor which did not previously exist. If the Trust's loan to the Corporation is made on a secured basis, the Trust will be entitled to recover its monies prior to all of the Corporation's unsecured creditors, thereby diminishing the pool of funds available to the unsecured creditors. Similarly, secured creditors are at risk to the extent that the Trust's security has priority over their security. If the Trust's loan to the Corporation is made on an unsecured basis, the Trust will be another unsecured creditor sharing in the monies available to the unsecured creditors, meaning less monies will be available for the unsecured creditors had the Trust not been created.

  • What action can be taken to address recessions?
    https://creditedu.org/knowledgecentre/index.php/site/qa/11

    Because recessions are often caused by decreasing demand, the financial engineers want to increase the demand by offering financial stimulants in the form of tax reductions, subsidies in the form of transfer payments or interest rate reductions to make credit easier to obtain.  This slowdown is largely caused by a collapse of the debt structure resulting in many people declaring bankruptcy or being laid off.  It is unlikely that easier credit is the answer.  As the Sub Prime collapse really affected poor and middle-class families, a tax break is not about to put much money in their pockets.  The solution may take us back to the 1930’s when the focus of Government had to be on creating real jobs.  Fortunately, real jobs in Western Canada are insulating Canada from the full impact of the situation in the U.S., but there may only be a 3 to 6 month delay.

Wiki (1)
  • Division I Proposal
    https://creditedu.org/knowledgecentre/index.php/site/wiki/22
    An offer made by debtors to their creditors in order to modify their payments. The procedure for a Division I Proposal applies to companies and individuals who want to avail themselves of it. This procedure also allows for a restructure of business debts while the business continues to operate.