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  • CCAA proceedings now at your fingertips

    Trustees, creditors, academics, policy makers and government officials have a new source of insolvency information available to them thanks to recent changes to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). One result of the changes, which came into effect September 18, 2009, is that the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) became responsible for maintaining both a Registry of Public Records and a Repository of CCAA Files.

    Registry of Public Records
    Once a court grants protection to a debtor company under the CCAA, the monitor (trustee) must send basic information to the OSB within one business day. This information includes the court’s file number and coordinates—including the website address of both the debtor and the monitor.

     
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  • Who Is Committing Fraud in Canada?

    A 2009 survey conducted by KPMG called: Profile of a Canadian Fraudster, revealed some interesting demographics on who commits fraud in Canada.

    The survey polled senior executives such as CFOs and Vice-Presidents from across Canada and covered a wide range of industries, including Financial Services, Energy and Natural Resources, Consumer Markets, and Industrial Markets. One quarter of respondents had revenues of over CAD$1 billion, with another quarter having less than CAD$100 million in revenues.

     
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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 Heroes

    At times, the only force holding an organization together and preventing it from falling into the abyss comes from unsung heroes within its ranks. Read this article by Ron Lutka, CMA to find out more about the unsung heroes. There might even be parallels here to your organization.

     
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  • ELECTRONIC FUNDS Transfers and Fraud

    Electronic Funds Transfers (“EFTs”) are widely accepted as a method for organizations to transfer funds on a timely basis to suppliers, employees and other organizations. However, EFTs can pose an internal control weakness for many organizations. Employees can circumvent the built-in internal controls, if any, and defraud the organization of significant amounts of cash at one time or over a period of time. EFTs typically allow employees to withdraw organizational funds by way of an Online Banking Agreement (“OBA”) in which an employee may ...

     
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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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  • Collecting from your large customers: Is it 'Collections' or 'Corrections'?

    A few years ago I was at a major railroad company for imparting training sessions on the topic of Collection Skills and Receivable Management. On the first day of training a, I realized that the collections staff was made up of people who had a significant number of years of collections experience. The group was an enthusiastic batch; however most of the proven collections techniques were being met with...

     
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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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  • Some Recent Canadian Developments in Cross-Border Litigation

    Here are some recent developments important to anyone engaged in cross-border civil litigation involving common-law Canada. One, the criteria for determining whether a court has jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant have been revised. Two, the concept of "forum of necessity" is now established in Ontario. Three, Canadian courts will not, as readily as in the past, decline to exercise their jurisdiction in cases where a parallel action (one involving the same parties and issues) has already been commenced elsewhere.

     
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  • Overview of Proposed PIPEDA Amendments

    On May 25, 2010, the Minister of Industry tabled amendments to the federal private sector privacy legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). PIPEDA was introduced in 2001 and has been applicable to many private sector enterprises since 2004.

     
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  • Suing a Foreigner? Keep Control of the Case with a Forum Selection Clause

    In the world of cross-border litigation, I can tell you that prevention is worth much more than a pound of cure. Battles over where a case is to be litigated are common, and can be so protracted and costly that the parties never reach a determination of the merits of the case. Such battles are common because generally there are tremendous strategic advantages to litigating the case in one’s home jurisdiction, and disadvantages to litigating the case in one's opponent's jurisdiction.

     
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  • The Interprovincial Enforcement of Judgments

    A Creditor and a Debtor enter into a financial agreement in Alberta. After several years, the Debtor moves to Manitoba, leaving behind only sparse assets, (not nearly enough to cover the costs owed) in Alberta. Following a slowdown of repayments, the Creditor decides to take legal action against the Debtor in the Alberta Court of the Queen’s Bench.

     
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  • Debt Collection Rules

    If you deal with consumers, you should be mindful of the debt collection laws in force in the jurisdictions where your customers are located.  Adapted from the...

     
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  • Info from Visa

    What is expected of a credit manager when a customer claims that he was a victim of identity theft, and the debt is not his?

     
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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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  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    Effective January 1, 2011, IFRS will replace current Canadian GAAP accounting standards for Canadian publicly accountable enterprises (PAE) and Government Business Enterprises. As of this date as well, private companies have the option of adopting IFRS or the new Canadian standards developed specifically to meet their users' needs which are referred to as the Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises.

     
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  • All About Choice

    Experience has told us that when the economy turns bad, it’s time to expect more accounting shenanigans from public companies. This can happen in three ways.

    Sometimes, a company has been using aggressive accounting for years, and a dismal economic picture makes it difficult to hide the old chicanery any further. Other times, a firm decides to use accounting tricks to mitigate the impact of poor operating results.

     
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  • Common Forms of Financial Statement Fraud

    In the summer edition of To Your Credit, we published an article on the work of Professor Messod D. Beneish from the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University on the subject of earnings manipulation.  In the sample of 74 companies that Pr. Beneish looked into for his research, he concluded that the typical manipulators “overstated earnings by recording fictitious, unearned, or uncertain revenues, recording fictitious inventory, or improperly capitalizing costs.”

     
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  • Fraudulent Financial Information

    Often, the depth and breadth of a credit analysis is based on the risk associated with a potential or existing customer.  For example, when the risk is considered low, a simple trade reference check might suffice whereas in cases where the stakes are high, many seasoned and trained credit managers will resort to financial statement analysis.  Aside from the challenge of getting your customers to furnish financial statements, determining the reliability of such documents can prove to be quite tricky.

     
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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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  • CREDIT’S UNTOUCHABLE CODE

    There is one principle of credit management which is inviolable. In fact it’s as close to being sacrosanct as Canada’s right of sovereignty over the Northwest Passage. To break with this code would be to dismantle the basic principles of credit management and the outcome would be similar to the situation which I am certain that we have all experienced in the past, when the little boy visits the grocery store with his mother and is transfixed by the beautifully structured pyramid of apples.

     
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  • Free Fraud Detection Resources

    One of the simplest ways to detect potential fraud is to confirm certain information provided on a credit application using easy, free resources on the Internet. As a commercial collection agency, we regularly get claims where this has not been done and we discover that the information provided was either misleading or outright fraud. In either case, it is...

     
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  • The Ultimate Skip List

    Valerie McGilvrey is a US Professional Skip Tracer who has agreed to share this list with the members of the Credit Institute of Canada. Much of the information is US related, but can be adapted for Canada.

     
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  • PIPEDA and Collections

    Often, collection activity requires interacting with personal information about a consumer, in order to research, contact or collect from that consumer. Whether you are in an internal receivables department, third party collection agency, or you are a legal agent...

     
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  • International Credit

    Foreign trade differs from domestic trade with respect to the instruments and documents employed. Most domestic sales involve an open-account credit where the customer is billed and has so many days to pay. In international trade, the seller is seldom able to obtain as accurate or as thorough credit information on the potential buyer as with a domestic sale.

     
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  • Credit Policy

    Credit policy ideally should be updated quarterly, but at a minimum annually. It needs to be signed off by Senior Managers/Directors to make it enforceable and taken seriously by internal staff.

     
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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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  • Cross Border and International Collections
    You've serviced your client, you've invoiced the job, and you've not been paid. What can you do?
     
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  • PPSA Registrations - Is this the Weakness in Your Armour?

    As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This expression is particularly apt when it comes to secured creditors and their registrations under the Ontario Personal Property Security Act (the "PPSA"). Although "getting it right the first time" has always been the mantra of secured creditors, the economic roller coaster ride of recent months has heightened the need to ensure a properly perfected secured claim.

     
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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 Scoring

    Most credit scoring systems have been developed for use by banks. This has been adjusted to reflect both consumer and mercantile business. Credit scoring is a method of evaluating the credit risk of customers ...

     
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  • Credit Risk Management

    Credit risk is defined as the likelihood of loss resulting from a customer's failure to pay for the goods delivered. It is the responsibility a Credit Manager to verify that all customer files are complete and contain all the necessary information to protect the accounts receivable.

     
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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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  • Letters of Credit

    A letter of credit is a document that a financial institution or similar party issues to a seller of goods or services which provides that the issuer will pay the seller for goods or services the seller delivers to a third-party buyer. The seller then seeks reimbursement from...

     
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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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  • Terms used by CPA's

    A CPA will competently assist an organization (whether it is a privately held business, a publicly owned corporation, or a nonprofit organization) with preparing reports on its financial performance. Such reports help owners and managers make operational decisions, enable creditors to evaluate loan applications, and provide individuals with information to make investment decisions.

     
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  • The Quickening of Innovation in Asset Based Financing

    Some would call it evolution: others, revolution. Semantic flourishes aside, financial technologies are increasingly in the foreground as drivers of product differentiation and proliferation in the asset-based financing industry.

     
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  • Sharpen Your Financial Analysis Skills
    Presented by George Brown, MBA, CMA, CCP, CIA
     
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  • Lifting or Piercing The Corporate Veil
    If you always thought that incorporation generally protects shareholders and directors from personal liability when things go wrong, then this webinar is for you. Our webinar leader is Andrew Hladyshevsky, QC, LLB and a partner with the law firm, Fraser Milner Casgrain
     
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  • Alternative Dispute Resolution In Credit and Collections
    Presenter: Stephen Morrison, Partner, Cassels Brock, LLP
     
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  • Is Client Service at Risk of Being Displaced by Technology?

    Nowadays, money transfer services have taken on an entirely new complexion in the financial markets. For starters, traditional banks and the international money transfer services they offer to clients are no longer cost-effective, or efficient. In the United Kingdom, there are several ranking money transfer services used by clients, including World First and Transferwise. Contrary to popular belief, FinTech does not eliminate the face-to-face communication or human-voiced support of traditional international currency transfer services; it enhances the efficiency of the services to ensure a seamless experience for clients.

     
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  • These Best Credit Practices in Brazil Will Keep You from Falling Downhill
    I’m often asked by many overseas creditors about where to start when establishing a business relationship with a customer in Brazil. My answer is that it often depends on whether you are going to grant credit, and if so, how much.
     
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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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Q and A (2)
  • How does theoretical economics affect credit decisions?
    https://creditedu.org/knowledgecentre/index.php/site/qa/12
    1. As we have seen in the recessions of 1991 and 2001, marginal companies in many sectors will be forced to file for protection because of liquidity problems caused by them failing to meet their financing covenants, or the bank not renewing their line of credit, or credit becoming more expensive.  A failure of a major buyer can cause a company to break its covenants and be outside of its margining limit.
    2. With publicly traded companies, the problems may occur, but at least there is disclosure required if public companies are not meeting forecasts or they are outside of their banking covenants or they are having difficulty renewing their lines of credit.  Furthermore, often the debt of these companies is rated and the company’s fortunes are followed by industry analysts.

    By the time a credit manager gets the information, the company may already have a large exposure to the buyer.  As the situation deteriorates it may be difficult to bring the exposure down.  It is a question of timing, the poor results may not be reported for several months and during that period the exposure has been continuing to run.  The time between the disclosure of the problem and the reorganization may be very short as the buyer and secured creditors want to protect the assets.

    1. With private companies the problem is exacerbated, as it is difficult to even obtain financial information, let alone be advised in advance of developing problems.  Suppliers don’t know if sales are down, margins are being squeezed or there are problems with the bank.  If a credit manager can obtain Financial Statements, they provide a historical picture at best.  The effect of the recession is happening in real time, out of sight.

    In summary, credit managers work with very imperfect information.  Time works against them in obtaining information and they have to often make credit decisions projecting 3 to 6 months ahead.  A recession in the U.S. affects many buyers, but in most cases, the credit manager can only guess at how much the buyer is impacted.

  • Is credit insurance the answer to a credit manager’s prayer?
    https://creditedu.org/knowledgecentre/index.php/site/qa/13

    Not in every case!  By the time a credit limit is requested on a buyer, the writing may already be on the wall and the underwriters can’t increase their exposure.  This information in itself is useful.

    In some cases, the underwriters may only be able to cover some of the exposure due to the credit evaluation or their current level of exposure.  Again, this is useful information.  In most cases, at least one of the underwriters will be able to approve the buyers.  When this happens, credit managers can sleep like babies knowing that they are protected from the unforeseen.  Once the credit limit is in place the underwriters monitor the buyer and they will advise you if problems are arising.

    Underwriters can, and definitely will, cancel or reduce credit limits, but the cancellation or reduction only applies to future shipments.  They have no retroactive effect.  Your insured exposures remain insured.

Wiki (2)
  • Monitor
    https://creditedu.org/knowledgecentre/index.php/site/wiki/42
    A person appointed by the Court to review and report on day-to-day transactions of a business, usually in the restructuring of an insolvent business.
  • Active Record
    https://creditedu.org/knowledgecentre/index.php/site/wiki/80

    CodeIgniter uses a modified version of the Active Record Database Pattern. This pattern allows information to be retrieved, inserted, and updated in your database with minimal scripting. In some cases only one or two lines of code are necessary to perform a database action. CodeIgniter does not require that each database table be its own class file. It instead provides a more simplified interface.