Invoice Finance Jargon

Invoice Finance Jargon

Posted: 1st October 2014

"Most of the Linux 2.6 and 3.x kernels include a name in the Makefile of their source trees, which can be found in the git repository.”

I came across this on Wikipedia the other day; don’t ask what I was looking for.

Now I am sure that there is a very small percentage of the population who know exactly what that line of text means, but most of us couldn’t even begin to make sense of it. Whilst jargon might be an essential tool to a select group, problems arise when it is used with people outside the group, or when it is used in situations where it may confuse, or even worse be used to disguise unpalatable facts.

Invoice Finance is beset with jargon: Even the names of the services that we provide are confusing to those outside the industry; the two most common terms, ‘factoring’ and ‘invoice discounting’, whilst very similar in functionality, clearly have no grammatical association at all. Then there are the other terms to describe what we do:

I heard a business development manager from a competitor the other day describing a facility as “undisclosed CHOCs”; so that’s a confidential facility where the client handles their own collections – what’s the difference between that and Confidential Invoice Discounting? (I know that they are managed differently but does the client really care?).

We seem to spend a great deal of time explaining to clients what it all means.

Making it Simpler

I proposed at a recent meeting of our Corporate Managers that we simplify things by changing our terminology (we have such fun at our meetings) and that we rename our services on the basis of different service levels with different prices -a bit like a car wash:

  • Standard - Funding only
  • Premium - Funding plus credit control
  • Premium Plus - Funding plus credit control plus bad debt protection

As you can imagine, this wasn’t too popular amongst my managers....”so, everyone else is talking about Non Recourse Factoring and we’re talking about Premium Plus”. They have no courage!

But actually I just wanted to make a point (admittedly in a very obscure way), and that is that essentially we only do 3 things;

  1. funding
  2. credit control
  3. bad debt protection

These can either be disclosed to the end customer or not.

The confusing part is in the myriad of terminology used to describe these three functions. So how do we deal with it? My guess is; we don’t.

It’s really hard to change something so entrenched in the culture of the industry. So we will continue to be plagued by obscure, legalistic terminology and we will continue to explain to our clients what it all means. If you would like to speak to our friendly team please call us on 020 3555 4545.

Mark Byrne, Managing Director
Macla Money