OVERVIEW – Information on business cash flow financing in Canada . Commercial loans come from a variety of lenders. Does your firm have what it takes?
When business owners and financial managers contemplate additional borrowing for their firm they must think it terms of whether the business does, or will have, enough cash flow to make the debt repayments. We can further assure business owners that the bank or lending institution is thinking the same way!
When businesses enter into bank loans or other institutional loans the payments are, 99% of the time fixed and specified. The business owner and financial manager must ensure those payments can be made. If the company has over relied on debt it is viewed as highly leverage by the lender.
So how can a business owner determine if the company has the cash flow to support the debt? More importantly how does the lender do that calculation?
The calculation that banks and other term lenders focus on is called ‘Times Interest Earned ‘. The business owner (and the banker) can calculate that formula very simply.
The Times Interest formula is calculated as follows:
Net profit before taxes, plus interest expense / divided by interest expense
The calculation becomes an absolute number. If the number is in fact ‘1 ‘that means that the company has in fact made just enough to pay the exact interest expense for the year. We would point out that this calculation is always usually done on an annual basis.
So is ‘1’ the magic number? The answer is no, and the answer should be intuitive to the business owner. That is because a times interest of 1 means there is absolutely no cushion for anything going wrong, and all business owners no about Murphy’s Law!
So if earning decline or if the company takes on additional debt our ‘ times interest earned ‘ number become unsatisfactory – that is to say that we have determined there is not sufficient cash flow to service the debt.
We have determined ‘1’ is not a great number then, well what is? The answer, as in many facets of business, is of course ‘that depends ‘. Many industries differ and there is not really any specific number that is viewed as the Holy Grail by lenders. What we have found though that higher is better than lower. When the number is hovering around 1 both the business owner and the lender, should and will, respectively, have some concern.
We point out also that income, as a key component in our calculation varies between companies in final calculation re tax rate and other accounting adjustments. Some lenders and business owners also add deprecation to the profit because it is not a real cash expense.
Another quick calculation business people can perform is to calculate the cash flow number as a per cent age of debt. This calculation is often done by lenders to ensure long term debt is not being miss-used. If a company has a high percentage of total debt to cash flow it should be a strong indicator to the company owners that growth will be constrained, as all cash is going to debt, not growth. Therefore new equipment, inventory, receivables, etc will suffer in terms of growth.
In summary, business owners, by doing actual current calculations, as well as projections, can easily calculate their ‘times interest earned’ and cash flow as % of debt. This will allow the business to position loan repayments positively with their lenders, at the same time providing them with insights into how the bank or other lender will view payment capability.
Seek out and speak to a trusted , credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can assist you with your business loan , cash flow financing and asset monetization needs.
Stan Prokop – founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial –
Originating business financing for Canadian companies , specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing . In business 10 years – Completed in excess of 100 Million $$ of financing for Canadian corporations . Core competancies include receivables financing, asset based lending, working capital, equipment finance, franchise finance and tax credit financing. Info & Contact Details :
7 Park Avenue Financial
South Sheridan Executive Centre
2910 South Sheridan Way
Direct Line = 905 302 4171
Office = 905 829 2653
‘ Canadian Business Financing with the intelligent use of experience ‘
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stan has had a successful career with some of the world’s largest and most successful corporations.
Prior to founding 7 Park Avenue Financial in 2004 his employers over the last 25 years were, ASHLAND OIL, ( 1977-1980) DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, ( 1980-1990) ) CABLE & WIRELESS PLC,( 1991 -1993) ) AND HEWLETT PACKARD ( 1994-2004 ) He is an expert in Canadian Business Financing.
Stan has over 40 years of business and finance executive experience. He has been recognized as a credit/financial executive for three of the largest technology companies in the world; Hewlett-Packard, Digital Equipment and Cable & Wireless. Stan has had in depth, hands on experience in assessing and evaluating thousands of companies that are seeking financing and expansion. He has been instrumental in helping many companies progress through every phase of financing, mergers & acquisitions, sales and marketing and human resources. Stan has worked with startups and public corporations and has many times established the financial wherewithal of organizations before approving millions of dollars of financing facilities and instruments on behalf of his employers.
7 Park Avenue Financial
Canadian Business Financing