Discounting Procedure is usually done for invoices. It is also known as bill discounting, invoice discounting, and several other terms. Technically it is a process where the vendor sells the bill to the addressed company for a lesser value than the actual invoice amount before the due date.
The difference made in the actual amount paid and the bill value is earned by the discounting company. The fee will vary based on the time left before the due date and the expected risk.
Invoice Discounting = Bill amount – Amount paid
This procedure helps both the vendors and buyers. The vendors will get the money as soon as possible and this helps them make more cash which can be further utilized for the business.
The vendor sells the goods to the purchaser and issues an invoice as agreed by both parties. The buyer verifies and acknowledges to clear the invoice before the agreed due date. The seller then contacts the discounting company who scrutinizes the credibility of the seller and the validity of the submitted invoice.
Once it gains the confidence to go ahead, the discounting company will then further releases the cash to the seller with a negotiated margin which depends on several factors. The vendor gets the fund and uses it as per their choice. With the arrival of the due date of payment, the discounting company will produce the invoice to the buyer and collects the money for their transaction.
Even though this procedure helps in bringing in immediate cash to the sellers, it is expensive compared to bank overdrafts. However, with several brokers and financial institutions encouraging this system, it is advantageous for the sellers to get cash in dire situations where other options are unavailable and uncertain.
Example of discounting procedure
Assume that company A (vendor) sold its products to company B (buyer). Company B gives a letter of credit from the bank of 30 days to company A. If company A wants to get money from the bank before 30 days, the bank charges some interest rate from company A.
Assume that company A is supposed to get Rs.1lakh after 30days, by the bank’s interest rate of Rs.5000, company A gets Rs.95,000 in return from the bank. Anyhow the company B deposits Rs.1 lakh to the bank on the 30th day only.
Here company A sold its products and also got paid immediately, company B got the goods by not paying immediately, and the bank earned a commission of Rs. 5000 on invoice discounting.
This process is called as Invoice discounting or Bill discounting.
Two ways of presenting the invoice
- With resource: The vendor’s bank verifies and checks all the documents and discount terms and then sends them to the buyer’s bank. Then the buyer’s bank does not check the other things and it can claim to reimburse later on if any issue is there.
- Without resource: The vendor’s bank does not check any documents during the time of request for the payment but the buyer’s bank checks all the documents.
Advantages of Discounting
Boosts cash flow: As soon as an invoice is issued you get cash immediately. This cash can be used to invest in the business. In this way it allows you to boost your cash flow and start your business.
Free ups locked cash: It avoids blocking of cash in customer invoices for a long time.
A rapid way to get loans: It helps to reduce the time taken for the invoice to convert cash. Once you are trusted by your invoice financing partner, you can automatically reduce the collection period of your invoices by submitting those invoices for invoice discounting.
Not required assets: No need to submit your company assets to the bank. The banks only require the account receivables as surety.
Disadvantages of Discounting
Reduced Profits: It reduces the profit on invoices that have been financed. This is a short term service. The discount covers interest charges, administrative charges, and maintenance charges. The percentage of discount also differs from one banker to another. So the vendor who sells the goods has to lose some percentage of bill value.
Limited discount bills: All bills can not be discounted. Invoice discounting is usually offered only for commercial bills, because of the risk involved for the banker.
Get more definitions about the Discounting procedure and other ERP related terms here.