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Purchase Order Financing

On our planet earth, man did not invent money for thousands of years. As civilizations and nation states developed, man learned how to trade and barter for goods that they needed. Money was invented to solve the problems of bartering. There basically was a timing issue between, for instance, farmers having a crop to trade for what they wanted when they needed it. The invention and acceptance of gold and silver coins helped to overcome this timing mismatch. The farmer could sell crops for gold and trade gold, when needed, for the other things they required.

Paper money was invented for many reasons, not the least of which is to avoid the inconvenience of carrying around a large amount of gold or silver. Paper money is easier to hide. Until the early 1900’s in the United States paper money could actually be redeemed for gold. During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt in 1933 passed laws outlawing the ownership of more that $100 of gold by individuals. By the turn of the century, the U.S. government discovered easy money. No longer restricted by the need for physical gold reserves, the government printing presses churned out however much money as they needed; and the politicians invented schemes such as the sale of government bonds, government loans of various kinds, and control of the money supply through twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks to manage the nation’s economy and money supply.

Our government’s easy money in fact is causing every American a very steep price. As the world economy realizes our money has less worth, we are charged more for imports such as gas, clothes, and food; if we travel abroad, in Europe for instance, we find that it takes about one and a half U.S. dollars to purchase a single Euro, the currency of Europe. In effect, European hotels, restaurants, goods and services cost fifty percent more for Americans because of the weakness in our dollar. Ironically, U.S. musicians make more money in Europe than they can make in America because it costs less to pay them “in dollars”. In spite of this economic situation, many U.S. businesses are innovative, creative and ready to grow at a very rapid pace. Purchase Order Financing can be the easy money solution to rapid growth requirements.

Why does it work? Purchase order financing solves the timing problem to pay a manufacturer for goods before the buyer pays the seller for the product just like paper money and gold solved the barter timing mismatch problem. One real world example is the case of a company that developed popular products for dogs and cats. Most of their customers were small stores. One day they received a huge order from a big box store that would virtually double their business on a monthly basis. The business did not have the cash to fulfill the order. Purchase order financing provided the solution to their cash flow shortage to pay for the manufacture of the products and get the goods shipped to the big box customer.

How does it work? A letter of credit is issued to the manufacturer to guarantee payment. The costs of goods are paid to the manufacturer as soon as the goods are delivered, in the example above, to the big box store. An account receivable financing arrangement is created to pay for the purchase order and letter of credit side of the transaction. When the buyer pays the accounts receivable, the lender, generally a finance company or bank subsidiary, is paid pursuant to the contract and the profits are rebated to the seller.