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A Closer Look: Distinguishing Invoice Factoring from Accounts Receivable Financing

Last Modified : May 09, 2024

Reviewed by: Bruce Sayer

Understanding the financial mechanisms available to support business growth or enhance cash flow is crucial for any enterprise. Among these, invoice factoring and accounts receivable (AR) financing stand out as key alternatives to traditional funding methods. This article aims to demystify these options, clarify their differences, and help you determine which might suit your business needs best.

Understanding Invoice Factoring

Invoice factoring is a financial service where businesses sell their outstanding invoices to a factoring company for immediate cash. It’s an effective solution for businesses facing delayed payments from customers, experiencing rapid growth, or just starting out. Here’s how it typically works:

  1. Invoice Sale: Businesses sell selected invoices to a factoring company.
  2. Immediate Advance: The company receives an upfront payment, usually 80-90% of the invoice value.
  3. Customer Payment: Customers pay their invoices directly to the factoring company.
  4. Final Settlement: After collecting payment, the factoring company pays the remaining invoice balance to the business, minus a fee.

This model is particularly useful for managing cash flow, especially when dealing with slow-paying customers.

Accounts Receivable (AR) Financing Explained

AR financing, similar in purpose to invoice factoring, involves using all outstanding invoices to secure a line of credit. This option suits businesses anticipating steady growth or those not qualified for traditional loans but aiming for them. The process includes:

  1. Collateralization of Invoices: Businesses use their entire ledger of receivables as collateral.
  2. Credit Line: They receive a revolving line of credit based on the value of these receivables.
  3. Flexible Access to Funds: Businesses can draw from this line as needed, repaying and reborrowing against new invoices.

AR financing operates more like a traditional line of credit, offering a continuous source of funding without selling individual invoices.

Key Differences Between Invoice Factoring and Accounts Receivables Financing

While both invoice factoring and AR financing leverage outstanding invoices, they differ in structure and fees. Factoring involves selling individual invoices for a cash advance and a subsequent fee upon customer payment. In contrast, AR financing establishes a borrowing base against all receivables, functioning more like a revolving credit facility with a fixed monthly fee.

Another distinction lies in client interaction. In factoring, clients are often aware of the company’s arrangement with the factor, as the factor takes on the role of collecting payments. AR financing, however, typically keeps the financial arrangement private, with the business continuing to manage its receivables.

Making the Right Choice

Both invoice factoring and AR financing offer valuable liquidity solutions, bypassing the delays of traditional payment cycles and providing immediate working capital. The choice between them depends on several factors, including the desire to maintain direct customer payment relationships, the need for flexible credit facilities, and the business’s overall financial strategy.

In essence, if your business benefits from one of these services, it is likely to find the other advantageous as well, depending on your specific requirements for flexibility, customer interaction, and financing terms.


Invoice factoring and accounts receivable financing are both viable solutions for businesses looking to enhance their cash flow or support expansion without the constraints of conventional lending. By understanding the specifics of each option, businesses can make informed decisions that align with their financial goals and operational needs, ensuring steady growth and financial stability.


ABOUT eCapital

Since 2006, eCapital has been on a mission to change the way small to medium sized businesses access the funding they need to reach their goals. We know that to survive and thrive, businesses need financial flexibility to quickly respond to challenges and take advantage of opportunities, all in real time. Companies today need innovation guided by experience to unlock the potential of their assets to give better, faster access to the capital they require.

We’ve answered the call and have built a team of over 600 experts in asset evaluation, batch processing, customer support and fintech solutions. Together, we have created a funding model that features rapid approvals and processing, 24/7 access to funds and the freedom to use the money wherever and whenever it’s needed. This is the future of business funding, and it’s available today, at eCapital.

Jessica Avila Headshot

With over 10 years experience in the alternative finance industry, Jessica is responsible for helping our clients and partners find the right working capital financing solution to meet their needs.

In her previous roles at Riviera Finance and FT Trade Financial, she gained the skills and experience to support the finance needs of businesses across a range of industries, and applies her knowledge to get deals done for her clients at eCapital.

Jessica studied Accounting and Finance at Miami Dade College.

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