Satago finalist in BBVA Open Talent 2016 competition

By | Press Release, Uncategorized | No Comments

BBVA finalists graphicThe official announcement of the BBVA Open Talent finalists has been released, the competition that rewards entrepreneurs in the banking and finance world.

We’re delighted that Satago has been included as one of the finalists. We will compete in the finals in London in September for the European award. Other finals will be held in Mexico and New York. In total 56 start ups from 17 different originating countries are through to this final stage with entrants focusing on payments, SaaS, big data, financial inclusion, risk analysis, identity management and fraud prevention, among other fields.

See Satago in the full list of finalists >>

What is the BBVA Open Talent Competition?

Established by the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) in 2009, to discover talent, support entrepreneurs and keep transforming the banking world. They want to encourage innovation within the banking and finance ecosystem. The finals in New York, Mexico and London will each select two winners who will receive a €30,000 cash prize to develop their project with BBVA and will be invited to participate in an Immersion and Interaction Program with BBVA experts in Mexico and Madrid.

What is Invoice Finance?

By | Alternative to the overdraft, Credit Control, Invoice Finance, New Feature, Satago | No Comments

Today’s finance market for SMEs

What is Invoice Finance? From Satago - the all-in-one cash-flow management solution.

60% of UK SMEs experience late payments from their customers (1)

Following the 2008 financial crisis the reluctance of banks to fund small or risky ventures has meant that businesses now need alternative ways to support their cash-flow than the traditional overdraft or secured loan. This may be to cover short-term funding requirements, or bridge the gap between customer orders and supplier payments to help the company meet its funding obligations.

A Survey published by the British Business Bank in February 2016 show that working capital or cash-flow is the most common reason for small businesses to seek funding, so it continues to be a major challenge for SMEs. Indeed, 60% of UK SMEs experience late payments(1) and it is a significant contributing factor to the 65% of businesses that over trade and fail due to financial issues.

Research by Xero also confirmed that “small business owners are spending an average of 10% of their day – which equates to two days per month – chasing late payments, with invoices an average of 14 days overdue before being settled.”

Introducing Invoice Finance as an alternative

Invoice finance is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to the overdraft, which is becoming harder to secure and the cost of which is often higher than other sources of borrowing, particularly if a company exceeds the agreed limit.

Different types explained

You will hear about Invoice Factoring, Discounting and Financing, but what do they mean?

  • Invoice factoring is where you outsource the collection of payment to a third party, so they contact the customer on your behalf.
  • Invoice discounting is the same as Invoice Finance, where you collect the debt by yourself keeping control of the relationship you have with clients.

You will also hear about asset finance, trade finance, stock finance, even art finance, all developed to suit a specific purpose, depending on what you need the funding for. In these cases, it’s always recommended to get advice to ensure you understand the fees and interest that will be payable.

The nuts and bolts

Invoice Finance means your provider will be able to advance an amount of your invoice or entire sales ledger to you until the payment due date, for a small fee. Invoice finance enables companies to immediately release cash tied up in unpaid invoices, freeing up working capital and facilitating improved cash management capabilities.

Using Invoice Finance with success

The challenge of securing the right finance to support business growth is not a new one. The article by GrowthBusiness.co.uk shared five companies which are successfully using invoice finance to close acquisitions, satisfy big contracts and solve seasonal cash-flow issues.

 

About Satago

  • Satago has taken a new approach – funding invoices from when they are raised, up until when they are due, and sometimes even when they are overdue. This ensures as much value of an invoice as possible stays in the pockets of SMEs, making their cash-flow more reliable, reducing the need for reliance on funding and keeping costs to a minimum.
  • In real terms, Satago will advance up to 85% of the invoice value – for a single invoice or several – immediately transferring the amount to your bank account. The fee is usually 2-4% of the invoice value financed per 30 days. The fee is dependent on a number of factors such as your credit risk and that of your customer when we buy the invoice.
  • The Satago all-in-one cash-flow solution means SMEs can be equipped with effective finance solutions to cover the funding gap – and a proficient credit control strategy, with a cutting-edge debtor tracking system and integrated credit risk data, to help avoid the issue of late payments and to cut down the time chasing payments – SMEs can feel confident they are in control of their cash flow, and positioned to optimise their sales to the full.

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Credit risk data changes

By | New Feature | No Comments

For some time now, Satago has provided credit risk data for all companies in the UK to help our users understand and manage the credit risk of their sales ledger.

AR Risk report

The risk level of a user’s Accounts Receivable

We showed this data in a few different ways within Satago. We started by showing brief, individual company pages that showed the most essential credit risk information: the credit risk categories (high, medium and low risk), the suggested credit limit and the Days Beyond Terms or DBT (i.e., when companies pay their suppliers versus agreed terms).

Then, we started to show this data “integrated” with our users’ accounts receivable (see screenshots below).  This allowed you to see, at a glance, the risk level of all outstanding invoices (what we call the AR Risk report), as well as the amount outstanding to each customer versus the suggested credit limit (the Credit Summary report).

credit report

Credit risk report showing invoiced amount vs. suggested credit limits.

Starting from today, a small number of our users will be invited to join a Beta group to preview an important new feature in Satago.  We are now offering  full credit reports on UK companies within our platform.

Whilst this feature is in beta phase, there is one important caveat to point out – we are transitioning from one credit reference agency (CRA) that supplies us with our credit risk data to another. Until now, our credit risk data has been supplied by Experian, an internationally recognised supplier of both business and consumer credit data.  In a few weeks, all our credit risk data will be supplied by Creditsafe, a UK-based business, which is actually the world’s largest supplier of company credit risk data.

During this beta phase, which we expect to last no more than a few weeks, our Beta users may find discrepancies between the full credit reports and the data shown elsewhere in Satago. This is because although the CRAs base their credit assessments on largely the same data as each other, they may calculate the risk scores and credit limits slightly differently, depending on the company.

Once we have fully transitioned to Creditsafe, please be assured that all data shown within Satago will match completely. As the largest company CRA in the world, we are confident in the robustness of Creditsafe’s risk calculations, and look forward to helping our users continue to avoid and manage credit risk, whilst improving their cashflow.

 

NEW Satago App for Nokia N-Gage

By | Uncategorized | No Comments
Satago on N-Gage

With the cutting-edge LED back-light, Satago has never looked this good.

Today we are excited to announce our latest project: Satago for N-Gage.

Having investigated likely device usage trends, we’ve made our predictions for what will soon be the most highly requested app for managing your credit control on-the-go. That is, if you aren’t too busy playing one of the 50 action packed games available on the device, such as Spider-Man 2.

Our development team have been working around the clock to ensure performance is up to our usual high-standards, so there are no unnecessary delays when viewing reports, replying to customers, or financing invoices. Please note, whereas we’ve optimised performance wherever possible, data rates are still limited by the device at a maximum of 57.6 kbits/s.

Our UX designer has ensured that as there is no touch functionality available on the device, the directional pad is more than capable of effortlessly navigating our app with an average of only 5 additional presses per action.

Given the 3.4 MB internal memory, we’ve managed to keep our app down to a svelte 2.6 MB, leaving you with plenty of room for your media, such as the first minute of an MP3, or up to 5 low-resolution images.

Please let us know your thoughts once you’ve had a chance to play with our brand new app, and we’ll continue pushing the boundaries of innovation.

What is Single Invoice Finance?

By | Invoice Finance | No Comments
Photo credit: www.lendingmemo.com

Photo credit: www.lendingmemo.com

Imagine you are the Managing Director of Acme Widgets Ltd – producer of the UK’s finest custom widgets. Your biggest customer is the giant supermarket chain, Terscol plc. They are a great customer, ordering £10,000 of widgets every few months, but they always insist on 60 day payment terms which puts a squeeze on your cashflow.

You send your £10,000 invoice to Terscol and then wait for payment. The invoice is due to be paid at the start of the next month, but according to your cashflow forecast it will be tight to meet payroll this month. That is where single invoice finance can help.

A Single Invoice Finance provider, such as Satago Finance, would advance Acme Widgets a proportion of the invoice value immediately – in our case we advance up to 85% of the invoice value. So the finance company would immediately transfer £8,500 to Acme Widget’s bank account.

In our example, Acme Widgets can then use that money to meet payroll or any other expenses that may be due. If you are a fast-growing company you might be putting that money straight in to marketing spend to fuel even faster growth.

Terscol is then required by Acme Widgets to pay this invoice into a bank account controlled by the finance company (called “held in trust”). This is a separate bank account – used only for Acme Widgets. When Terscol makes its payment, the remaining £1,500 is transferred to Acme Widgets minus the financing fee.

If Acme Widgets had asked the finance company to advance payment when the invoice was 45 days old, and then Terscol paid it on day 65 (i.e., 5 days late!) then Acme Widgets would have to pay a fee for 20 days. If Acme Widgets had financed the invoice when it was only 5 days old, then they would have paid for 60 days of finance.

That fee is usually 2-4% of the invoice value financed per 30 days. So for the £8,500 that was advanced for 20 days, this might cost £116.  The fee is dependent on a number of factors such as your credit risk and that of Terscol and when we buy the invoice.   You can get an idea of the cost to finance different invoices using our Invoice Finance Calculator at the bottom of this page.

How is Single Invoice Finance different from Debt Factoring?

You might have heard of “Debt Factoring” or “Invoice Discounting” offered by your high-street banks. Technically, Single Invoice Finance is a form of Debt Factoring. The big difference is that the facilities offered by the big banks require you to finance all your invoices (i.e., your entire sales ledger). They also come with fees just for having the facility available – even if you don’t need it (usually based on a percentage of your turnover).

The big advantage of Single Invoice Finance over Debt Factoring and Invoice Discounting is that there are no fees to have Single Invoice Finance facilities and because you only finance the invoices you want to finance – rather than every invoice you issue – you keep more of the value of your invoices to run your business.

Satago offers a Single Invoice Finance facility which users can instantly access on our platform.  You can see which invoice you can finance from your Eligible Invoices page. If you’re not already a Satago user you can sign-up and check your eligibility within a few minutes.

 

How Satago improved a leading recruitment company’s cashflow within a month

By | Case study, Credit Control | No Comments

gemini people logo

Company profile

Industry: Recruitment

Number of Employees: 60 employees

Year of inception: 2011

Founded in 2011, Gemini People is a fast growing recruitment company that specialises in recruitment solutions for the advertising, digital, fashion and media industry. The company belongs to the Hamilton Bradshaw Group, which was founded by Dragons Den investor James Caan.

What they used before Satago

Before Gemini People started using Satago, their credit control managers used Excel spreadsheets for their chasing history, which included extracts from emails and internal staff notes. As an accounting software solution they use Xero. Through Xero they used to send invoice statements manually, as Xero doesn’t have an automated process in place, while their credit control managers wrote and sent invoice reminders and statements manually. Their average debtor days were at around 52 days.

What they were looking for

Gemini People approached us as they were looking for a credit control tool to streamline their processes by automating certain aspects of the day-to-day routine of their credit controllers. Additionally, they required an advanced accounts receivable platform to keep track of their credit control performance.

How do they use Satago

Every morning, a credit control manager does the cash allocation and reconciles their Xero accounts before 10am. After that, they push a manual import in Satago for an up-to-date overview on their accounts receivable. Gemini People makes use of the primary functionalities such as sending invoice reminders and statements.

“We set up our reminder and statement templates, customised the days when we wanted them to be sent and enabled the chasing  – that’s it. We could literally sit back and see the first responses and payments coming in shortly after.”

Priya Patel, Head of Credit Control

Also, they replaced their Excel spreadsheets with Satago’s internal comment and integrated client response system. Any replies from clients are directly fed into Satago, which makes extracting information from email correspondences redundant. In weekly meetings with the Financial Director, Satago is used to provide quick access to the chasing history and to show the progress of their chasing process. Satago’s aged debtor reports also allows their credit control managers to see at a glance which clients need special attention and which need a more persistent follow up.

What impact did Satago have on Gemini People

Gemini People’s credit control managers don’t need to spend time on sending invoice statements and reminders to their clients anymore. “By automating the process, I can spend more time on reaching out to my clients that need a follow up by phone” said Priya, Head of Credit Control. Within less than a month, they have decreased their Debtor Days (DD) by 21%.

 

6 Steps to Starting 2016 with Healthy Cashflow

By | Credit Control | No Comments
confidence boy

Confidence, by flickr user Chris & Karen Highland.

It’s the first work day of 2016 for most people, so now is the perfect time to start the year as you mean to go on and make sure 2016 is your year of complete cashflow confidence.

Here’s a few tips to get you off to a good start:

  1. Check your Satago notification centre for new replies from customers or diary notifications received over the holiday break.
  2. Review your Satago email templates to make sure you are happy with the message and tone of voice for each email.
  3. Reconcile any recent payments received in your accounting software.
  4. Switch your Reminders, Statement and Thank You emails back on so any lingering unpaid invoices start getting chased ASAP.
  5. Take a look at your Aged Debtor report so you know what debtors you should prioritise.
  6. Review your Customer Credit Summary Report to make sure all customers are below their recommended credit limit and to check whether any of your customers’ credit scores have started to trend downwards at the end of 2015.

Following these quick steps as soon as possible will help ensure that you start 2016 with your customers paying you on time leading to complete cashflow confidence.

Here’s to a great 2016 for old and new Satago users alike!

P.S. Remember to switch those out-of-office notifications off. 😉

 

Why Satago is now Free

By | Satago | No Comments
Free Hugs Lego Stormtrooper

Free Hugs. Nearly as good as Free Satago. Picture by Flickr user clement127

As of today, Satago’s debtor-tracking and credit control CRM system is FREE for users of cloud-accounting software.

That means if you are a user of Xero, Quickbooks Online, Kashflow, Freeagent, SageOne or Freshbooks you can use the world’s best platform for improving cashflow and chase up to 5000 invoices a month for free. Gratis. Nada!

Our integrated credit risk data is, as before, free for you to use (UK only data at the moment) after integration so you don’t just chase the oldest debts – you can prioritise the highest risk ones too.

Why free?

The main reason to go free now is that we have just opened access to our revolutionary Invoice Finance product. We wanted to wait and see what the reaction would be and it’s fair to say we have been over-whelmed with the positive feedback and already have a good number of users signed up for early access.

So our business model now is quite simple:

  1. We let everyone in the world use Satago for free.
  2. Everybody’s cashflow gets improved.
  3. Some of our users will buy business credit reports and use us for Invoice Finance.

We hope you agree this makes great sense. Even if you never spend a penny (or cent!) in Satago, we are very happy to have you use our platform to improve your cashflow. We want to help all small and medium sized businesses around the world enjoy Total Cashflow Reliability.

Time to try Satago

If you’re not already a Satago user, now is a good time to sign-up and try us out: https://app.satago.com/register

Please note: our website still refers to our pricing and 30-day free trial etc. This will be changing over the next 24 hours.

Practical implications

Existing subscribers will be switched to a free plan over the coming week. You will receive a partial refund for the remainder of the month.

Subscribers who have paid for a year in advance will receive a pro-rata refund.

We are going to retire the hard-copy payment demand letters. It’s the one bit of the current product that we can’t really make free and we don’t want to have a payment system just for the letters.

Desktop users: due to the high-cost of maintaining and supporting desktop software, we will have to continue to charge our desktop users. Now might a good time to consider switching to one of our cloud-accounting software partners.

Introducing Satago Invoice Finance

By | Invoice Finance | No Comments
Satago Invoice Finance

Users that can see this button on their Satago Taskboard can apply for early acceptance to Satago Invoice Finance.

Our mission at Satago has always been to help businesses get paid on time. We do that pretty well – with our users getting paid up to 23 days faster after using Satago. However, there is only so much that proactive credit control can do. Some customers will always pay late, and some insist on lengthy credit terms that make life difficult for small businesses.

Complete Cashflow Confidence

That’s why we are now introducing Satago Invoice Finance – invoice finance with a difference. Whereas regular invoice finance companies will finance an invoice as soon as it is raised, we finance invoices when they are due (or even overdue).

Why? It’s simple – we think businesses should not have to wait longer than 30 days to get paid and we believe that as much value of an invoice as possible should stay in the pockets of small businesses rather than finance companies. By advancing payment for invoices when they are due (or on 30 days for customers that insist on longer credit terms) we help businesses make their cashflow more reliable whilst giving away as little of the invoice value as possible.

For added peace of mind, all invoices financed through Satago are covered by bad debt protection to protect you if a customer defaults on payment or becomes insolvent.

Satago is now the one-stop shop for complete cashflow confidence, offering a powerful debtor-tracking CRM, integrated credit risk data from Experian, invoice finance on due invoices, and credit insurance protection.

Join the queue

We’ll be publishing more details about how exactly Satago Invoice Finance works over the coming weeks. For now, Satago users are currently being accepted for Invoice Finance on a company-by-company basis. You can register your interest in Satago Invoice Finance from the Taskboard and see what steps you need to complete to be considered for early acceptance.

Please note: Satago Invoice Finance is currently only available to UK Limited companies.