In today’s financial markets there is misinformation pertaining to Bank Guarantee and Standby Letter of Credit transactions, largely due to the lack of correct information available. In order to keep informed one must go out of their way to learn about the industry and how it operates. The Bank Instrument industry is a world where real information, truthful processes and real providers are hard to come by. Here we will try to provide some useful information so that you can educate yourself further on how this industry operates. In this section we will talk about Standby Letters of Credit.
Fully prepared financial statements can provide funders a lot of information about the company’s current state of affairs. When you start a new business venture, the financial statements can be included with a business plan. Whether your a startup business preparing financial records or a company looking to grow and requires expansion capital, all company financial reports work on the same principles. We have outlined the financial statement format as an example you can use:
Income Statements ( profit / loss / revenue / forecast)
Statements of Cash Flow (historic and current)
Balance Sheets (assets / liabilities)
Financial Ratios and/or break even analysis
Businesses keep financial reports to monitor performance for at least 5 years (some countries want 7-10 years for tax recording purposes). Financial reports are for record keeping purposes that are designed to measure and analyze the company’s cash flow, profit and loss on account and includes the balance sheet. Through a well designed financial statement, it’s easy to see a company’s expenditures and outlay and spot room for improvement and growth.
Preparing your Financial Statements
If you are a start up company it may not be possible to prove any income, one way to do this is by assumption in net income. Key Financial Indicators can be used as benchmarks that compare your business process and performance metrics to other competitor practices.
Profit and Loss Account
This is known as an income statement which shows the business’s financial performance typically over a 12 month period but are usually broken up into quarterly periods. An income statement should indicate:
The profits – gross profits after all expenses paid out
The expenses (cost of goods sold, salaries, rent, advertising, etc.) that match the revenues being reported or have expired during the accounting period
The revenues (sales, service fees) that were earned as income during the accounting period of operations
Forecast (projected profit and loss margins)
This particular statement is shown as “net income”, the amount after deductions are made such as tax.
This is the flow of money coming in and going out of the business. Cash flows record the difference between the opening and closing account balance. There are positive and negative ways in which a company can measure it’s cash flow operations (Examples are outlined in cash flow management)
Cash Flow Management
The management of capital flowing in and out of a business is important to it’s survival. If the cash inflow into a business exceeds the outgoing (expenditures) it’s a sign that the business is healthy and strong. 3 ways of monitoring cash flow is through:
Operational Cash Flow –
Sell more goods or services, the company can also increase the selling price
Reducing costs in areas such as employment, utility bills and loans
Investment Cash Flow – Cash received through investments or liquid assets
Financial Cash Flow –
Through company shares (stock market)
Taking out a business loan (debt repayment)
A balance sheet is part of the overall financial statement and provides a snapshot of a company at any given date. There are many reasons why you would be asked for the balance sheet. If you are looking for funding, investors will ask to see this document as it reflects the result of all recorded accounting transactions since the business began. Creditors want to see this as it shows whether or not loans can be paid back as it indicates the company’s net worth.
Balance sheets are divided into two main areas; what the business owns (assets) and owes (liabilities). Follow the link to read a balance sheet example. You can break down the balance sheet even further into organized classifications:
How to Prepare a Balance Sheet
Cash on Deposit
Current Liabilities: – these are all the company’s debt obligations
Long Term Liabilities
Costs – Debentures and Tax
If any, you can outline the stock holders equity interest
Additional Paid in Capital
Financial Accounting Ratios
A financial ratio or “accounting ratio” is a relative magnitude of two selected numerical values taken from a company’s financial statements. Financial ratios are used to compare a company against an industry average or other companies in order to benchmark or measure a company’s performance.
Working capital is measured based on the current assets against the current liability. There are three main reasons why a business needs adequate working capital.
Pay staff wages and salaries.
Settle debts and therefore avoid legal action by creditors.
Benefit from cash discounts offered in return for prompt payment.
Financial Statement Tips
- Many corporations include a ten-year summary in their financial highlights each year. This provides the investing public with information about a decade of performance.
- Annual report contains financial statements, get a stamp of approval from independent auditors
- Be realistic with the projected figures
- Keep an eye on your business loan, can you get a better rate?
- As savings rates are pretty low, there are many alternative investments that can yield high interest returns
Funding Private Projects in Europe
It is possible to apply for a grant in OECD member countries from Governments and NGO Foundations but you might discover that not all projects get covered by grants. It can be difficult to find organisations willing to help finance a project in particular; those projects that have a unique selling point that counteract current problems but comes with a high-risk approach.
Let’s say a developer needs funding, when they apply for project finance, the lender might put together a structured finance solution to suit the developer’s project requirements. But what does structured finance mean and how do they do it?
What is Structured Finance
The lender will look at the development project to determine what it’s requirements are and then structure a finance model according to the projects needs. If the borrower has been refused funding for whatever reason, this might be the best route to go down. So in other words, structured finance not only benefits the borrower but also protects the funder.
Today there are many ways to get seed funding for a business. The old traditional way was to go and ask the bank manager for a business loan. As there are problems in the economy and banks are being a lot more frugal with commercial loans, people need to look elsewhere to get the right loan to suit their business requirements.
The 80’s was the start of the bull market economy. You could invest your money in bonds which were paying out at a flat 15% interest rate, risk free. It was a good time to invest in companies because the corporations were forced to compete with 15% rates to be more efficient and investing their capital wisely.
Winding the clock forward to present day, the federal reserve have been printing money excessively and have been giving corporations access to cheap loans. As a result, companies are over valued through stock purchases, share buybacks which means they are not investing in their future growth. The over supply of money printing is reshaping the global economy which is non sustainable and there is now too much corporate/ private debt. Read more
Wind energy is the motion of air molecules driven by the Earths rotation this causes difference in atmospheric pressure. The term “wind power” describes the air flow that generates mechanical power.
Wind Power Technology
We have been using wind power for various reasons since ancient times. In the Middle East, buildings have been specifically constructed to act as windcatchers for ventilation. Windcatchers can be used to manage airflow in and around buildings and harnessed in different ways: uni-directional, bi-directional, and multi-directional. The construction of a windcatcher in architecture depends on the direction of airflow at that specific location.
Further developments in wind power technologies has allowed us to build larger, robust equipment. This has enabled humans to explore far off lands through ship building and prosper through agriculture – wind mill technology. Read more
Every project is different so it is not possible to compile an exhaustive list of project funding risk or to rank them in order of priority. What is a major funding risk for one project may be quite minor for another. One can discuss the risks that are common to most projects and possible avenues for minimizing them. However, it is helpful to categorize the risks according to the phases of the project within which they may arise: (1) the design and construction phase; (2) the operation phase; or (3) include both phases. It is useful to divide the project in this way when looking at project funding risks because the nature and the allocation of risks usually change during and between constructions.
In our “writing a business plan article, we highlighted “managing risk” in a bullet points because it’s an essential element in your business plan. This article explains further why we feel that this (managing risk) is another factor to consider when writing a business plan. Strictly speaking, these aren’t the only risk assessments your company should undertake but it is a small guideline to show you how one factor can possibly effect the other.
The first milestone for entrepreneurs who want to a business loan is called ‘Seed Capital’ or ‘Seed funding’. It refers to the initial investment raised by the founders from their family and friends who would use savings and personal assets. It is common to see most entrepreneurs do not have enough capital to launch their companies and look for other ways to raise money.