Case Studies Archives - Winquote SME Finance

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How We Helped a Client Restructure His Debt Finance Tax

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Debt restructuring and consolidation often sounds (to the uninitiated) like a failing business’s last-ditch effort to restore liquidity; however, there is much more to the process than just rehabilitating a company in financial distress. It is a tool that allows a business to improve cash flow and manage their finances more effectively by renegotiating payment arrangements or restructuring their borrowings. Seen in this light, debt restructuring becomes an effective vehicle to grow a business.

Sadly, the success rate among companies who have undergone a restructure has been markedly low over the past few years—only 4.4 percent in February 2014already a significant drop from 2008’s 7.1 percent and a pittance next to the 14 percent high of 1999These statistics, however, apply only to those companies that were already facing insolvency before they began the process. No word on whether early restructuring would have upped their chances of success, but a stronger cash flow does have its benefits regardless of your standing.

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Image: Dissolve

If you’re contemplating a restructure, the thing to remember is that it requires a realistic appraisal of all your existing financial relationships. What could happen (and does happen in a lot of cases) is that you get a wakeup call about certain financial structures which you thought were cost-effective but were actually missed opportunities in the context of your overall capital management strategy.

Such was the state of affairs in today’s featured case. Below is a breakdown.

The Problem

When our client first came to us, he was looking for a simple refinance of his parents’ residential property, the apparent end goal being to try and reduce the cost of their current funding. While we were quickly able to reduce this by $1,500 per annum, the savings proved to be insufficient in light of our client’s busy lifestyle.

Upon further inquiry (which is part and parcel of Winquote’s ‘duty of care’ approach), we realized that our client’s needs went beyond the refinance. We decided to do a thorough financial health check, the new goal being to explore alternative financing structures which, implemented the right way, would maximise the benefits and exemptions to which our client was entitled.

A bit of background on the client and the financing structures he had in place prior to consulting Winquote: Our client owns a business in IT services and had purchased a commercial property which was leased out to a manufacturing business. On the surface, the arrangement seemed beneficial. But as there was absolutely no debt against this property, the client was ineligible to receive any interest deductions from it.

His parents provided a temporary solution by gifting him a portion of the money for the purchase, which they obtained from their equity in their residential property. They weren’t getting any interest deductions from this debt, either—another downside.

Finally, the client was paying back the gift to his parents as a soft loan, which meant that he was doing so on a post-tax basis—again, no benefits.

The Solution

What we helped the client realise was that he could stand to save much more than $1,500 per annum IF there was debt on the property payable on a pre-tax basis. Our recommendation was that he draw against his commercial property and repay his parents the funding they had gifted him. The proviso was that he had serviceability of the debt, which he did—through his own income and the rental income from the property itself.

The solution seems so simple—saving on tax rather than on interest—but it’s not uncommon for SMEs to overlook these benefits. This kind of problem stems from focusing too much on a particularly problematic financing structure and failing to recognise that it is only a small part of one’s comprehensive capital management framework.

The Results

Our advice saved our client approximately 30 percent of the interest payments. He was able to realise this amount due to the fact that he was now able to pay his debt using his pre-tax income rather than his post-tax income.

At Winquote, we understand the true cost of capital and are therefore able to take a big-picture approach to debt and financing. We make a point of investigating all viable avenues for financing during a restructure. If there’s something like a tax-effective facility you’ve been overlooking all this time, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Conclusion

We’re more than just a finance intermediary; if you’ll let us, we’ll be your key relationship manager, giving you the full advantage of our solid understanding of finance, our knowledge across other associated professions, and our accreditations with multiple lenders. Our goal is to help you achieve the optimal financing structure for your needs, and peace of mind throughout the process to boot.

To learn more, feel free to get in touch with our representatives. We’ll be happy to provide a free finance health check for your situation.

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How We Helped a Client Develop a Successful Property Portfolio

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Social Trends Report released in December 2011 said that more than forty percent of the average Australian household’s assets consist of property assets.This tendency among Australians to gravitate toward property seems natural, given the promise of accelerated capital growth, cash flow, and tax benefits.

But anyone new to the game will soon realise that developing a property portfolio isn’t as easy as it sounds. It requires a sound financial strategy founded on a thorough understanding of how to (a) capitalise on your borrowing power, (b) use equity to grow your portfolio, and (c) maintain a sizeable financial buffer.

The old adage therefore applies: “Fail to plan…and you plan to fail.”

One of the most difficult aspects of building a successful property portfolio is finding the right funding partners. Without up-to-date insider knowledge, industry expertise, and the right contacts, you’d be hard put to know the difference between clever sales talk and a lender’s actual capabilities.

It’s important to keep in mind that each individual’s case is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy to growing your property portfolio. And if a highly critical consideration in this strategy is to have the right funding partners on board, then it is equally critical that these same partners be able to tailor their funding to suit your strategy. The logic sounds a bit circular, yes, but asking questions along the following lines should help:

  • What is it that I want to achieve?
  • Why do I want to achieve this?
  • How am I going to achieve this?

so that's why - winquote

Finance advisors call this “so that” thinking. Think “I’m choosing/doing X so that I can do Y,” Y being your goal: retiring early, improving your long-term retirement prospects, creating wealth, you name it. Assuming you already have a strategy in place, the next question to raise is: Can this potential funding partner provide the optimum financing structure for the specific needs I have mapped out?

This was the core issue in today’s case: the hunt for not just one, but multiple funders. Winquote believes that it is feasible, even easy, for the average Australian investor to develop a well-structured portfolio within a relatively small time frame, given that he is able to connect with the right people and organisations. This case is proof positive.

The Problem

We were approached by our clients, a self-employed couple, as a result of their desire to increase their property portfolio through their trusts. As things stood, they already had an investment strategy in place but had only an initial deposit and as yet no property in their portfolio.

They knew they needed the assistance of multiple funders to reach their objective of growth in net asset value through property. (This was their “so that” statement.) The problem was that they weren’t sure how to go about the hunt in a timely and cost-effective manner.

That was where we came in.

The Solution

What they had going for them was their early realization of the fact that their spending an inordinate amount of time and effort to canvass all the banks to try and find the right solution for them would have meant a substantial loss of income and productivity. Having approached us, they were able to appoint a Winquote expert as their key finance relationship manager. Our representative was able to manage all of their requirements easily, thanks in part to our ongoing relationships with multiple lenders—a significant advantage our clients had the opportunity to leverage.

The Results

Through the one relationship with Winquote, our clients were able to get in touch with, and borrow from, multiple institutions. And they were able to achieve this hassle-free, in a timely manner, AND at a great price. Our contact base was the key to their success. With Winquote as their de facto relationship manager, they benefited firsthand from our solid understanding of finance and our existing relationships with some of Australia’s biggest lenders.

Conclusion

Winquote will be happy to be your one point of call for all your financing matters. But we’re not just an intermediate; we’re an advocate, and we’re rooting for your success. Our specialty lies in taking an integrated, holistic, and consultative approach to your financing needs, ensuring that all bases are covered and that you’ll have as little to worry about as possible throughout the entire process.

If you’d like to get in touch with us for a consultation, call our office at 02 9929 9733 or drop by Suite 7, 345 Pacific Highway, North Sydney 2060.

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How We Helped a Client Obtain Car Finance Easily

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission calls the purchase of a car “one of the single biggest purchases you are likely to make,” and yet all car buyers (we’ve yet to hear of an exception) just want the process over and done with quickly. People in general are more likely to spend time and energy poring over their choices of car make and model and working out detailed running costs than they are to do the research and paperwork required to seek and secure the best finance arrangement. This is a missed opportunity, if ever there was one.

The sheer number of lenders (reputable and otherwise) offering car loans all over Australia just ups the chances of pitfalls and costly mistakes. But because buyers are so eager to drive off in their new cars, few bother to really read the fine print and make serious enquiries about more cost-effective financing options.

If you’re in the market for a vehicle, you’ll soon realise just how many finance options are open to the general community—direct bank loans, dealership finance, and other finance brokers, all of which are both highly visible and easily accessible. The trouble with these options is that they are often structured with complex arrangements and terms—a red light for the inexperienced car buyer.

stop ask an expert

We at Winquote have always believed in the value of professional counsel. Not just because we’re in the business of providing financial advice, but because we have seen firsthand how experienced, disinterested professionals can make decision-making easier by providing options that address the prospective buyer’s personal and specific requirements.

Which brings us to today’s featured case study, which is the case of the average Australian seeking affordable financing for a vehicle. There is nothing overly remarkable about our client’s situation, as you’ll see in a bit, but focus instead on how we go about solving the problem of car finance.

The Problem

Dealership finance is a common option for car buyers because it can be relatively quick to obtain and is exceptionally convenient. The downside to this is that not all dealerships will take a holistic look at your entire financial situation, robbing you of the opportunity to explore all your real alternatives, much less find the optimal finance structure for your needs.

Keep in mind that just because you’re getting a good deal on a car doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t better options out there. And your chances of seeing a disinterested presentation of your finance options are slim if you’re getting it straight from the dealer. This was a rather rude awakening for our client.

The Solution

Having made our client realize the possibility of a better finance repayment arrangement than what the dealership could provide, we then proceeded to find it for him. Our client was staggered by the savings he gained through our financing: $12,000 over the term of the finance contract. What’s more, our price was competitive from the start, as our policy is to give our clients a great price upfront, saving him a lot of time and worry.

Winquote SME Finance isn’t limited to a particular type of vehicle. We offer solutions for buyers looking to finance new or used cars, trucks, forklifts, excavators, and all manner of electronic and mechanical equipment. Our services are open to individuals as well as business clients.

The Results

Through Winquote’s big-picture approach to car finance, our client was able to benefit from a package tailored to work comfortably with his monthly budget. We even managed to reduce interest by drawing equity from other sources, such as his property and other assets.

Finally, our client was able to walk away only 24 hours later knowing that because interest rates are all fixed for specific car finance, he could rest assured that there were no nasty surprises waiting for him in future.

Conclusion

Our goal in offering car finance is to provide value to the client: time for the time-poor, affordable options for the budget-constrained, solid advice for the inexperienced. Through our broad product range and accreditations with multiple lenders, Winquote is set to assist individuals and businesses with any financing need.

For help with car finance and other concerns, get in touch with our office by calling 02 9929 9733.

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How We Saved a Valuable Client $52,000 pa

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Since the 2008 fiscal crisis, SMEs in Australia have had a tough time of it. Even up to today, there is an ongoing difficulty in accessing finance—a handicap left over from the years of slow consumer credit growth, low overall confidence, and a volatile capital market. In the 2011 Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey by CPA Australia,only 30 percent of the respondents reported having been approved for business loans. And of this number, more than a third found the process especially challenging.

CPA Australia attributes SME’s funding troubles to a lack of communication between lenders and potential borrowers and believes that better dialogue on the latter’s credit worthiness is one key to success. This particular client’s story is an excellent case in point. Abhishek Maharaj, General Manager of Winquote, shares the story with us.

The Problem

Our clients owned a restaurant business in the SME space and were hoping to try and grow their portfolio of assets. To do this, they needed secured, lower-interest funding to refinance their property loans.

While they were sufficiently asset-backed and able to fund their cash flow requirements, they were having difficulty establishing their capacity to service the debt—evidently a no-no for the bank. Their inability to secure bank financing boiled down to two things: first, they did not have a relationship manager to oversee their financial dealings, and second, they had only recently restructured their business.

In the interim, they had to resort to expensive private lenders. By expensive, think high application fees and interest rates well above 10 percent. The expense led them to consider offloading their business or investment property—a measure which would have eliminated their debt, but not without hurting their cash flow.

The Solution

The problem with their temporary solution was that it didn’t really solve anything. It was just a Band-Aid, a means of adjusting to the new normal (i.e., having to go without bank financing). And it was no longer effective.

When the clients approached Winquote, one of the first things we did was urge them to find a relationship manager, someone who can understand the ins and outs of their business finances and represent them properly to the bank. We also stressed the importance of mapping out their short-, medium-, and long-term objectives so that they could start preparing financially for future projects.

Below is a summary of the strategies we implemented.

1. Sourcing the right bank. Once their objectives were made clear, we were able to find the right bank for their current situation and future needs.

2. Utilising our Debt Tendering Service. This is designed to help clients get in touch with multiple lenders with the aim of arranging a new and improved setup that will add value to their business.

3. Organising approval and settlement. We worked closely with the bank and the clients’ chosen relationship manager to achieve the desired results.

4. Managing the ongoing relationship. We continue to be their personal Finance relationship managers and to maintain the relationship between themselves and the lender.

5. Providing ongoing support. Clients’ needs don’t end once a bank loan is secured. We continue to work with them and their relationship manager to make sure the house stays in order. It’s an ongoing beneficial relationship.

The Results

The end result was that we were able to secure financing at an interest rate of under  5.5 percent through one of the Big Four banks. We helped our clients by putting their best-foot-forward to the bank allowing them to save $52,000 a year on interest costs alone—an immediate boost to their cash flow. And (perhaps best of all), we were able to help them hold on to their business and investment property.

At Winquote, we work hard to be our clients’ advocate throughout the process. We push to best position your credit application for improved pricing and ultimately reduce barriers for approval. Our specialist knowledge and years of working in the banking industry place us in a prime position to meet with top lenders and ensure that all your financial affairs continue to run like clockwork.

Conclusion

The takeaway for this case study is simple: find sound financial partners who can help you maintain a healthy cash flow and keep you on your toes. Relationships are important in all aspects of business, but most especially when securing funding and when growing your portfolio of assets.

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If you need help with SME Cash Flow Funding, Self-Managed Super Fund Lending, Property Finance, and more, talk to Winquote SME Finance. We’d be delighted to hear from you.