KPM

Payroll Risks Generative AI For Businesses Financial Statements Sec. 179 Tax Deduction Health Care Plan Assessing Customer Credit QBI Deduction Cash Withdrawal Small business retirement Spouse travel expenses Accounting Software Strategic Planning Process Insurance Schemes Enterprise Risk Management Program Account-Based Marketing Wrong Software For Your Organization Operational Review Internal Benchmarking Reports Sales approach Capturing Data Older Workers Pooled Employer Plans Financial Statement Options BOI Reporting Rules Privileged Users Medicare Premiums DOL Business valuation Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Value-Based Sales Fringe Benefits Green Lease Strategic Planning Financial Reporting Marketing Strategy Succession planning health care benefits Cyberinsurance PTO Buying Media Screening Pipeline Management Billing Best Practices Solo 401(k)

Could Your Next Business Loan Get ‘Ratio’d?’

We live and work in an era of big data. Banks are active participants; keeping a keen eye on metrics that help them accurately estimate risk of default.

As you look for a loan, try to find out how each bank will evaluate your default probability. Many do so using spreadsheets that track multiple financial ratios. When one of these key ratios goes askew, a red flag goes up on their end, and the loan may be denied.

Common metrics

To avoid getting ‘ratio’d’ in this manner, business owners should familiarize themselves with some of the more common metrics that banks use to gauge creditworthiness.

For example, banks will compare cash and receivables to current liabilities. If this ratio starts slipping, you likely will need to push accounts receivable so money comes in more quickly or better manage inventory to keep cash flow moving. Other examples of financial benchmarks include:

  • Gross margin [(revenue – cost of sales) / revenue]
  • Current ratio (current assets / current liabilities)
  • Total asset turnover ratio (annual revenue / total assets)
  • Interest coverage ratio (earnings before interest and taxes / interest expense)

Some banks also may calculate company or industry-specific performance metrics. For instance, a warehouse might report daily shipments or inventory turnover, not just total asset turnover. Meanwhile, a retailer might provide sales graphs that highlight product mixes, sales rep performance, daily units sold, and variances over the same week’s sales from the previous year.

Other methods

Bear in mind that not every bank uses ratios to evaluate performance, or they may combine ratio analysis with other benchmarking tools. Some use community-based scoring, by which a selected group of finance professionals rate and review companies based on their payment histories. Others use proprietary commercial-scoring models that use creditor reports to develop credit scores for businesses.

Preventing disappointment

When a strategic initiative fails to launch because your business cannot obtain financing, it can be crushing. To prevent such disappointment, have your financials in order and target as many common ratios as possible. Please contact our firm for help evaluating your performance and determining where you may need to improve to obtain a loan.

Related Articles

Talk with the pros

Our CPAs and advisors are a great resource if you’re ready to learn even more.