Information for the city of New Orleans
New Orleans, the largest city in Louisiana, is located in the southeast part of the state, between the Mississippi River and Lake Ponchartrain. It is coextensive with Orleans Parish.One of the few cities of the nation that has been under three flags, New Orleans has belonged to Spain, France, and the United States. The French founded it in 1718 and named it in honor of the Duke of Orleans. In 1762, France ceded the city and the territory to Spain. In 1800, the territory was returned to France, but government authorities did not take over until 1803, just 20 days before the region became part of the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.New Orleans is famous for its French Quarter, with its mixture of French, Spanish, and native architectural styles. The Mardi Gras > a week of carnival held in New Orleans before the beginning of Lent is the most spectacular festival in the U.S. and is a popular tourist attraction.
Despite Hurricane Katrina, the 2006 Mardi Gras was still scheduled to be held.New Orleans has one of the world's greatest international ports and it is a major focus of the city's economy. New Orleans is home to the corporate offices of oil companies with major offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the distribution and service centers of offshore equipment suppliers and fabricators. The manufacturing industry is a significant part of the economy, with petroleum, petrochemical, shipbuilding, and aerospace industries all playing a role. The New Orleans region also functions as a mining, processing, and transportation center for other minerals, principally sulfur. Service industries are playing a larger role, with health care and telecommunications leading the way. The New Orleans region is widely regarded as a leading center of medicine and health care in the South.On Aug. 29, 2005, the Category 4 Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, flooding the city on Aug. 30 and disabling its pumps.
This was followed by the breaching of the levees holding back Lake Pontchartrain, flooding 80% of the city. Federal and local officials were widely criticized for their slow and inadequate response. A year after the disaster, many evacuees had not returned to the city and the city population had dwindled to about half of its pre Katrina numbers.Today, New Orleans is making strides on the path toward recovery. Always hospitable, the city has opened its doors extra wide as part of the city's revitalization efforts; Mayor : ""We have hosted an unmatched string of major events in the last two years including the Championship, Final Four and Navy Week, and now we get ready to welcome the world to New Orleans for the world's biggest show"" 2013's XLVII ""we couldn't be more excited.""New Orleans has one of the largest and busiest ports in the world, and metropolitan New Orleans is a center of maritime industry. The New Orleans region also accounts for a significant portion of the nation's oil refining and petrochemical production, and serves as a white collar corporate base for onshore and offshore petroleum and natural gas production.New Orleans is a center for higher learning, with over 50,000 students enrolled in the region's eleven two and four year degree granting institutions.
A top 50 research university, Tulane University, is located in New Orleans' Uptown neighborhood. Metropolitan New Orleans is a major regional hub for the health care industry and boasts a small, globally competitive manufacturing sector. The center city possesses a rapidly growing, entrepreneurial creative industries sector, and is renowned for its cultural tourism. Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.) acts as the first point of contact for regional economic development, coordinating between Louisiana's Department of Economic Development and the various parochial business development agencies.PortNew Orleans was developed as a strategically located trading entrep�t, and it remains, above all, a crucial transportation hub and distribution center for waterborne commerce. The Port of New Orleans is the 5th largest port in the United States based on volume of cargo handled, and second largest in the state after the Port of South Louisiana. It is the 12th largest in the U.S. based on value of cargo. The Port of South Louisiana, also based in the New Orleans area, is the world's busiest in terms of bulk tonnage. When combined with the Port of New Orleans, it forms the 4th largest port system in volume handled. Many shipbuilding, shipping, logistics, freight forwarding and commodity brokerage firms either are based in metropolitan New Orleans or maintain a large local presence.. The largest coffee roasting plant in the world, operated by is located in New Orleans East.Like Houston, New Orleans is located in proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and the many oil rigs that lie just offshore. Louisiana ranks fifth among states in oil production and eighth in reserves in the United States. It has two of the four Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) storage facilities: West Hackberry in Cameron Parish and Bayou Choctaw in Iberville Parish. Other infrastructure includes 17 petroleum refineries, with a combined crude oil distillation capacity of nearly 2.8 million barrels per day (450,000 m3/d), the second highest in the nation after Texas. Louisiana's numerous ports include the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), which is capable of receiving ultra large oil tankers. Given the quantity of oil importing,.
Several major energy companies have regional headquarters in the city or its suburbs, Numerous other energy producers and oilfield services companies are also headquartered in the city or region, and the sector supports a large professional services base of specialized engineering and design firms, as well as an term office for the federal government's Minerals Management Service.BusinessThe city is the home to a single Fortune 500 company: Entergy, a power generation utility and nuclear powerplant operations specialist. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the city lost its other Fortune 500 company, Freeport McMoRan, when it merged its copper and gold exploration unit with an Arizona company and relocated that division to Phoenix, Arizona. Its McMoRan Exploration affiliate remains headquartered in New Orleans. Tourism is another staple of the city's economy. Perhaps more visible than any other sector, New Orleans' tourist and convention industry is a $5.5 billion juggernaut that accounts for 40 percent of New Orleans' tax revenues. In 2004, the hospitality industry employed 85,000 people, making it New Orleans' top economic sector as measured by employment totals. The city also hosts the World Cultural Economic Forum (WCEF). The forum, held annually at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, is directed toward promoting cultural and economic development opportunities through the strategic convening of cultural ambassadors and leaders from around the world. The first WCEF took place in October 2008
Information for the state of Louisiana
The total gross state product in 2010 for Louisiana was US$213.6 billion, placing it 24th in the nation. The state's principal agricultural products include seafood (it is the biggest producer of crawfish in the world, supplying approximately 90%), cotton, soybeans, cattle, sugarcane, poultry and eggs, dairy products, and rice. The seafood industry directly supports an estimated 16,000 jobs. Industry generates chemical products, petroleum and coal products, processed foods and transportation equipment, and paper products. Tourism is an important element in the economy, especially in the New Orleans area.
The Port of South Louisiana, located on the Mississippi between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is the largest volume shipping port in the Western Hemisphere and 4th largest in the world, as well as the largest bulk cargo port in the world. Tourism and culture are major players in Louisiana's economy, earning an estimated $5.2 billion per year. Louisiana also hosts many important cultural events, such as the World Cultural Economic Forum, which is held annually in the fall at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center
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New Orleans Factoring Companies
It is important that you understand the difference between recourse and non recourse factoring prior to choosing your factoring company, -New Orleans Factoring Companies
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The Difference between Accounts Receivable Financing and Factoring
Today, it’s not as easy for businesses to access finance as it was in past years, and more companies are being forced to look for alternative, non banking financing options in order to access the capital they require to help their business grow.
Two of the more popular tools available to cash strapped business owners are Accounts Receivable Financing (A/R Financing) and factoring. Some business owners believe these two are the same, but there are, in fact, some small yet significant differences.
What Is Factoring?
Factoring is when a commercial finance company, also known as a factor or factoring company, purchases a business’s outstanding accounts receivable. At that time, the factor will typically advance the business somewhere between 70% and 90% of the invoice’s value. Then, once the invoice is collected from the customer, the remaining balance – minus a factoring fee – is released to the business. The factoring fee could range from between 1.5% and 5.5%. It’s calculated on the total face value of the invoice and depends on how many days the funds are in use and other aspects, like the collection risk.
When a business has a factoring contract they can usually choose which invoices they want to sell to the factor: it’s not generally an all or nothing process. Once the factor has purchased an invoice they become responsible for managing the receivable until the account has been paid. Essentially, the factor becomes the business’s accounts receivable department and credit manager, analyzing credit reports, performing credit checks, mailing invoices, and documenting payments.
What Is Accounts Receivable Financing?
Accounts Receivable Financing is more similar to a traditional bank loan, however there are some key differences. Bank loans are secured with collateral; which might be real estate, the business owner’s personal assets, or plant and equipment; whereas Accounts Receivable Financing is backed by the business’s assets related to the Accounts Receivable. When a business has an Accounts Receivable financing agreement, a borrowing base is established at each draw against which the business is able to borrow money: this would typically be between 70% and 90% of the qualified receivables.
Between 1% and 2% is typically charged as a collateral management fee against the outstanding amount, and interest is only calculated as and when the money is advanced. An invoice must be less than 90 days old in order to count towards the borrowing base, and the finance company must deem the business credit worthy. There may also be other conditions to fulfil.
So, you can see that there are many similarities between Accounts Receivable financing and factoring; however, one is the sale of an asset (receivables or invoices) to a third party, while the other is actually a loan. In many ways, though, they do act similarly. Below we’ve listed the main features of each so you can determine which would be the best fit for your company.
Accounts Receivable Financing
• Generally, Accounts Receivable Financing is not as expensive as factoring;
• It can be easier to move from this type of financing to a traditional bank line of credit once a business becomes bankable again;
• Typically, a minimum of $75,000 per month is required in sales to qualify, so this type of financing may not be available to small companies;
• Due to the fact that the business will be required to submit all of its Accounts Receivable to the finance company, this type of financing can be less flexible than factoring.
• It’s quite easy to qualify for factoring, and factoring is the ideal solution for start ups and financially challenged companies;
• Because businesses can decide which invoices they want to sell to the factor, factoring offers more flexibility than Accounts Receivable Financing;
• The company is able to track total costs on an invoice by invoice basis because factoring has a simple and straightforward fee structure.
Today we see both Accounts Receivable Financing and factoring as traditional sources of financing; effective when traditional bank financing is not an option. Factoring can carry a business through a period when an immediate cash input is required.
Somewhere between 12 and 24 months most companies are generally able to repair their financial situation and once again become bankable. However, some companies in certain industries continue factoring their invoices indefinitely.An example of this is the trucking industry, which relies heavily on factoring for cash flow injections.
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Bookkeeping Mistakes Commonly Made by Freight Brokers
It’s true that freight brokers shoulder a lot of responsibility; from matching shippers and carriers, to ensuring that each and every piece of cargo arrives at its proper destination. Freight brokers also have the added responsibility of accurate bookkeeping, because failure to prioritize bookkeeping can result in the loss of money.
Below we’ve listed some common bookkeeping mistakes made by freight brokers, and how to avoid them–
Handling the Accounting In-House
Many business owners try to save money by handling the books themselves, or perhaps delegating this very important task to a family member or an inexperienced employee. Sure, you may save time and money initially, but errors can be costly: when you attempt DIY accounting you could well end up with more expensive financing terms, higher bond premiums, or a number of other unforeseen expenses. It’s very important that you hire a competent bookkeeper because, not only will you save money, but you’ll know that the job will be done accurately, quicker, and more efficiently.
We understand only too well that running any business is time-consuming and hard work, and many freight brokers are simply too busy doing their day-to-day tasks to focus on bookkeeping tasks, such as the monthly reconciliation of credit card accounts and bank accounts. It’s through reconciling statements that you get a clear idea of how much credit or cash you actually have, and you can also pick up on any errors that may have occurred.
It can be so tempting to postpone this rather tedious task, but the truth is that your credit card statements and bank statements must be reconciled every month, preferably the moment each statement becomes available. In this way you’ll be able to identify any potential problems in a timely manner; problems such as lost checks, missing deposits, fraudulent charges, and so on.
Failing to Track Invoices and Receivables
You’re not going to get paid if you’re using poor accounting practices with your accounts receivable. Let’s face it, getting paid equals cash, and cash is the lifeblood of every business. An experienced freight broker understands that your cash flow can be strained by the delay between when you pay your carriers and when you receive payment from your customers. If you’re finding that tracking and collecting invoices is taking too long, why not consider invoice factoring? An invoice factoring company will purchase your invoices for a small fee, with the bonus being that you get paid immediately, plus you’re spared the time and expense of having to deal with collections.
Don’t Forget Liabilities
One of the major considerations a surety has when looking at your business financials in order to underwrite a bond is whether you have sufficient assets to cover your liabilities. Many times we see an inexperienced bookkeeper recording a liability, but when the payment is made they forget to reverse the liability. This is a serious error because it results in liabilities being overstated and net income being understated, which makes your business appear to be less financially secure than it really is. These serious errors can be avoided by employing the services of an experienced bookkeeper. We also recommend that you have another set of eyes (which may be an owner or a CPA) regularly review the balance sheet to check for unusual account balances
Too Many Expense Categories
Another common error we often see with inexperienced bookkeepers is creating too many expense categories, or miscategorizing expenses. Generally, most industries and businesses have a standard set of expense categories, and when a loan underwriter or surety sees too many categories, or the miscategorizing of expenses, it stands out like a big red flag. It tells them that your books are not well prepared. Use an accountant or experienced bookkeeper to correctly set up your accounting software right from the beginning, and don’t automatically add new expense categories unless careful consideration has been made. Remember to ask your accountant or CPA for advice, because they’ll be able to guide you on how to classify expenses.
Incomplete Information on Invoices
It’s very important that, when you invoice your customers, you provide sufficient detail on each line item. Do you invoice by weight, per piece, or per mile? Or is the charge a flat fee? If there are additional charges to invoice, such as reimbursements for fuel or fees, these should be listed as separate line items. In addition, these charges must be clearly and accurately detailed in order to avoid any confusion. When you send invoices to your customers that include clear and concise details, it prevents pushback from your clients. If there’s missing information on your invoices and your customers are confused by unrecognizable charges, it could well cause a delay in payment, which is the very last thing business owners need.
Not Understanding the Functionality of Accounting Software
Many freight brokers purchase an accounting software package because they’re anxious to get their business up and running, but they fail to learn how to use it correctly. This is probably not an issue if you’re already outsourcing your accounting and bookkeeping tasks; but if you’re using this software in any way at all, perhaps to enter checks and run reports, it’s important that you spend some time learning how to use all the available functions. When used correctly, the right accounting software can save you a lot of time, in addition to providing real-time information on the state of your business. It’s this information that helps you make important business decisions!
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