ANALYSING DEBT MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES IN BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In contemporary business setting, debt is seemingly inevitable. Sometimes it emanates from short fund convenience with the prevailing trade terms. Debt does not occur only when money is borrowed. It equally occurs when there is exchange of goods or services with a deserved payment. So each time goods or services are exchanged with a deferent of its financial obligation, there is incidence of debt. A good business may not always write to finances the commencement of his business from his personal savings. If he does, so many things may happen. Either that the business is under financed or the business is foregone, likewise a business firm for one version or the other may not finance through equity aware only. The management may wish to source the fund through debt. Even after the commencement, the firm may further need extra funds for expansion or for speculative purposes. Hence, this project work looks into the analysis of debt in a dual perspective:
i. In the accumulative of fund, either for the commencement or expansion and
ii. In trading relationship (trade debt).
At the commencement of a consciences organization, the owners try to maintain a favourable capital structure. Ordinarily, it is normal for the business owners (equity holder) to finance the business. But more often, the funding of a business goes beyond that. The choice of the capital structure and the funding technique is left at the mercy of the financial managers. On doing so however, he doesn’t overlook or neglect the major organizational objective; maximization of the owners wealth. Business organizations usually strive to achieve a number of objectives. These corporate objectives provide a set of criteria upon which financial decisions can be based. In general terms of business organization seek to achieve by obtaining funds from various sources and investing some reasonably. It is important to recognize that the various types of funds raised has its own cost and each has certain risks. For example, loans (secured and unsecured), debentures, preference and ordinary shares. Loans raised ob the security organizations assets tend to have fairly low rates of interest although they imply certain risks. Failure to meet the terms of the loan on the due date would empower the tender to confiscate the said assets with potentially catastrophic consequence for the borrower.
In contrast, an unsecured loan on which no assets is pledged, though escaped the last cited risk cost higher. It has higher cost than the former. Preference share on the other hand may have a relatively annual rate but its payment is binding irrespective of whether profits were made or not. Ordinary share however has no fixed charge as such. Its dividend depends on the periodic business profits yet excessive use of equity shares is determine to the organizational control, if it is not technically handled. When the equity share is used in marginal funding of the firm, it is only advisable when the return from the issue is such that share prices would increase. One would not expect an issue of share to be made with an expectation that share prices would fall since that would reduce shareholders wealth. So it can be said that the minimum return required from a new issue is that which would leave the share price at its present level.
Since it is one of the organizational objectives to maximize the equity holders, wealth and random use of ordinary shares tantamount this. The management would have no option than to resort to debt financing to complement equity. This is one of the reasons why debt financing is almost inevitable in the capital structure of a business organization of today. Then with the attendant risk and return relationship, the financial manager always seeks for a fair equilibrium to the best interest of the firm for its survival and for attainment of its set objectives.
Trade Debt: With the exception of most types of retaining commercial sales are usually made on credit. This means that cash settlement legs sometimes behind the delivery of the goods or the consumption of the service to which the payment relates. The main reason for these practices are attributed to the present commercial tradition for convenience aid to the buyers and even to the sellers. This trading terms leads to debt but it is encouraged for the following reasons
a) The recipient will need to assure himself that the goods are satisfactory prior to payment.
b) Additional safeguard will need to be introduced with regards to the cash collected.
Even when and where it would be reasonable practicable to pay on delivery, customers are reluctant to forgo the traditional credit period. Since they do so, it would increase their own financing costs. The practice of allowing credit has thus come to be widely accepted as normal. The use of credit however has certain costs associated with it and the analyzing debt management requires a clear identification and balancing of these various costs. To achieve this however, the financial manager and the management had to consider the costs under two categories:
a) Cost of allowing credit.
b) Cost of refusing credit.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Debt has implication in the life of every business organization. Poor analysis of debt management affects a firm adversely. It could be recalled that the effective capital structure of a firm emaciate from the ability of the financial manager and the management to blend debt with equity. It is pertinent to note that many businesses have gone into compulsory liquidation due to poor analysis, which leads to poor debt management. The cost of capital therefore shall be bargained with critical consideration of the organizational Internal Rate of Return (IRR). On the sale relationship, the credit term shall be determined with an absolute review of the overall business environmental factor. While resisting debt for its risks, the goodwill of the customer shall not be overlooked entirely. This work tends to deal debt in its relation with a business organization. It brings about a number of problems which includes among others:
i. The cost of capital in financing market is an extra charge to the business organization. Such a cost eats deep into the owners fund.
ii. Secured debts do not only affect the liquid assets of the firm but also dare to extend its effects into the fixed assets of the firm.
iii. Preference share has a fixed periodic charge, which accumulates inconsiderate of whether a profit is made or loss suffered. This gives a firm an adverse concern especially during an unfavorable business atmosphere.
iv. Inability to melt the financial obligation of a business organization eventually lead to the organizational liquidation, which is an economic death of the firm as an entity.
In the business tending policy, a firm tries as much as possible to minimize credit for the following reasons:
a. It brings about bad debt, which is a deadly disease to a business.
b. Later settlement of debt in beating the stipulated credit return destabilizes the liquid stability on the firm and eventually leads to bad debt.
c. Protracted debt denies the business organization the chance of using their business opportunities as they fall due.
This project is not pessimistic to debt at all neither does it intend to criticize debt and anything about it, rather it delves into the problems and consequences of debt and analyzing its management situation. Despite the above-cited deaneries, debt has a number of merits. In the optical structure, some financial mangers commend debt financing for the following reasons:
i. Difficulties in raising ordinary share capital.
ii. Peoples reluctance to spearhead risks
iii. For expansion and speculative purpose, that debt funding is preferable since further use of equity may dilute the control of the firm.
iv. It may even affect the price of the stock properly handled.
On the transactional terms, absolute refusal of credit for debt aversion has its own adverse effects:
a) It reduces the sales volume and hence the profit prospects
b) It affects the goodwill of the business hence firms in the fac3e of its customer and degrades its inedibility in market scene.
c) The firm can only stand in an absolutely monopolistic market and this is verily obtainable.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
From the look of things, it is self evident that modern business can hardly survive and meet the objectives and expectations of the interested parties without debt. Debt on the other hand cannot be purged on its attendant merits and demerits. Since the impact of debt is being felt from the inception of a business (from commencement) to the cessation date (the day it is wound up). The financial manager starts his decisions on debt from the setting of the capital structure. Sometimes the business may need additional fund either for improvement, innovation and expansion or for speculative purpose. These came as an opportunity to the firm, which the management may not like to miss. But very often, the retained earnings may not be enough to cater for this. as such, the fund is sourced externally.
In the trading activities of the firm, credit cannot be eliminated completely. The firm can either be a recipient, a giver or both. This is possible in its relation with its suppliers and customers. And wherever there is a creditor, there must be a debtor. So credit and debt are just like two sides of a coin. So in an economic system, “what cannot be avoided must be managed”. So this research will take a closer look into the strategies of analyzing debt management situation, relate same to the contemporary business environment in Nigeria with a particular overview or reference to Nigeria Bottling Company PLC: Coca- cola, Enugu, their trading terms, collection period, the incidence of bad debt and capital tied down as a result of delay in debt collection.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covered was on analyzing debt management technique in Nigeria business organization with much concerned to Nigeria bottling company plc. However, for further reference and clarity, emphasis are made from other reasons and these are consider vital, thus such emphasis are an profitability, solvency, flexibility, conservation and control.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
(a) How does debt financing bring about an optimal capital structure in a business organization?
(b) Will good analysis of trade debt management help measure an effective working capital management in every business organization?
(c) What effort will be made to reach every latent problem, inherent in analyzing debt management in areas of organizational capital structure?
(d) How does the important element in decision about resource helps to finance the ambiguity- surrounding concept of the cost capital.
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
In a continued effort to reach an appreciable equilibrium in the problems and consequences of debt and its effective management, we (researcher) employed a selected statistical to enable us reach a fair conclusion.
In the light of the above, therefore the following major hypothesis have been formulated. Hypothesis mean a tentative statement made by a researcher, subject to tests) with a view to forming basic to study a phenomenon.
These hypothesis when tested, can confirm or repute the extent at which these advanced statement can be upheld.It can equally place the researcher on the solid ground of drawing his conclusion and a subsequent recommendation.
1. Ho: Effective debt financing does not brings about an optional capital structure in a business organization.
Hi: Effective debt financing brings about an optional capital structure in a business organization.
2. Ho: Good analysis of trade debt management is not good measure of an effective working capital management in a business organization.
Hi: Good analysis of trade debt management is a good measure of an effective working capital management in a business organization.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of analyzing debt management situation is a broad as the scope of the business in question and its economic environment and as length as the life of business poor or financial management in a business organization is first evidenced in its inefficient debt management and epitomized in its liquidation. This is the reason why the researcher endeavours to look into a firm and consequences of debts. In the capital structure of a firm, the debts prospect of the organization project is to be considered and a careful decision made to avoid setting off with a long toot. These are the areas this work look into, in a trading business firm, the role of the marketing manager and the financial manager of deciding on the organizational credit policies is brought to light with dare recommendation. This work tends to strike a fair balance in their turn and risks of debt. This will be of great importance to the interest groups and prospective scholars in the field. This is done by through review of the post, which is related to the present and employed in the recommendation for a better future.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Analyzing debt management situation is not a shallow topic to be handled haphazardly; it is not only technical but also sensitive and broad. For the purpose of this project, it is restricted to the business organizations. It excluded every non-business concern. Also for want to time resources, Nigeria Bottling Company-coca-cola, Enugu, is sampled out as a base for the research work. So many factors are deemed to militate against quicker and easier completion of this work. These include among others:
(a) COST: Inadequate fund may stunt this work beyond our taste. Lack of fund (money) may also affect not only the period of the research but also its quality. To exults everything about analyzing debt management situation and come out of legacy for the posterity, one needs to travel far and near. At least one ought to touch various industries in the four basic geographical area of the country.
(b) TIME: Time is as costly as money, it is ever easier facing financial problems than time. Time lost as hardly regained. Financial markets do exist but time existed for time. With the school academic leader, the period for the research work is too short, putting other courses into the budget.
(c) SOURCES OF FACTS: This research has convince me that so many authors share almost the same view on this topic as such, are going to a library having about ten textbooks of different authors, at last you find out that they are saying the same thing in different tongue, invariably you are having a book or more.
(d) RELUCTANT TO CO-OPERATE: The management of some business organizations are two reluctant to disclose the required information and more so, when it comes to disclosing or exposure of the organizational books record. The idea equally affected the quality of facts given in the research. Some do piths pact to suit their firm.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Debt: Money or something owned by or someone - a liability or an obligation.
Debtor: One who owes the liability or obligation
Management: The process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the work of organization members and of using all available organization resources to reach stated organizational goals.
Credit: Trust or confidence in a buyer’s ability intention to pay at the same future time, exhibited by out rushing him with goods and services without present payment.
Capital structure: Debt or equity relationship, it is configuration of equity capital and loan capital in the long term financing of an organization.
Equity: The risk bearing portion of the long term capital of a business organization.
Aguolu P.S.O. (1998), Financial Management, Aba, Model Academic publishers Ltd 2nd edition p.28.
Harvey D.A and Mclane E. (1993) Core business studies Finance, London, Mike Mardes publish Ltd p.28
James C. Van Home (1972) Financial Management, New Dechi, practice hall publisher p.718.
Uche Chukwudire (1996) Principle of public Finance, Onitsha, S communication Ltd 1st edition p.3.
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