MCA Businesses Must Protect Themselves Better

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David Roitblat is the founder and CEO of Better Accounting Solutions, an accounting firm based in New York City, and a leading authority in specialized accounting for merchant cash advance companies.To connect with David or schedule a call about working with Better Accounting Solutions, email

safety shieldA couple of weeks ago, deBanked covered the story of Mark Csantaveri, a key figure behind three fraudulent companies that defrauded over 50 distressed small business owners with outstanding cash advances–and their cash advance funders–of over $3.4 million.

Together with his co-conspirators at MCA Cure LLC, LDMS Group LLC, and Evergreen Settlement Group LLC, Csantaveri allegedly set up these fake debt settlement companies to prey on people with cash advance deals in place. Promising a fantastic debt restructuring system that could lower their payments by 80% and under the guise of negotiating with the funders, Csantaveri told his victims to direct the payments meant for their funders to an escrow account. He then promptly forwarded the money to his own personal accounts, leaving the merchants trying to figure out what happened when their funder contacted them asking what happened to their payments.

Happily, Csantaveri and his cronies have been charged for their crimes and face decades of prison and steep fines, but these stories are too common in our industry. Every few weeks we hear of businesses getting cheated and defrauded, and unfortunately rarely are the schemes particularly imaginative or unusually unavoidable. deBanked has been on streak recently, publishing blockbuster features about the underbelly of the merchant cash advance business, and yet despite all the warnings, it just keeps happening over and over again.

Cash advance companies have an obligation to proactively protect themselves. And luckily, there are clear ways to do that.

Preventative Step 1: Clearly communicate with the merchant.

Merchant cash advance is a hungry game, and we’re always chasing the next client, the next close, the next commission. This need for speed is often an asset, but when we’re dealing with clients in perilous financial situations who are desperate for quick fixes, it is extremely unwise to deal with them hastily.

It must be clearly communicated to clients the terms of the deal they are accepting, and what exactly they are committing to. They must be reminded that the only people authorized to negotiate the terms of this arrangement are the two parties that signed it, and there are no “white knight saviors” that have any way of interceding on their behalf. If they’re having trouble meeting their obligations, they should feel comfortable letting their funder know, and both parties can work together on finding a mutually beneficial solution.

Preventative Step 2: Actively monitor your deals.

Making sure to actively stay on top of deals is how to avoid things going sideways.

Thanks to industry-customized CRMs such as MCA-Track, LendSaas and Orgmeter, merchant cash advance companies can keep in regular touch with their merchants, while easily tracking the progress of the deals throughout their term lengths.

For example, MCA-Track allows funders to monitor the bank activity of their merchants to see if they’re putting themselves in further financial entanglements by diverting payments, taking on additional advances, or are having outgoing payments bounced. If a funder sees any of that happening, they can step in and connect with the client to proactively ensure everything is still in order, and if it’s not, iron out any issues before they balloon into a much larger problem.

Embracing the available platforms to remain vigilant, and consistently reviewing the sustained health of your deals can help avoid a lot of stress down the road.

Preventative Step 3: Have a go-to financial professional.

This is the step I am personally passionate about for obvious reasons.

Better Accounting Solutions has had the privilege of serving the cash advance industry for well over a decade, and I’ve been a consistent evangelist for companies to embrace outside financial counsel–particularly those with experience in our business–to avoid getting into these issues in the first place.

Businesses need independent financial experts to ensure transparency, prevent bias, and avoid conflicts of interest. The benefits of using MCA experienced firms (any firm!), instead of in-house accountants, are obvious: it removes the danger of assuming a myopic view of what is happening in the industry only analyzed through the lens of just one company, ensures trust and transparency between funders and syndicators, and prevents misappropriation of funds.

Sometimes businesses settle on using any accounting firm, with no experience in MCA accounting, but that can lead to more issues than you had before they were engaged. The danger lies in you thinking everything is being handled and in compliance with the relevant regulations, when in fact they don’t know how to navigate the challenging financial world of our industry.

The industry as a whole is tarnished when crooks are able to circumvent systems meant to protect us all. Staying financially aware and employing these best practices is the key to ensuring it can’t happen again.

Last modified: May 28, 2024

David Roitblat is the founder and CEO of Better Accounting Solutions, an accounting firm based in New York City, and a leading authority in specialized accounting for merchant cash advance companies.

To connect with David, email

Category: merchant cash advance

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