Online Market Places – Charting the Future of Trade and Commerce

The World Wide Web has revolutionized the concepts of trade and finance and has literally redefined the way people purchase and sell goods.

One of the landmark evolutions of the recent time has been that of Online Marketplaces. Online marketplaces, or e-markets as they are popularly called aim to create efficient platforms to bring together buyers and sellers at a massive scale.

Internet takes a business to a global scale and presents it before and international audience. Experts predict that more than 85% of the computer literate population of the world use the Internet to purchase goods. Hence, it offers tremendous business opportunities for buyers and sellers both.

Online market places are excellent venues to find potential service providers and sales leads and further profitable business endeavors. Let us examine some special features and highlights that makes online marketplaces so appealing to the business population.

Buying at the Best Prices
Who doesn’t like a good bargain? And especially when you can pick the best out of the lot. Online marketplaces give service providers and businesses an opportunity to strike a great deal with one another. This is because online marketplaces have a huge database of service providers which one can browse through and select the one that offers the most cost effective rates for the particular services.

Online marketplaces are highly popular in these times of recession and credit crunch. This is because people are trying to reduce costs and seek the cheapest rates possible for quality services. Thus they are embracing the services of the Internet.

Global Pool of Service Providers
Internet is able to extract value from otherwise unreachable areas. Web based marketplaces act as a global platform where buyers and sellers from across the world can come together and further profitable business endeavors. This helps in creating a online free market environment where businesses and service providers can interact profitably with one another. Because of the visibility of the deal, both the parties of the deal have power. Buyers who fail to make payments or service providers who fail to deliver can get negative rankings on the website and can even be removed from the site altogether.

Variety of Choices
Everyone like to be in control of things. Online marketplaces offer buyers the luxury of browsing through a variety of potential solutions for their requirements. Buyers can check out several options before making a choice. This gives them a sense of power and control and they are more convinced about the decision they make. Also, this make them spend money more readily.

Security Policies
Because there is huge amounts of cash involved in online marketplaces, these portals have strict security guidelines and privacy policies. All the information that is exchanged and all the credit details are secured and processed safely. This minimizes the risk of fraudulent transactions and deals and ensures safe processing.

Extensive Array of Products and Services
Online marketplaces generally cater to a broad range of industries. There are certain portals that specifically cater to certain segments but others generally include a variety of products and services. All one needs to do is post the requirements and place a Request for Bids and there will be vendors who offer the same and would submit Bids.

Online marketplaces create value addition for a business as it facilitates information sharing about products/services and their pricing. It matches buyers with corresponding sellers and improves the speed and accuracy of transactions.

Disclaimer: Sabra Easterday is the owner and founder of MatchB2B. Sabra is also a lawyer with a special interest in business issues and e-marketplaces. Notwithstanding that Sabra Easterday is a lawyer, nothing in this article and no services of MatchB2B or its website are legal services and no attorney-client relationship exists between any reader of this article or user, customer or potential customer of MatchB2B, and MatchB2B, its website or Sabra Easterday.

International Finance for Trade and Commerce

International trade involves international financial transactions because different countries have different units of money. When your nation wish to buy goods from other nations, they usually must pay for the goods in the currency of the exporting country. In other words, Japan will probably demand yen, France will demand francs, West Germany will want deutsche marks, Great Britain will insist on pounds, and Mexico will demand pesos in payment for the goods they sell. Foreign currencies are called foreign exchange, and they are bought and sold in foreign exchange markets, which are markets that deal in the buying and selling of foreign currencies. Some banks specialize in financing international trade, and they are the major participants in foreign exchange markets. If an American importer wishes to buy automobiles from a Japanese manufacturer, the importer will go to a bank that specializes in financing international trade, and will exchange dollars for yen.

Exchange Rates: The foreign exchange rate is the price of one currency in terms of another. For example, the British pound might be worth 76 times more in Indian money. Historically, there have been two major types of foreign exchange rates: fixed exchange rates and flexible exchange rates.

Under the fixed-exchange-rate system, the price of one currency was fixed in terms of other currencies so that the rate did not change. The advantage of such a system is that importers and exporters know exactly how much foreign currency they can purchase with a given quantity of their own nation’s currency today, next week, or six months from now. Foreign exchange markets operated under a fixed-exchange-rate system from 1944 until the year early 1970. Prior to 1971, the value of the United States dollar was tied to gold at the rate of $1 equals 1/35 of an ounce of gold. In other words, one ounce of gold was equal to $35 in American money. Since the value of other currencies was also fixed in relation to gold, the dollar price of each foreign currency remained constant.

The disadvantage of the fixed-rate system was that it did not make allowances for changing economic conditions in various countries. For example, if the developed country like United States of America was experiencing high inflation at a time when Japan or China was experiencing little or no inflation, American-made goods would become increasingly expensive in relation to goods made in Japan or in China. As a result, Japan or China would purchase fewer American-made goods while Americans would tend to buy more goods made in Japan or in China. This in turn would lead to a serious imbalance in imports and exports between the two countries.

With a flexible-exchange-rate system, the type of system under which world trade operates today, the forces of supply and demand determine the value of a country’s currency in terms of the value of other currencies. Therefore, under this system, the price of a country’s currency can fluctuate up and down daily in response to market conditions.

The supply and demand for foreign exchange usually are largely determined by the supply and demand for goods and services. For example, if United States of America importers wish to import increased quantities of goods from a country, suppose from Japan, there will be a strong demand for the Japanese yen. This could force the price of the yen up substantially unless Japan was at the same time providing a large supply of yen in order to increase their imports from the United States of America. The demand for goods and services is not the only factor that determines the demand for a nation’s currency. Political or economic instability in other countries may cause people in those countries to exchange their currency for a more stable currency, such as the dollar of United States of America. In addition, high interest rates in a particular country may cause foreign investors to convert their currencies into the currency of that nation. This happened in the United States of America during the early 1980s. Interest rates became so high in this country that many foreign investors were prompted to exchange their currency for American dollars for investment purposes. This increased demand for dollars caused the value of the dollar to increase in terms of other currencies. The “strong” dollar made American-made products more expensive in world markets. As a result, Americans bought more foreign-made products, and foreigners bought fewer American-made products.

Balance of Trade: The amount of goods and services that a nation sells to other nations, and the amount it buys from other nations, are not always equal. The difference between the dollar value of exports and the dollar value of imports is called the balance of trade. If the United States exports more goods to foreign nations than it imports from foreign nations, it has a trade surplus. However, if the United States of America imports more than it exports, it has a trade deficit.

In 1971, the United States recorded its first trade deficit of the century. In all the years since then, except in 1975 when there was a modest surplus, the United States has imported more than it has exported, and the trade deficits of recent years have been so large that they have caused major concern among some economists.

However, not all economists agree on how serious a problem the trade deficits are, or even on their causes. Some believe that, in the long run, market adjustments will correct the problem. Others are not so sure. Some economists believe that the high trade deficits are linked to the large deficits in the federal government’s budget in the past two decades. They argue that heavy government borrowing to finance high budget deficits helps to keep interest rates high and encourages foreign investors to exchange their foreign currencies for dollars. However, so many things influence the trade deficits that it is not always clear which factors are playing the biggest role in the deficit at any specific time. The one thing that is clear is that the United States must increase its competitiveness in world markets. Like it or not, the world is moving rapidly toward a global economy. The volume of international trade is bound to grow rapidly in the decades ahead. Competition is still the name of the game, but the number of players has increased.

Balance of Payments: Economic relations between nations involve much more than just imports and exports. There are many different kinds of transactions that involve the exchange of money between nations. For example, American businesses invest funds in foreign nations, and American banks make foreign loans. In addition, the United States government spends money for foreign aid and to support military personnel stationed abroad. Americans spend money for goods and services when they travel abroad, and American citizens often send money to relatives living in other nations. On the other hand, money flows into the United States from other countries when foreign citizens travel in the United States, when foreign businesses make investments in the United States, when Americans receive dividends on foreign investments, and so forth.

Each nation keeps an accounting record of all its monetary transactions with other countries. This accounting record is called the balance of payments. A nation’s balance of payments account includes all payments that it makes to other nations, and all payments it receives from other nations during a year. A country’s balance of payments includes imports and exports, flows of investment funds into and out of the country, loans between nations, and all other transactions that involve payments between countries. The balance of payments is a broader measure of the financial transactions between countries than the balance of trade.

Finance Accounting Outsourcing – A Boon For Trade and Commerce

Upholding financial statistics in an appropriate and precise manner is enormously necessary for the progress of economy and the company’s reputation. This basic prerequisite has been believed to be a tedious affair as it requires a lot of hard work and time. Therefore, companies are now engaging finance accounting firms to sort out the financial problems.

With the assistance of an outsourcing firm a business house can gain an edge above others. Outsourcing offers various benefits and renders the customers with lucrative and expert means to handle the finances. Finance accounting outsourcing has always proved to be a good decision. With this the energies of the companies can be directed to other important sectors comprising in marketing, and promotion among the various others. Outsourcing is a means of achieving a manpower which is immensely productive at a diminished price which makes it a reasonably profitable. It also enables in saving ample office area as the facilities required for performing these tasks is not essentially to be housed inside the office. Outsourcing ensures enhancement of the business and also saves time and money. These reasons are impressive enough for the owners of the companies to hire outsourcing firms as the only aim of any business is to make profits.

Finance accounting outsourcing keeps in consideration that there should not be any discrepancies that can impede the business relationships, vital monetary decisions and the concluding statements of the company. A single mistake in calculation or an inaccurate transaction entry can be evaded easily by taking the essential assistance from an outsourcing firm. These firms are fully equipped with numerous skilled and competent accountants, who know about the minutest detail pertaining to this field. They are well versed with the fact that keeping up accounts is a vital task for each and every business. Besides this the owners of the companies can take suggestion on matters related to effectiveness of cost, management of the capital and other related issues from these professionals whenever they face troubles. This process of attaining the facilities of outsourcing is carried out with the backing of online services. This also renders an opportunity to the client to communicate easily with the experts.

Companies who have taken the help of finance accounting outsourcing have made an exceedingly wise decision as this will also assist in enhancing the overall competence of the company. Massive workload can hinder the development of your production so it becomes imperative to correlate yourself with a consistent service provider who can handle the monetary tasks with great efficiency. For laying your hands on this golden opportunity all you are required to do is browse through the Internet and garner all the indispensable information about the firms offering these services. Apart from this you can also check with your social group who are already cashing in profit with the support of outsourcing firms. An owner of the company will no longer have to worry about disorganized finance department as the finance accounting outsourcing experts have the skills and experience to handle it in an intelligent manner.