Funding Expert Tips from Grant Thornton, Oxford Innovation, Xero and Spotcap

Funding Expert Tips from Grant Thornton, Oxford Innovation, Xero and Spotcap

How can accountants and financial advisers support their clients’ with finding the right type of financing at the right time?

In the recent Access to Finance webinar, experts from Grant Thornton, Oxford Innovation, Xero and Spotcap shared their top tips.

Plan ahead

How do you know when your client needs funding? For Ben Johnson, Partnerships Manager – Platform Business, at accounting software provider Xero, planning ahead is crucial: “Businesses need to get in the habit of cash flow forecasting and their accountants and financial advisers can help them build that business planning discipline into practice.”

That said, it isn’t always easy to anticipate a client’s need one, six or twelve months in advance. “Accountants and financial advisers need to invest time in their clients and be proactive. Regularly meetings and catch-ups are key. Only when they have a solid understanding of the business can they start helping with decisions around financing and business planning.”

Be prepared

For Gregg Harding, Business Finance Specialist at Oxford Innovation, a business advisory, having enough time to prepare when applying for funding is another important part of the puzzle. “The first point of call for many businesses is their bank. On the whole they usually respond within a few days. However, if it is a no, businesses should give themselves plenty of time to look into alternative funding options.

Gregg goes one step further: “Helping clients with a ‘sanity check’ and determining why the funding is necessary is where accountants and financial advisers can really make a difference. New funding might increase a business’ turnover, but is it having a considerable impact on their profit? And if the client is taking quite a risk, does it, ultimately, make business sense?”

Connect your client with the right lender

Once a business has planned and prepared well, there are other pain points an accountant or financial adviser can mitigate. Gaynor Dykes, Regional Growth Finance Manager at accounting and consultancy firm Grant Thornton, explains: “In order to achieve their financing goals, we help with introductions to lenders and investors whose  products fit the client’s needs. There is nothing better than a warm introduction as it can really speed up the entire funding process.”

“We also help our clients to think in the mindset of a funder. Businesses are very passionate about what they do which is great, but sometimes the way they present their financial information isn’t adequate. By helping them to put together the right information in a clear and understandable way – that’s how we can really add value and help make their funding application a success.”

Keep up with changes

Finally, accountants and financial advisers should ensure to keep up to date with the different funding options available as well as industry developments overall. Continuous education is therefore crucial. This could be done either by attending conferences, webinars and trade shows, networking or reading relevant magazines.

To find out more listen to the Access to Finance webinar, available here.

 

Juliette Peyraud is senior account manager at Spotcap, a lender which provides unsecured financing to UK businesses. If you want to find out more about short-term business loans, Spotcap has put together a useful guide providing an overview of the different options available.

 

 

 

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