Offering your clients value-added services such as credit analysis can help make your accounting firm stand out from the competition. Credit analysts’ ability to help businesses with financing and financial planning can be a major benefit because nearly all companies need to access financing to grow.
What a Credit Analyst Does
A credit analyst does pretty much just what the name implies. They evaluate creditworthiness and do financial risk assessments for individuals or companies seeking loans. Credit card companies and lenders, such as commercial or investment banks, commonly employ credit analysts. A credit analyst may also work on the other side of the desk, working for potential loan applicants.
That’s where you can provide an added value for your clients. Having a credit analyst on your team lets you offer significant assistance to clients in seeking financing. A credit analyst can give your clients accurate assessments of their credit ratings and creditworthiness, giving a realistic idea of what amount of financing they can likely qualify for with a lender. Credit analysts can actually help your clients financially position themselves to increase their creditworthiness, so that they can potentially borrow more money.
Credit Analysts’ Education, Training, and Skills
Credit analysts are usually expected to have at least a bachelors degree with a major such as accounting, finance, or business. Areas of study that credit analysts concentrate on include risk assessment, financial metrics used for evaluating the financial health of companies, general economics, banking and credit procedures, and budgeting and financial forecasting.
Credit analysts focus on developing skills in communication, mathematics, and working with spreadsheets, database programs, and other tools used in financial modeling and analysis. Good credit analysts are typically very organized, analytical, good at doing research, and exhibit good problem-solving skills.
Credit analysts in Canada can boost their professional status by obtaining the Certified Credit Professional credential. The CCP Program, which usually takes three to five years to complete, offers education in advanced credit management, Canadian credit law, and corporate finance. Analysts can also get the Moody’s Certificate in Commercial Credit by completing studies at the Canadian Securities Institute.
Extra Value for Your Clients
You can increase the value of your accounting firm to clients by making your firm a one-stop shop providing for client needs beyond basic accounting. Extra services your firm might offer include cash flow management, strategic business planning, and the financing assistance that credit analysts provide. Small business clients may especially need financing for business growth, and yet they’re often the least well-prepared for seeking a substantial loan. A credit analyst can help small business owners put their best foot forward when approaching prospective lenders.
Your credit analyst can also be part of your team in terms of providing clients with strategic business planning, since they can do budgeting and financial forecasting work to help clients map out the smoothest road and timetable for putting business expansion plans in motion.
Any of your clients can probably benefit from the services of a credit analyst. Credit analysis services are especially helpful for businesses that deal with financing issues as a major part of their core business, such as car dealerships, businesses that make loans of extend credit, and real estate or rental companies.
Think about boosting the value of your accounting firm by adding a credit analyst to your team of professionals. Once you do, spread the word about the extra expertise you offer, with specific advertising campaigns, social media marketing, and YouTube videos or podcasts that tout the potential benefits for clients.