As a professional accountant, you can help your clients solve a range of problems including finding adequate financing for their endeavors. You can enhance your value to clients by helping them apply for loans and build good relationships with traditional lenders, and also by opening doors for them to possible alternate sources of financing.
Assist Clients in Qualifying for Traditional Financing
To help your clients obtain financing, you may want to start by helping them to analyze their finances and accurately determine their financial needs. Using your professional financial knowledge and experience, you can help business owners by giving them information about different loan options that may be available to them. You can also offer helpful advice on what type of financing and loan terms are best suited to their company and its current financial condition. Finally, you can accompany your client when they meet with lenders, to present their company’s finances and financing needs in the best possible light.
Just the fact that your client has retained the services of a professional accountant can help to build lender confidence and make lenders more likely to extend credit. You may also be able to help clients build good relationships with lenders by introducing them to loan officers with whom you already have well-established personal relationships. If you’ve worked with a number of lenders, you can probably steer clients to those who are most likely to provide the funding your clients need.
Help Clients Find Alternative Lending Sources
You may also be able help clients connect with alternative lending sources such as venture capital loans or peer-to-peer lending. You can explain alternative funding sources to clients, and you may want to point out to your client that alternative lending sources offer several potential advantages such as faster funding than traditional bank loans. Alternative lenders also tend to have less stringent credit requirements, and they often offer more favorable or convenient repayment terms. They may also grant more flexibility in terms of how your client can utilize credit, in contrast to traditional lenders who often put tight restrictions on how loan funds can be used. This can be especially important if your client is unsure about exactly how alternative financing works.
How to Enhance Your Value as a Lending Resource
If you’ve been in business for a number of years, you have probably developed an extensive network of business contacts, some of whom may be good potential business loan sources, and you can introduce your clients to those contacts. Your network of business and personal associates can be a valuable lending resource for your clients. You may even want to purposefully nurture relationships with lenders so that you can offer these connections to your clients.
It also helps to sharpen your loan application and business presentation skills. Make sure you know the key factors that influence different lenders’ credit decisions so you can advise your clients accordingly.
Part of being a professional accountant who serves small business clients is having the knowledge and skills necessary to help your clients to apply for financing. You can offer clients valuable advisory services by assisting them in maintaining and preparing the records that lenders use to determine creditworthiness, by helping them to accurately project financial needs, and by guiding them through the process of seeking out and obtaining an ideal loan package.