21% of SMEs say their accountant is their go-to resource for business finance

30 Sept 2022

Here's how you, too, can ensure you’re the one they’ll turn to to help them navigate the often fractured SME lending landscape.

21 SME

The value of accountants/advisors in accessing finance

You're missing a trick if you're yet to include funding as part of your advisory proposition. Increasingly, accountants are assisting their clients in accessing the financing they need. At a time of economic turbulence, this level of service can prove invaluable. 

Access to the proper funding can help businesses continue to trade during tough times, realise their growth ambitions, ease the pressure by refinancing existing debt, or purchase new assets, inventory, employees and premises.

Before we explore how Funding Options can help you access funding for your clients, let's take a closer look at our survey findings.

In this category, our results were very close. Overall, accountants/advisors had the edge over high street banks and marketplaces/ aggregators. 

And when you break the results down further, you can see a preference among some business groupings for high street banks or marketplaces/aggregators.

In Wales, for instance, 30% of businesses choose marketplaces/aggregators as their go-to place for business finance. 23% opt for high street banks, and just 12% go to their accountant/advisor as a first point of contact. 

East Midlands-based businesses say high street banks are their go-to resource (28%), followed by marketplaces/aggregators (21%) and accountants/advisors (15%). 

Similar variations can be seen across industry sectors too. 21% of businesses in the architecture, engineering and building sectors leverage marketplaces/aggregators, while 16% rely on their accountants and 14% go to high street banks. 

In healthcare, only 12% of businesses choose marketplaces/aggregators, 24% their accountants/advisors, and 26% go to high street banks. 

Interestingly, 22% of businesses with a turnover of £1-9.99 million turn to their accountant/advisor when they need finance, and 23% of companies with a turnover of £10-49.99 million do. However, only 9% of businesses with a turnover of £100,000-£999,999 selected their accountant/advisor as their go-to resource.

Is there an opportunity for accountants/advisors working with this turnover bracket to further enhance their business finance proposition? 

It's also interesting to note how closely high street banks and marketplaces/aggregators rank. Companies in the Greater London region are a fraction more likely to go to a marketplace/aggregator (20%) than a high street bank (17%). 

Conversely, firms in the West Midlands are more likely to approach a high street bank (23%) over a marketplace/aggregator (11%). 

This would have been a different story ten or even five years ago when high street banks still dominated the lending landscape. Now, there are various challenges and alternative and specialist lending products out there that are changing the narrative.

"Fintech pioneered a new era that opened up funding for both the consumer market and businesses, through niche new products and category challengers." - Simon Cureton.

The role of the marketplace/aggregator is to bring these finance options together in one place. Funding Options' platform is powered by Funding Cloud technology; it accurately validates a business profile, matching them to the industry's most significant lender network.

Sign up to Funding Cloud: Connect today

Accountants and advisors are invited to join our advisory platform, Funding Cloud: Connect, today. Joining up will give you the tools to ensure your clients access the proper funding so they can trade, plan, and grow confidently.

Our award-winning technology searches the market to accurately and quickly match your client's needs with the right lender and finance option. We work with 120+ lenders, offering the broadest range of finance solutions available, such as:

Funding Cloud: Connect is engineered to facilitate a quick, easy and secure application process that integrates with your accounting software through Open Accounting, making it possible to get pre-approved offers in seconds, with over 150 accountancy and advisory firms already using the platform.

By joining Funding Cloud: Connect, you can help your clients navigate the SME lending landscape. Our award-winning technology searches the market to accurately and quickly match businesses with the right lender and finance option for their needs.

We cover dozens of lending types and over 120 lenders across the market, from cash-flow finance to revolving credit facilities and merchant cash advances. 

Join today to ensure your clients get the funding they need to trade, plan, and grow confidently.

Sign up today

Thomas Boyd
Thomas Boyd

Head of Commercial

Thomas Boyd is the Head of Commercial at Funding Options. Thomas started his career in the finance sector at LendingCrowd. His work over the past five years has focused on supporting the vibrant and growing community of SMEs across the UK.

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