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Do your clients need Alternative Finance?

Published on 27th December 2019

Being tasked to find finance for a client can be a worrying task for you as an accountant. In the past, you might have been able to point them in the direction of the local bank and expect the bank manager to take care of things, but the world – and business lending – has moved on.  

Getting business finance is no longer so simple – but the good news is that, if finding your clients the external finance they need has become an important part of your service, there are ways to let you help them.

What are their needs?

If your practice has SME clients, they will almost certainly be looking around for the best sources of finance for their business plans, and turning to you as their accountant for expert advice. You will probably have to explain to them that the financial crisis may have been ten years ago, but it has left banks wary about lending – and that the reluctance has been made much worse by Brexit uncertainties and the possibility of a recession.

With many banks closing local branches, the old idea of business owners going cap in hand to a friendly bank manager to borrow the funds they need is looking ever more unrealistic.

But you can also reassure your clients that it is not all doom and gloom when it comes to business lending. Banks and traditional lenders may be nervous about lending, but alternative lenders have sprung up to fill the gap in the market. Alternative Finance is now big business and lent around £6.2 billion in 2017.

So what is alternative lending?

The alternative lending industry is now well-established in the financial services community. Alternative lending is a broad term that describes the wide range of loan options available outside of a traditional bank finance. These alternative options are often used when an individual or business owner cannot obtain a traditional bank loan, or is looking for a faster, more flexible or innovative funding solution. Alternative lenders can use overlooked sources of collateral such as real estate, outstanding invoices, stock or even card takings, to secure the loan. What's more, they can be more flexible than banks when it comes to repayment schedules and may often provide cash much faster than their traditional banking competitors – often in a matter of days as opposed to weeks or even months.

Who are alternative lenders helping?

While older businesses still tend to approach their banks when they are looking for funding, newer enterprises are looking at their Alternative Finance options first. But the alternative lending market is very complicated, with hundreds of providers. Their criteria - the sectors they will lend to and the rates they may be prepared to offer - are all constantly changing.

This means that is can be very difficult for you to provide the advice your clients need. But it looks as though this is a challenge that you need to rise to - and would benefit from.

Not confident advising your accountancy clients on business finance? Would like to offer your clients a full service and a new revenue stream for your practice? Find out more about partnering with Rangewell to solve your clients' funding needs

How you can help your clients

It is no secret that there is a major change affecting the accountancy profession. Simply preparing the accounts is becoming automated, and your role is clearly shifting from a compliance role to an advisory one – especially as the margins on compliance work may be falling. Expanding into a financial advisory role could be key to your future profitability.  Increasingly, accountants are discovering that the ability to assist SMEs with finding and securing finance is an opportunity to add value to a practice, and even to generate revenue. If you can bring advisory services into your business, and provide those services to clients eager to get funding, it cements the client relationship and unlocks other services for you to offer to your clients.

When the accountant becomes a one-stop-shop for all matters financial, it is better for clients and accountants alike. It may be absolutely essential to prevent your clients from taking their business to an accountant who is prepared to offer the full service. 

However, as anyone who has looked for Alternative Finance will know, the market is complicated. There are many lenders and many options available. Deciding on the option which provides the best fit and the best value is a challenge. You need to be able to demonstrate real expertise if you are going to give your clients advice they can rely on. 

Fortunately, there is a simple way to become an expert in the alternative lending market, simply by contacting us at Rangewell.

Becoming a finance expert with Rangewell

At Rangewell, we are business finance specialists. We help businesses of all kinds find the funding they need - whether it is from traditional sources such as the high street banks, or innovative new solutions from the alternative lending market. We are completely independent, which means that we can search the entire market to deliver the most appropriate – and the most competitive – funding for your clients' needs.

A call to us can get our experts working to search the entire UK lending market. It means that you can provide your clients with the answers and feel confident that the solution really is the one that is right for them. 

Our service is free, both for you and for your clients - in fact, we may even be able to provide an additional revenue stream for your practice.

  • It helps your clients. Whether they are investing in growth by bringing in new vehicles or machinery, buying their premises or simply finding answers to the needs of cashflow, having the right funding in place can make a big difference to their profitability.
  • It helps your practice. By becoming a funding expert you can cement your client relationships, and create a new revenue stream.

Working with Rangewell is simple – we have a dedicated partnership team for you to call – and once you have, you can have our nationwide resources working to help you grow your practice.

Find out more about working in partnership with Rangewell to find better answers to your clients' funding needs. Our service is free.

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Richard Mitchell

Richard Mitchell

Content writer