Helping Clients Access Finance: How Alternative Lenders are Making your Advisory Role Easier

Posted on 9th May 2017 in Advisory

Written by Colin Goldstein

Ahead of iwoca’s presence at this year’s UK Accountex, we spoke with Head of Strategic Partnerships, Colin Goldstein, to find out more about how alternative lenders are making accountants’ roles as advisors easier. Colin will be at the FUTRLI Theatre panel discussion, alongside AccountingWEB’s Tom Herbert (pictured above), Director of Hemingway Bailey, Alan Hemingway, Richard Sergeant, Managing Director of Principal Point and FUTRLI’s very own Daniel Killoran, speaking on how small business finance is changing and the importance of advisors helping their clients grow their businesses.

It’s been well documented that since the credit crunch, small businesses have found it incredibly difficult to access finance from banks. The withdrawal of overdrafts has become particularly problematic, as small businesses relied on this short term funding to buy inventory, plug cash flow gaps or fund one-off expenses.

At iwoca, we work with accountants nationwide to give clients fast and flexible access to finance. Our smart technology enables us to make decisions based on real business performance, not just a credit score. So your clients can get approved for free, within hours, for a credit line of up to £100,000 to help manage cash-flow or invest in growth opportunities.

How iwoca can help your clients

B&K Beauty Boutique, London, were able to expand to a new premises with funding from iwoca

To date we have lent over £200m to more than 10,000 businesses, and in the process helped create new jobs and opportunities. We’ve grown to be one of Europe’s leading alternative finance providers. In the past, accountants had to spend hours preparing management accounts, cashflow forecasts and other documents for meetings with the client’s bank to discuss a loan. Now, however, iwoca’s cutting edge technology allows you, or your clients, to apply online quickly and easily.

You provide supporting information about the business by either linking other online accounts or uploading basic existing documents. For example, you can link accounting software, such as Xero, or payment processing accounts, such as WorldPay, PayPal or Stripe, or even eCommerce accounts, such as Amazon or eBay. Alternatively you can attach basic documents, such as banks statements or PDFs. iwoca then uses this data to make fast and fair credit decisions.

iwoca has a ‘Broker portal’, which enables accountants to manage applications on behalf of their clients if they prefer. You can process and track multiple applications at the same time, with a simple dashboard available for checking the status of each application.

Using accounting data rather than just a credit score means we can often approve businesses that struggle to get finance from their bank. That’s a big market. The British Business Bank ran a survey that suggests that nearly 100,000 SMEs and approximately £4bn worth of applications for credit are rejected each year.

How it works

Linking into cloud solutions also makes applying to iwoca much faster than a traditional finance provider. We can approve a business within hours, rather than in weeks or months. This means that your clients don’t miss out on short-term opportunities and can get on with actually running their operations rather than filling in forms.

Once a business is approved with iwoca, there is no commitment for them to withdraw funds straight away. Having a credit facility set up puts their mind at ease and will allow them to manage any expenses that they weren’t necessarily predicting.

Your client can then withdraw as little or as much of their approved amount as they wish, and we’ll transfer that money into their account within two hours. We’re a short term lender, so a business owner will be put on a 12 months repayment plan. However, they have the flexibility to make early repayments without any fee’s, we will only charge interest on the amount they withdraw and the days in which they kept the funds.

As small businesses typically turn to their trusted accountants for financial advice, we have set up a team dedicated to helping accountants understand how iwoca works and the benefits it can bring to clients. We want to put accountants in a position of being able to give clients helpful and accurate information about funding options.

iwoca makes SME finance easy for accountants

  • Eliminate paperwork: Our fully online process means no more hours preparing documents, such as cashflow forecasts, as clients link online accounts, such as Xero, or upload electronic documents.
  • Zero risk: As there are no fees and only a ‘soft’ credit search at offer stage, clients can get approved at no cost and with no obligation.
  • Save time: Our market-leading technology analyses your client’s business data instantaneously, enabling us to give you a credit decision within hours if not instantly.
  • Keep control: Our portal for accountants lets you manage an application on behalf of your client.

There are many different circumstances in which accountants discuss financing options with clients. In some cases it is simply a goodwill service to make them aware of different options available. However, at other times accountants are putting in substantial work to help a client access finance and need a way to cover the costs of this time spent. iwoca has a commission scheme for introducers, so for accountants who are looking for remuneration for the work they will put in, there is a clear and transparent commercial terms and a process.

Join Tom Herbert, Business Editor of AccountingWEB, for a panel discussion with Richard Sergeant (Principle Point), Alan Hemingway (Hemingway Bailey), Daniel Killoran (FUTRLI) & Colin Goldstein (iwoca) about how small business finance is changing and the critical role accountants and advisors play in helping clients grow. We look forward to seeing you at Accountex on 11th May at 2pm!

FUTRLI will be at STAND 1143 and Theatre 11 at Accountex 2017.