SME leaders rely on accountants for funding advice

SME leaders rely on accountants for funding advice - Crowe Horwath Ireland

The majority of business leaders rely on accountants to make finance decisions, a new survey has found.

According to a UK survey of 3,874 managers, directors and C-level post holders by business finance company MarketInvoice, over half (56%) said that accountants were their most important external advisers when considering business finance options. Only 23% of them relied on commercial finance brokers and only 3% would consider speaking to a bank directly.

Support and guidance from accountants will be critical over the next 6 months as businesses navigate an uncertain period with more than a third (38%) anticipating a cash squeeze. The majority reported that they would turn to invoice finance (35%) then bank overdrafts (30%) for additional funding whilst 7% would look to their business credit card.

In a bid to cut costs, business leaders said they would put expansion plans on hold (34%), delay launching new products (33%) and reduce marketing spend (20%).

Darvish Heshejin, head of partnerships at MarketInvoice, said, “Accountants and commercial finance brokers are increasingly becoming the default go-to for companies seeking advice on business finance, especially where funding is required quickly.”

“It’s imperative that these professionals are aware of the wider funding opportunities available to provide the best, most comprehensive advice to their clients and find the solution that fits.”

On Monday, August 14, the latest ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor warned that businesses are failing to invest at the level needed to boost economic growth despite the need to look ahead to a future post Brexit..

Business confidence has fallen back into negative territory, reversing the gains made in Q2 2017. A snap general election, the hung parliament and the hesitant progress of negotiations with the EU has meant British businesses are now adopting a more cautious, wait-and-see approach.

Mathew Rideout, ICAEW Director of Business said: “The fall back into negative territory is not unexpected. Since the announcement of the general election, a vacuum has been left with Government’s attention swallowed by a hung parliament and the start of EU negotiations. The industrial strategy has been lost in the void, coupled with no clear signal towards post-Brexit policy. As a result, businesses cannot see through this haze of uncertainty and are struggling to look further than the end of the next quarter in terms of their decision making.