TWO THIRDS (66 per cent) of accountants are referring their clients to external lenders, as alternative finance options such as peer-to-peer lending become more mainstream.
According to a new survey commissioned by business finance lender MarketInvoice, banks are still the most popular lenders among accountants.
However, more than a third (36.3 per cent) would first recommend an invoice finance provider to clients seeking loans, while 33.66 per cent would suggest a business loan provider.
“This research reveals that accountants are stepping up and advising their clients about funding opportunities,” said Tom Davenport (pictured), head of strategic partnerships at MarketInvoice.
“Additionally, we have observed that forward-looking strategic accountancy practices also have in-house business finance specialists advising clients on funding options.
“This research also dispels the myth that invoice finance is a last resort for businesses; accountants are clearly acknowledging the vital role it can play in helping companies manage their cash flow needs.”
However, the report found that there were still a few hurdles in place which may prevent more accountants from encouraging their clients to choose external finance lenders.
Among those accountants who do not currently refer their clients, 36 per cent cited a lack of understanding as the main reason for their reluctance. Meanwhile, almost one fifth (19 per cent) said that the time and cost burden associated with sourcing third party options would prevent them from suggesting alternative lenders.
A further 18 per cent said that they were put off by the potential administrative stress in managing the relationship between a potential lender and their client.