How business loans can help accountants
If you’re working as an accountant you may need a business loan to help you buy into an established practice, or to set up one of your own.
As an accountant your clients will expect a high degree of professionalism, so if you’re setting up a practice you’ll need smart offices, reliable IT and office equipment and efficient support staff.
Since most people now research professional service providers online, you’ll also need to invest in a fully-optimised website and a presence on key social networks such as LinkedIn.
A business loan could help you with these initial costs, and also the ongoing challenge of managing cash flow if your income is seasonal or your clients are slow to pay their invoices.
You could use the funds to boost your working capital so that you can cover regular expenses such as rent on your offices, professional indemnity insurance premiums, tax, wages and CPD training for your team, and a loan could also enable you to take on extra staff in preparation for busy periods such as financial year end.
Reputation is crucial for an accountant in today’s competitive digital market and a business loan could also give you the funds you need to create valuable information resources for your clients and run a content marketing campaign to build your authority.
What are the requirements for getting a business loan?
Getting a business loan can be easier than you think.
While you can still expect to be knocked back by the big banks unless you have a solid trading history, a top-rate credit rating and collateral to offer, there are plenty of alternative lenders out there willing to offer business loans to accountants.
Each lender will have their own criteria when it comes to things like credit rating, how long you’ve been in business, and how high your turnover is. If you’re higher risk (e.g. if your credit score is low) you may still be able to get a business loan, although you can expect to pay a higher rate of interest to compensate for that risk.
The most important factor ALL lenders will look at is your capacity.
Lenders need to know that you will have enough cash – after all your expenses – to cover your loan repayments.
How to apply for a business loan
If you are applying to an alternative lender for a business loan, the process is usually quick and easy:
1Create a business case to check how much you can afford to borrow.
2Prepare your supporting documents – expect to be asked for:
3Choose your lender and loan product – be sure to shop around, because costs, terms and conditions vary. Be sure to find out about hidden fees and compare all the costs of each product, not just the interest or factor rate.
4Complete a simple online application form and upload your supporting documents. Most lenders will respond within days or even hours. Some will even give an on-the-spot decision.
Grow your accounting practiceSee if you qualify
What options are available to accountants?
There are several types of small business loans you could consider, to support or grow your accounting practice.
Unsecured small business loan
A short-term option, unsecured business loans are usually for between 3 months and 2 years.
You can use the funds for any purpose. Many lenders will let you set a repayment schedule to suit your trading patterns.
There are several types of business car finance you can use to buy your work vehicles, including car loans, hire purchasing and leasing.
While your work vehicles are under finance you will not be able to sell or upgrade them.
Business line of credit
A business line of credit is similar to an overdraft facility, giving you access to cash up to an agreed limit, often with the right to draw, repay and redraw funds as you need them.
You only pay interest on what you borrow, but there are often set up and admin fees.
Business credit card
Business credit cards are great for covering day-to-day expenses and making purchases, but unless you clear the balance each month the cost can be extremely high.
Before entering in to any business loan agreement, be sure to seek professional advice. It’s also important to ensure you understand all of the costs (including all fees). You can get a head start by using our business loan calculator.