Business finance advice scheme
The UK government seeks to encourage entrepreneurship and has introduced a number of initiatives to increase the choice of finance for businesses. The Business Finance Advice service is one of these. We have been working with the government and other professional bodies to ensure businesses have access to a wide choice of independent, professionally qualified advisers across the UK on a whole range of business finance options.
Qualified accountants providing this critical service to small businesses now have an opportunity to offer ‘kite-marked’ financial advice to their clients with the minimum of red tape or expense following an initiative announced by the government's Improving Access to Non-Bank Debt taskforce.
The intention is to create a 'kitemark' scheme from January 2013 for the provision of business finance advice covering a full range of financing options. Businesses will then seek out those accountancy firms that provide this independent advice, incentivising those firms to offer a broader range of services to smaller business clients.
This new scheme will help businesses to identify the ACCA members which are able to offer advice on their business finance options.
What you will be able to offer
The key aim of the new advice service is to help educate businesses so that they are equipped to ask the right questions when it comes to accessing appropriate finance.
To join this free scheme, all ACCA members in practice are required to complete an opt-in form. The opt-in form will list four specialisations. These specialisations are briefly described below and further details and opt-in form will be available soon.
If you have any comments or questions regarding this scheme or would like to be informed when the opt-in form is available please email email@example.com
This covers the review and preparation of a business plan from the starting point, establishing its purpose, how it will develop and who its target audience is, through the journey of its uses. The aims of a business plan should be to:
• consider the most appropriate forms of finance for the business
• consider the growth and changing finance options during the life of the business
• help secure finance
• provide details of the business objectives
• be a benchmark for the future
• be a tool to see how the business is managed
• help focus on the business objectives
• test if the business or a new income stream is viable
• test if a new market is viable
• improve the business and help identify inefficiencies
• and ultimately to give business the best possible chance to succeed.
Consequently the plan will need regular updates and will be very comprehensive, including details of markets served by the business, such as export markets, the products or services provided, the history of the business, details of the management team, the business operations and the amount and intended use of the finance required, including exit opportunities for investors.
This covers the requirements of a start-up business and considers the most appropriate forms of finance.
It will include personal funding of a new business that may come from any assets that the entrepreneur has, including personal savings, money released from personal assets or from the entrepreneur re-mortgaging their home. It also includes finance from friends and family.
A written agreement detailing the terms of any financing may also be considered.
Small scale equity issues
This generally covers raising finance from an outside investor, without making a public offering. This might entail raising equity from investors, such as business angels or venture capitalists. It will also include consideration of the tax incentives and conditions that are available under the enterprise initiatives SEIS, EIS and VCTs.
Bank loans and overdrafts
This covers the funding options available and how applications for loans and overdrafts should be structured; the security; if any, that might be required from the applicant; and the likelihood of success of an application given the borrower’s track record.
Consideration of the appropriateness of business support scheme options, such as the national loan guarantee scheme and enterprise loan guarantee, is also a requirement.