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How a finance broker can boost your advisory offering

Business

It can unlock growth opportunities for your SME clients, lift customer satisfaction and add value to your practice, says NLG.

By Steve Lake 10 minute read

Many accountants are sceptical of partnering with a finance broker. Some may have had a terrible experience, while others may feel it’s too much work for little gain.

These are some of the reasons why we decided to develop a dedicated program to bring accountants and brokers together.

The NLG Accountant-Broker Collaboration Program enables accountants to provide funding, receive a revenue share in all transactions, and retain full control without the headaches of doing it all yourself.

What we’re finding is that practices open to hiring an in-house broker are a good way to “put a toe in the water”, see how the process works and what volumes can be generated before they commit to paying a finance broker’s salary. 

Overcoming your fears

A common fear among accountants is that they will hire a broker, pay them a salary, and watch them sit at a desk doing nothing. There needs to be a clear return on the investment.

However, once you understand the commission structure of broking, you quickly realise that you can pay a broker to build a trail book for your practice. For instance, an accounting firm based in our program in Sydney has generated around $3 million in monthly settlements across residential, commercial, and asset finance.

The relationship between accountants and brokers starts to evolve quickly when they identify the multiple finance needs of each client. Two minds are better than one, and between them an accountant and broker can easily identify residential, commercial, and asset finance requirements for SME clients.

A value-add to advisory services

Many accountants are looking to automate low-value work via technology and support staff so that they can focus on advisory services.

Having a finance broker in the business supplements this approach perfectly, allowing accountants to work with their SME clients to identify growth opportunities while tasking the broker with finding an appropriate funding solution.

Finding the right broker

NLG’s role is effectively that of a professional broker-accountant matchmaking service – we identify candidates who we believe will be a good fit for their business. We need to find out from the accountant who their clients are, if they are primarily PAYG or self-employed, who they are looking to target, as well as how they like to work.

We then come back to the accountant with three or four brokers to consider. There’s no rush with this process I’ve had accountants wait for a year to find the right broker. The key to success is being patient and measured.

Consider candidates with banking experience

Some of the best candidates we have placed with accountants are highly experienced finance professionals with great technical and customer service skills. They’re more suited to working in a team, supporting a busy office, and using their expertise to deliver great customer experiences. Many of these candidates are former business bankers or branch managers who enjoy working in salaried roles as employees. They have no ambitions to run their own business.

Schedule a discovery session to review your business requirements and find out how an NLG broker may help your practice build out a thriving finance offering.

Steve Lake is director of partnerships for the National Lending Group.

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