How Can We Help
We’re teaching UK business owners how to use finance to fast track their plans.
With cash as the lifeblood of your business, why pick a lender and end up hoping for the best?
Speak with financing specialists.
Whether you have a new business or have traded for a while, you know the importance of having cash when you need it.
Working assets harder, means thinking about yourself, your financing strategy and what having more cash will do for your business.
Our knowledge leads you to solutions.
With Accountancy Bridge, you work with an experienced and qualified advisor who understands you and your business.
Be as successful as you can possibly be, by having them share the load by arranging your business financing for you.
Arranging New Finance to meet your needs
Terms are typically between 3 to 5 years with an Option to Purchase Fee of between £200 to £350 at the end. You will then be free to own the asset or sell it for a deposit on the next one.
We help businesses with more complex needs to structure balloon repayments (getting bigger over time) or bullet repayments (one big payment at the end). This manages their cash flow through a specific time period or challenge.
Deposits are typically 10% of the purchase price (ex VAT). This is paid to the lender once the facility is approved.
Where the business and director history is limited or the asset is unusual, 15% to 20% deposit may be required.We help put your case forwards in the best light for you, so this is uncommon with us.
VAT is payable on top of the purchase price, unless the asset is certified as exempt. You will know it is exempt, as the seller will have evidence of this, especially if they are a reputable dealer.
VAT is 20% and is calculated on the purchase price, before the deposit is deducted.
Example – A van with a purchase price of £10,000, will have a deposit of £1,000 and VAT of £2,000.
We are able to finance the VAT payment to the dealer if the business is registered for VAT and is up to date on payments to HMRC on your online system.
Interest and fees
Our lender interest rates currently range from 7% to 20%. Our typical interest rate is 10% on used vehicles and machinery and nearer 15-20% on equipment such as catering or shop fit outs.
We finance new and growing businesses and also those facing a change in circumstances for any credible reason.
Expect lender document fees of £200-£250 with the first monthly payment. With Hire Purchase, there is also an Option to Purchase Fee at the end of the agreement. This varies from £200-£350, depending upon the lender.
Our fees are included within your monthly payment to the lender so you will not receive an invoice from us for our service of structuring your application, answering any queries from the lender and getting your facility over the line.
You will need to complete our short Application Form and confirm your identify with us as the business owner.
As standard, we need 3 months of your business bank statements and your last submitted accounts on Companies House. If you do not have either, we can, and do, still arrange fair financing terms.
Once your application is with us, approval is usually within 24 hours. The whole process is completed within a few days. Our quickest is the next day. On average, the process takes 4 days. This allows you to manage your business and go through the paperwork in your own time.
A larger deposit doesn’t always mean a cheaper rate. You will pay less interest as the balance of your finance is smaller. If you have ample cash to invest long term, then paying a bigger deposit makes sense.
We find that the lender likes your business and accepts the risk of doing business with you, or they don’t. Where there are queries with your affordability, a lender may ask for a little more deposit to satisfy themselves of your commitment and lower the monthly payments, for example.
Refinancing can include existing assets which are under an unfavourable finance agreement.
The main difference is that you will not need to pay a deposit.
Releasing cash or ‘refinancing’ will otherwise follows the same processes.
The changing business landscape, your sector, your accounts showing a loss or fall in profits, can all bring a conversation with your bank manager into your day.
In our experience, overdrafts are typically secured on property or other business assets. For a time, £30,000 to £50,000 overdrafts were commonly issued without any additional security. Those days seem less common and other forms of finance have now taken the lead.
Larger overdrafts with bank security, such as ‘debentures’ or ‘charges’ on property or the business, need careful consideration before being replaced.
Banks typically have security for facilities such as Direct Debit payments or other facilities which may not be considered when a change is first considered.
Your bank will not want to leave themselves open to unnecessary risks during any refinancing process. Typically, conversations we have during this time with your bank will involve a negotiation about releasing any security which they rely upon and the new lender will need.
Replacement facilities such as invoice finance appear to offer a natural replacement for an overdraft. Compared to your overdraft, they will cause problems during quieter periods of the year if cash is not carefully managed within your business.
With invoice finance, your business is also likely to be paying greater fees than with your overdraft. There are also additional charges with invoice finance for not providing information on time or for ‘breaching’ the facility.
These extra costs need to be considered, managed or budgeted for within your forecasts or profit margins. Add lender ‘audits’ into this mix, where the lender comes to your office and checks your systems and paperwork for errors or signs of fraud, and you have a lot more to consider and do than you did before.
Whether you have a simple £30,000 overdraft or a complex £1,000,000 group facility being renegotiated, our approach and process is the same. Only the timescales differ due to the authority levels involved at your bank.
As a guide, expect to replace a small overdraft within a month and a large overdraft within 2-3 months. These timescales allow your bank time to process both the request and the security documents that are required.
Beware anyone offering to complete a release of bank security within a week as this is generally unrealistic in our experience unless your bank really wants to exit the relationship quickly. Even if this is the case, an unconsidered move opens the business to suffering months later under an unsuitable lender.
Think of invoice finance as a payday loan, although without the high interest payments. You are selling your invoices to the lender and receiving a pre-agreed percentage upfront for a fee. In essence, after providing your product or service, you raise your invoice and have most of the cash from it very soon afterwards.
The lender takes a pre-agreed percentage of each of your business-to-business sales (which can include the VAT). They then make an agreed percentage of the invoice available to your business in the form of cash.
Invoice finance is perhaps best described by us as an overdraft which is linked to your business sales. If sales are increasing, the amount available to your business is higher. If sales are slow, you will have less money available to use.
On the downside, business owners can find themselves trapped within a negative cycle with an invoice finance lender for several reasons. This can lead to negative reviews about products, rather than about the set up process or incompatibility of the lender for the business.
Businesses come to rely upon the cash from invoice finance much like any other finance facility. Challenges happen for a number of reasons as the market or circumstances beyond director control, put pressure upon the business.
If issues with the business or the facility are not addressed quickly or if the business owner needs more than the lender can give, frustrations will quickly follow. The need could be more money, it could be more time, it could be that the lender lacks experience and is just trying to learn at the expense of client time.
For this reason, the lure of cash from an invoice finance facility should never be viewed as a quick fix to another business problem.
As a business owner, if your only source of advice during the sign up process is a salesperson or unqualified broker, you need to ask yourself about your long term financing strategy before accepting this solution.
In our experience, the terms of this product are often oversimplified within offer letters. Consider these downsides, risks and director liabilities before accepting any lender terms.
Once brought into your business model, you will find that the invoice finance products unlock cash. This then brings a series of new challenges to you and your business, which as our client, we are available to help you and your team with.
When looking at contractual debt, think of your business as a machine. What will stop that machine from producing or completing the work? Can staff be replaced? If a key supplier isn’t paid, will they still supply you in order to finish the contract or order?
It doesn’t so much matter what your business does if you have contractual debt. You could manage an air-conditioning maintenance company, an events company or build houses or fit offices out. When it comes to getting that debt paid in the event of a problem with your business, the lender cannot accurately predict their exit route or likely exposure to losses.
Within the business finance market for contractual debt, there is a great variation within the risk appetite and approach of lenders.
Some lenders are large institutions with deep pockets which ‘take a view’ due to the business history or equity within the available business assets. Some lenders have in-house support with collecting money and will charge more. Others are ready to pull the trigger and close the doors on the facility as soon as they sense a downturn coming in the information provided to them.
One of our specialisms is financing contractual debt. Contracting businesses have different business models and approaches to doing business which seems alien to the rest of the market. The impact of cash upon their operations is more highly tuned.
We find that businesses use large overdrafts in the construction and contracting sector due to the challenges mentioned. We therefore approach refinancing as with any other overdraft and match the new needs to those of a suitable, experienced lender.
It is perfectly normal to finance contractual invoices, valuations or applications. Who you choose will have a massive impact upon your internal workload, equity left in your assets, facility terms, conditions and costs.
Our advisors will talk to you about your decision to understand your plan before giving you considerations for raising the finance to meet the required loan to value of your chosen lender.
Buying an asset such as a new yard, opens up the potential to sublet or expand your operation with new machinery or vehicles.
Buying an office for a growing team, can lead to more invoicing as the capacity of the business increases.
Our team are perfectly placed to discuss your options with you, from your operational needs to your financing strategy, all as part of our services.
Getting started is easy
Whatever you have in mind, we know what is possible, the total costs, the common pitfalls and the realistic timescales.
Our team are happy to help answer any questions and can prepare and guide you through any process and complete your application with you, as soon as you are ready.
Frequently asked questions
Accountancy Bridge are management consultants with a specialism in business financing. We believe we are unique in combining over a decade of successful lending experience with a high level of commercial finance qualification.
We work by delivering consultancy and credit broking services at a level which you should expect from any qualified accounting professional. Our aim is to help and add value to you, the business owner, so that you are free to make the most of your business opportunities with minimal distractions or limitations.
You need Accountancy Bridge if you have a plan for where you want your business to be and value help with getting there quicker. You can always take the long road around, learning new skills and testing your abilities along the way.
If you would rather not do this, and prefer to specialise in what you set out to do, we can save your time, energy, sanity and focus by giving your a shorter and more direct path to your goals.
If you are thinking about finance, a lender or a business challenge which you just cannot get around, then that is when to contact us. It is never too early to take advantage of our free consultation, as this is exactly why it is there.
We get to learn a little about you and your business, and you benefit from guidance or a balanced sounding board for your ideas.
Getting started is as easy as requesting a free consultation or picking up the phone to our team.
We ask our clients to complete a simple application form and provide copies of personal ID. This protects both us and you, as the business owner, by making sure that the business enquiry has come from the person we think we are speaking to.
Services such as Arranging New Business Finance are paid for by the lender. Other forms of Business Financing and our Consultancy services are charged on a fixed fee basis.
Within our services, we include ample time for you to ask questions on phone calls or email as we appreciate that it may all be new to you and items may need explaining as we go along.
All work will be quoted and accepted by you, before we move any service forwards.
Most of the information which we require will come from your application form.
We will want to know a summary about you and your business, and what you would like to achieve.
This story is personal to each client and further questions will naturally happen as the conversation flows and develops.
Most of the information which we require will be sent to you, along with your application form.
We will ask for supporting financial information such as bank statements and latest business accounts if they are available.
If you would like us to arrange a copy of any information from your accountant, once you have given them consent to do so, we are happy to work alongside with their team as part of our service.
We take security very seriously. Our team know that a simple conversation, for example, can leak sensitive information to competitors or undermine your whole business standing within your market.
Company reports such as customer lists are things which should be controlled and not sent without thought for their use.
Get a free business consultation today.
Ready to get started or need more information?
Complete our form and we handle the rest for you.
Prefer to speak to someone?
Call us on 0333 772 9685.