Adaptation and collaboration in a new world
Promoted by FAST
As a leading aggregator supporting more than 1,350 finance brokers across Australia, FAST has helped dozens of accounting firms to branch out into financing services. FAST CEO Brendan Wright discusses the sweeping changes in the accounting industry and how accountants can work together with finance brokers for better client outcomes.
The accounting industry is currently amid unprecedented change as disruptive technology and shifting consumer trends demand a new approach to how the industry creates value for clients.
Cloud-based accounting technology has transformed the industry, automating many traditional accounting functions. Customers are also demanding greater personalisation in every product and service they use – whether that is tweaking social media filters, ordering their favourite coffee or renaming a bank account. In terms of accounting, this is creating the demand for a broader range of solutions from one trusted adviser.
Broader service lines
To adapt to this change, many accounting firms are branching out beyond traditional accounting to incorporate financing services into their business, meaning they can offer a wider range of services under one roof.
Through effective collaboration, an accountant/ broker team can work together to not only advise the client on the funding options available but to also prepare the required documents to implement the advice – such as trust deeds, business plans, tax returns, financial and bank statements along with cashflow projections. It can also be beneficial to work as a team can when it comes to complex client requirements – from loans for the self-employed to financing multi-property deals.
By forging a partnership or bringing a finance specialist into their business, accountants can meet more of their client’s financial needs, helping improve client retention, delivering a stronger client proposition, driving greater client advocacy and ultimately leading to improved financial outcomes for the accounting firm.
Case study – financing a sea change
After decades of hard work on their farm 350km south of Adelaide, Trevor and his wife were dreaming of leasing out their farm and moving to a new retirement home near the beach.
The couple were seeking to borrow 100% of the value of their new home, using their rural property, which had some outstanding operational debt, as security. However, their plans hit a snag when the banks were reluctant to accept copies of trust documents for their home after the originals were lost in a fire.
Trevor approached Bruce Debenham, Perks Director of Banking and Finance, a long-time FAST broker, who was able to assist them. Bruce worked closely with Trevor’s personal accountant to pull together documents, as well as the accounting division of Perks, who provided advice on structuring the home loan and the business loan on the farm.
“Bruce was excellent in working through any issues,” Trevor says. “He talks the bankers’ language, which we don’t.”
The Perks team were successful in securing Trevor a principal and interest loan on his new house and an interest-only loan on his farming business.
“I can really see the advantage of having everything under one roof. They had a complete overview of what we wanted to do and were able to present it to the banks,” Trevor says.
“Perks have probably saved us 1.5% on interest [annually]. As an individual going to a bank, the banks don’t have to be that competitive, whereas when you use a broker, everyone is bidding for your business.”
FAST was recently awarded the title of ‘Aggregator of the Year’ at the prestigious 2018 MFAA National Excellence Awards for the second year in a row, and ‘Mortgage Aggregator of the Year’ at the Australian Business Banking Awards 2018. FAST finance brokers can help accountants offer a broader range of services to their clients. To find out more about how FAST can help your business visit www.fastgroup.com.au/numbers