The essential guide to obtaining small business funding



Featured | Finance

By Loren Webb

Business Funding Guide that aims to tackle the funding crisis faced by Australian small businesses has been developed and launched by Kate Carnell, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) in partnership with Scottish Pacific Business Finance.

The guide is primarily written for accountants, bookkeepers, brokers and other financial advisers, to help their small business clients find the right funding and increase their likelihood of having funding applications approved.

Ms Carnell acknowledged the important role Chartered Accountants have in guiding successful small businesses during the launch of their Business Funding Guide on Monday.

“The biggest barrier for small business growth is access to finance,” Ms Carnell said.

“About a third of small business owners have had their applications for bank loans rejected. Historically 83% of small businesses have relied on major banks for their funding requirements, but that is changing.

“Many more have not bothered to apply as they have been told that unless they have significant equity in real estate their application will fail.

“That’s why it is essential that small businesses understand the range of financial providers and products on the market – the big four banks are not the only game in town!”

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Kate Carnell, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO)

This is reinforced by previous findings from the Australian Taxation Office that the primary source of information and advice when starting in business is an accountant.

“Small business operators are often time and cash poor, working against a backdrop of wide ranging business and regulatory issues,” said Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Senior Tax Advocate, Susan Franks CA.

“Accountants are valued for their ability to simplify and personalise financial and tax information and advising clients about matters that they don’t know.

“This is a handy checklist that accountants can use to step their clients through important funding choices beyond relying on loans secured by the family home.

“It focuses on understanding the existing cash flow, ensuring the separation of personal and business finances and developing realistic business plans which are essential foundations for any successful business in the start-up and growth phase.

Although the guide is designed for accountants, it is still an extremely useful resource for small businesses directly. For example, the “finance fitness check” features a detailed step-by-step check list of what needs to be done before you even apply for funding, which includes getting a credit report, creating a list of assets and carefully checking PPSR.

If you’re unsure on what PPSR means and how it’s important to your business, you can read our article on this here. 

The Finance Fit Checklist for small businesses, taken from the Business Funding Guide

“Business owners operate on long hours and carry a lot of responsibility, working so hard to grow their businesses,” Scottish Pacific CEO Peter Langham says.

“We feel very strongly that their key to success is understanding where to get assistance, including ways they can finance their enterprises, so they can find funding that fits their needs.

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