Staff Writer AccountingWEB
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Capitalise sharpens capital advisory services

Capitalise has launched Capital Advisory to provide real-time insights to help advisers steer small businesses to new sources of finance.

21st Oct 2020
Staff Writer AccountingWEB
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Capitalise Capital Advisory screenshot of conversations.

Online funding platform Capitalise has launched Capital Advisory, a roadmap of features that brings together key elements to help accountants and their clients track down sources of business capital.

Included as part of the company's partner plans for accountants, Capital Advisory includes tools to monitor client finances and to help them identify new sources of funding including from active R&D tax relief claims.

“Small businesses obviously have a tough time accessing capital, they don't have CFOs and typically they don't have access to capital markets or assets to secure against,” explained Capitalise co-founder Ollie Maitland.

“So they're often either dipping their own pockets or they're very short of capital to invest in their business. We're not covering all the areas of business advisory. We're just covering the capital aspect of it – raising money, the lifecycle of businesses and the exit.”

Raising capital

Based on personal experience, Maitland explained that trying to grow a business purely on retained profits can take some time. Whether the intention is to open a new office, hire new staff, or in the current circumstances just surviving and making sure there’s money in the bank to cover overheads, companies need to get their hands on cash.

The Capitalise business model is designed to open up ways to increase the availability of capital, whether it's by collecting bad debts with its recently introduced Recovery service, raising finance from investors and banks, or getting funding via grants or R&D tax claims.

The recovery module supplements the traditional Capitalise funding platform and is designed to help businesses recover bad debts and resolve disputes. If a business has bad debt on their books, it can initiate the process within Capitalise and the company will recover the funds on a no-win, no-fee basis. 

“Obviously, that's very important at this time as more disputes are happening. There's about £40bn locked up in small businesses in bad debts and disputes,” said Maitland. Surprisingly 10% of businesses with bad debt over £100,000 don’t chase them because the cost of doing so is prohibitive. 

“Do you really want to spend more money trying to recover money you might not get back? The no-win, no-fee pricing gives them a new option.”

Monitoring capital

A Monitor component has been included in Capital Advisory that lets accountants connect to their clients and see which ones need their attention. The financial status check is maintained through live connections with Xero, QuickBooks and Sage. 

“There's no client onboarding process, it's just, it's just a tool for accountants at this stage,” said Maitland. “It remains connected going forward, so you continue to get those insights and updates on a daily basis.”

The company is working on a new Conversations within the Monitor function that prompt the accountant with topics that can raise with different client group, a function that Maitland likened to a virtual business development assistant monitoring the client portfolio to spot new advisory opportunities.

“I think accountants know what products and solutions they could offer to clients, and but not necessarily which clients need those products or solutions,” said Maitland. 

“As an accountant, you might not know which clients have which facilities or are in financial distress. This is a way of seeing those clients, but also seeing them in groups.”

R&D claims

Also in the pipeline for release in December is an R&D module. It will appear under the Raising Capital menu, but be fed information from Monitor. The software will identify clients with intangible assets or that operate in suitable sectors and flag them as potential R&D tax relief claimants.

The software will be able to facilitate claims prepared internally by accountants or forward them to a third-party provider.

“I think this mythical business advisory thing is something that accountants really struggle with and something which they know they should do more of. But actually, there's not much software to help them initiate those services in their firm” said Maitland.

“So when you put those two things together, you can discovery what problems clients have and you've got the solutions to go off and solve those problems for them.”

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