A small business lending company, OnDeck, has recently launched an Accountant Advisor Program that helps accountants arrange financing for their small business clients.
The program launched in March and works both in person and online. OnDeck expanded it this month, hiring Accountant Relationship Managers in Louisville, Ky., Miami, Fla., and Mobile, Ala.
“We’ve put this program together, realizing that the accountant community is the most trusted advisor to small business,” said Frank Orofino, director of the OnDeck Accountant Advisor Program. “Our hopes are to educate and be a resource and trusted partner to them, and help their clients find financing options for them when financing is something that they need.”
The program provides loans of up to $500,000 with terms of 3 to 36 months and lines of credit ranging from $6,000 to $100,000. Annual interest rates can be as low as 5.99 percent, based on the credit worthiness and health of the business. The loans can be arranged in as little as a single business day. OnDeck works with banks, brokers and merchants to provide the money.
Accountants who refer their small business clients can either choose to get a revenue share of 5 percent of the total loan volume, or have OnDeck give the small business a 2 percent discount on the loan cost.
Small businesses that need financing for expansion or cash flow can qualify. “Our loans are commonly used for investment opportunities like inventory purchases, maybe a marketing campaign that they know is going to have a return on investment,” said Orofino.
The program is open to accountants, bookkeepers and CPAs, and is available to the majority of small businesses in approximately 700 industries across all 50 states. So far, more than 100 accountants have signed up since March, according to Orofino.
The program relies on a portal at www.ondeck.com/accountant. Accountants can use the portal to see what type of loan OnDeck is offering a client, the loan amount, what stage it’s in, and any reason why a loan was declined. “I would note there that we would likely have that conversation with the CPA or accountant long before they’d logged into the portal,” said Orofino.
He thinks it is important to have in-person service available in addition to the online portal.
“One of the things that we desire to do is have the feet on the ground in order to support the different communities in a face-to-face manner,” said Orofino. “We still believe that the inside sales model is a great model, but in order to build lasting partnerships with accountants, we also recognize that in some of the more populated areas and some of the more desired areas we would like to have an individual there to support and be there on a moment’s notice.”
OnDeck is hosting a free CPE webinar on small business lending and its new program on July 9 at CPAacademy.org.