To put things provocatively - why are women so apprehensive when it comes to encouraging effective management of debt when running a business? When it comes to debt management, there is much more than female accountants can do to support their clients.
Let us take a step back.
We all know that there’s no gender parity in business. We know that we need more women on boards. This is not news. We’ve been talking about this for many years. What is not established is the impact of gender and gender imbalance for women advising businesses.
We pulled together information from publicly available sources to create an arithmetic persona of the population of accountants across the finance-heavy counties in the UK. 60% of these were male directors, with an average age of 50. The remaining 40% were made up of female directors with an average age of 43.
We analysed the partners who are using Capitalise. Only 8.5% are female.
While 40% of accounting firm directors in the UK are women - they are clearly not represented when it comes to advising SME clients on lending.
Interestingly, businesses that have a female accountant are significantly more likely than those with a male accountant to receive funding. This is likely because women accountants wait until the business is extremely strong before they suggest the need to seek funding to grow.
Debt is fundamental to growth. Whilst this can be controversial, it is a misconception that debt is a dirty word. Having access to funds can make a fundamental difference between a business remaining comfortable, but stagnant, and its explosive success. While lending may be perceived as risky, the risk can be negated when working with support from a financially literate, regulated accountant.
However, our data indicates that men dominate when working with clients to obtain funding. In fact, 92% of our accounting partners are men. Surely there is no bias that suggests that clients of female accountants have deeper pockets than the clients of male accountants. So, if 50% of businesses need debt funding, where are all of their female accountants? These numbers do not add up.