Expert Panel®Aug 29, 2023,
Business leaders need the help and expertise of their financial institutions, auditors and external stakeholders, but it can’t be a one-way street. To ensure both sides receive the information and support they need to achieve a profitable outcome and a return on their time investment, business leaders must be ready to put in as much work as their partners.
A strong relationship between a business and the stakeholders and financial experts who support it needs to be built on a solid foundation and ongoing effort. Below, 17 members of Forbes Finance Council share ways business leaders can build strong relationships with their financial partners and why their efforts will pay off (for both sides).
1. Commit To Transparent Communication And Active Engagement
Effective management of relationships requires transparent communication and active engagement; this means maintaining clear, regular and ethical communication about the company’s goals and financial position, while also actively soliciting and responding to feedback to foster a collaborative, long-term partnership. – Chinara Askerzade, PocketVC Studio
2. Work To Foster A Long-Term Commitment With An Auditing Firm
To effectively manage an auditor relationship, take the following steps. Identify and assess risks from previous audits. Assess internal team capabilities and seek external assistance if required. Establish clear expectations and schedule regular communication, and conduct periodic evaluations to align needs and priorities. Finally, foster a long-term commitment to the auditing firm. – Marc Blythe, Blythe Global Advisors, LLC
3. Ensure Accurate, Complete And Timely Reporting
First and foremost, make sure all financial reporting is timely and prepared by an external CPA firm. Setting up a reporting process that is consistent and timely to allow for review by external stakeholders is essential, especially if a business is seeking financing or partnerships for growth. – Andrew Kerai, Capital Ideas Inc.
4. Be Responsive And Open To Feedback
Business leaders must establish clear communication channels, be transparent about financial performance and build trust by being responsive and open to feedback from financial institutions, auditors and external stakeholders. Additionally, proactive outreach and preparedness will ensure strong and productive relationships. – Frankie DiAntonio, Lexington Capital Holdings
5. Tell Your Full Story
Be a good storyteller. Business leaders have to express their company’s strengths in the most short and informative way. Be an open and transparent communicator and know yourself, including what you want and need. – Burak Arkun, Tailwind AirlinesForbes Money 01:12Billionaire Kwek Leng Beng’s CDL, Partners Submit Top Bid Of $715 Million For Singapore Housing Site
6. Share Your Domain Expertise
Business leaders must effectively communicate domain expertise and their profound understanding of financial matters to financial institutions, auditors and external stakeholders. By conveying complex concepts with clarity and confidence, they can instill trust and reliance, fostering robust relationships built on expertise and competence and establishing credibility as thought leaders. – Joseph K. Hopkins, Fallingst Technologies LLC
7. Reach Out Before You Need Help
Develop a relationship not only when you need them, but before you need them. Think of them as partners in your business, not as someone you need. That means showing them that you are trustworthy. This involves open and consistent communication as well as follow-through, transparency and honesty. Maintaining these practices proves that you are worth the long-term investment and partnership. – Carolina Martinez, CAMEO
8. Provide Regular Updates
Create a regularly scheduled publication, on-demand video or call that outlines your collaboration and its progress. Keeping all parties in the loop is one of the most effective ways to help manage a relationship. – Christopher Foder, CExP, First Financial Group – Meridian Financial Associates
9. Prioritize Values Alignment
Communication, consistency and shared values are key for relationship management. Leaders should consistently communicate business successes and challenges, maintain regular contact with two to three representatives from each entity, and prioritize values alignment to foster lasting, beneficial relationships. – Randell Leach, Beneficial State Bank
10. Lead With Reliable Numbers And Facts
As a business leader, it’s important to be on top of your financial data in order to show the story behind the numbers. With the help of a robust reporting system and accurate financial data, no doubt you will build confidence with financial institutions, auditors and external stakeholders. – Puai Wichman, Ora Partners
11. Recognize And Minimize Any Conflict Of Interest
These are important strategic relationships, and they shouldn’t be compromised, as you need the best firms with the right expertise to support you. In addition, you should conduct formal reviews (due diligence) of the relationships on a periodic basis. Firms change, people move or leave, and the relationships may not be appropriate going forward. – John Abusaid, Halbert Hargrove
12. Manage Borrowed Funds Responsibly
To manage relationships with financial institutions, business leaders should show that they are using loans for their intended purpose. When you receive an influx of capital, it can be tempting to pay off pressing bills rather than invest in long-term growth. However, by carefully managing their loan money, business leaders can show lenders that they are ready for additional financing. – Luz Urrutia, Accion Opportunity Fund
13. Stay Ahead, And Control The Narrative
Maintain a workable routine of concise email reports that provide an overview of financial and general business highlights. Include “asks” that you have of your stakeholders. The cadence of these reports could be monthly or quarterly—whatever gives you the ability to keep your stakeholders informed and, hopefully, satisfied! – Ksenia Yudina, UNest
14. Actively Participate At Industry Events
Participating as a speaker or panelist at industry conferences or events can provide opportunities for direct engagement and networking with key stakeholders. Through thought leadership, business leaders can differentiate themselves and their organizations while also building connections and influence within the financial community. – Jose Rodriguez, Got Credit?
15. Invest In Helpful Financial Technology
Invest in new technology and modern software to streamline your business’ financial workflow. Automating tasks such as reconciliation will reduce errors and generate more accurate and faster financial reports. The more accurate they are, the more everyone will be able to trust the data you share. Make sure to do your research and choose reputable software that keeps security and data safety in mind. – Nick Chandi, ForwardAI
16. Emphasize The Personal Relationship
The majority of reporting is automated to a great degree. The key is to get to know your bankers, auditors, service providers, clients and customers on a personal level. I plan monthly or quarterly 10-minute “How are you doing?” check-ins with everyone. – Guadalupe Rodriguez, Talipot Holding
17. Build Your Services Around Your Philosophies
Foster open and transparent communication, establish trust and demonstrate a commitment to compliance. Your financial integrity will foster long-term partnerships with financial institutions, auditors and stakeholders. Remain proactively communicative and strategic. Establishing a solid rapport will set you ahead and make you a priority. – Julio Gonzalez, Engineered Tax Services Inc.