more-arw search

Q&A Forum

How to handle customer request for the supplier's financial statements.

We are a privately held company and it is not uncommon for large OEM customers to request financial statements on our company as a critical supplier. While I understand their concern, it is against our policy and ultimately the owner will not allow the release. I am looking for suggestions on how to satisfy our customers concern for viability while also abiding by the owner's wishes and keep the customer.


Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Instead of providing the actual financials have a "analyst call".

Discuss the large picture, the ratios, the business (plan, forecasts, etc). It may just suffice.

Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Unless you have monopoly of the product/service or your product/service is waaaaay ahead in quality from others, your owner will have to budge/change his mind or forego the customer. It also depends on how important or critical this customer is to you.

I do NOT understand the "against our policy" part. If the financials play an important role in acquiring or maintaining a customer, or for that matter obtaining a loan (for instance), why have that kind of policy?

You have to understand that companies (especially public ones) are under constant pressure to KNOW THEIR SUPPLIERS. From a delivery dependability standpoint to a SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY standpoint. I have seen public companies ask for information on suppliers further down the supply chain.

Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

You don't say who at the large OEM company wants to see the financials. Is it the head of Strategic Sourcing or a junior purchasing agent?
I would offer to have a meeting with the former; I would tell the latter they can't have the info, but their VP is welcome to have a call with the owner.

Pragya Tandon
Title: Director of Finance
Company: ClearVoice, Inc.
(Director of Finance, ClearVoice, Inc.) |

If you are a company that gets an annual audit/review done, you could perhaps just share the Auditor's opinion instead of sharing Financial Statements. Seeing a clean opinion will provide the customer some level of assurance on the stability of your company. If you don't get an audit/review done, I'd suggest investing the money in that, it can go a long way.

Steve Sheridan
Title: Associate
Company: Dean Lewis Associates
(Associate, Dean Lewis Associates) |

I like Pragya's idea. If that doesn't suffice, perhaps the auditor's opinion along with your bank's opinion would be enough, especially if you have a loan or credit line with them.


Get Free Membership

By signing up, you will receive emails from Proformative regarding Proformative programs, events, community news and activity. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact Us.

Business Exchange

Browse the Business Exchange to find information, resources and peer reviews to help you select the right solution for your business.

Learn more

Contribute to Community

If you’re interested in learning more about contributing to your Proformative community, we have many ways for you to get involved. Please email to learn more about becoming a speaker or contributing to the blogs/Q&A Forum.