Even when your company is just starting out, you have a right to expect your financial advisers to helpmake connections for you. For instance, accountants should be good sources for banking contacts, and if you're in the market for both, youshould make sure that your potential accountant can help deliver entries to bankers as well.

Flo Gillen remembers that when Soft Inc., her computer-programming consulting firm, was just a five-person operation, it was growing rapidly and needed acredit line fast. So when she interviewed potential accountants, Gillen asked point-blank what kind of banking connections their firms could provide on top oftheir regular accounting services. All but one, it turned out, were vague in their answers; the other accountant, says Gillen, "was pretty blatant about it" andoffered introductions to bankers he knew at Chase, Chemical, and Citicorp. That made the difference, and soon Gillen had not just an accountant but creditlines to choose from.

"Sure it was gutsy, but we needed the money, and it worked," says Gillen. Today, her New York City company employs more than 50 programmers.