Additionally, the accounting and financial advisory professions are facing the same talent war crisis as accountants and planners leave the industry, they are not being replaced by new entrants at the same rate.
The situation is compounded by time-strapped customer expectations demanding holistic one-stop businesses that deliver more relevant, comprehensive, and higher value-added services.
It is for this reason that accountant-financial planner joint ventures (JVs) are gaining momentum as the previous loose “alliances of convenience” between the two professions are rapidly losing favor.
For the accounting industry in particular, this shift is both profound and daunting, as the days of a focus on providing traditional tax and compliance-related services are no longer a business model. sustainable.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that it’s a matter of survival for accounting practitioners and in Darwinian terms, “those who don’t want to adapt risk being left behind…or worse”!
Historically, insurance/wealth building advice provided by financial planners has focused on achieving long-term outcomes/goals such as a financially secure retirement, while simultaneously protecting against the unexpected, namely illness, illness or death.
This dual purpose of wealth creation/protection continues to this day in a more rigorous and regulated profession that relies on academic qualifications, a new code of ethics regime, strict compliance, transparency, ongoing professional CPD and a technical study.
Unfortunately, one of the hurdles of joint ventures is that many accountants continue to cling to a misguided and outdated perception of the financial planner. Therefore:
- they do not appreciate and do not properly understand the financial planning process; and
- do not benefit from adopting the long-term approach and mindset that planners use in their businesses.
Time-pressed consumers, affluent clients and SMEs are receptive to the “one stop shop” concept. They expect a multi-faceted approach that goes beyond compliance-related services to ensure the viability of their business enterprise, as well as their long-term personal financial well-being and prosperity.
For any CA/CPA/IPA or similarly qualified accountant, providing a full range of services, including financial advice to their clients, is a daunting undertaking that requires multiple licenses and registrations; obtain numerous qualifications and designations; compliance with a myriad of regulatory training, new ethical standards and CPD requirements; And the list continues.
However, the accountant-planner JV which is the creation of two parent firms creating a commercial enterprise allows each individual firm to achieve more together than it would alone.
In many cases the benefits have been instantaneous with the joint venture and parent partners able to tap into new sources of business and revenue streams, marketing, resources and knowledge that would be impossible in a solo venture.
In short, a game-changing professional service.
But, in order to realize this potential, one must choose the right partner for the business – a task that requires both parties to:
- have clearly defined objectives;
- compatible operational ecosystems;
- access to the latest technologies and streamlined administrative processes;
- a corporate business model;
- a defined business plan (including an exit and succession plan for principals); and
- insight and understanding of customer expectations and service deliverables.
Most importantly, the joint venture must be a true partnership in which the accountant and the financial planner have come together for one reason and one reason only – and that is to look out for the best interests of the client. This is obviously best done under one brand to give convenience to the customer.
Although on the surface it may seem achievable, in reality the first challenge of a JV is to choose the right partner.
In closing, for a number of reasons, financial planners and accountants have not worked well together and, when forced to do so, have chosen informal alliances of convenience.
But times have changed, and I absolutely believe that accountants and financial planners working together in joint ventures are the future for the simple reason that both work best when they join forces and combine their enormous range of knowledge, financial experience and expertise to deliver superior benefits. and results for customers!
Jose Alguera-Lara, Co-Founder and Director, ASV Wadeson Chartered Accountants
Neil is the Associate Editor for Wealth Headlines including ifa and InvestorDaily.
Neil is also the host of the ifa show podcast.