Connect Financial Service Brokers' CEO, Paul Tynan, said that in the past few months, he has been approached by several accounting businesses seeking to expand their client offering by acquiring a financial planning practice.
Mr Tynan said this trend is on the increase and he is adamant that the future will see a marked upsurge in accounting and financial planning advice disciplines merging under a professional holistic advice firm structure.
“This trend will be driven by competition, long-term business sustainability, demand by clients and delivered via a greater reliance on technology and advances in communication and engagement processes,” he said.
According to Connect, other benefits of mergers or closer alliances/interdependency and working relationships between accountants and financial planners will include:
- More succession and exit options and opportunities for the principals.
- University graduates and quality staff will be attracted to the larger, broader advice businesses as they provide professional and personal growth prospects.
Mr Tynan said the time is right both for accountants and planners to look to consider their options given the regulatory disruption both sectors are currently facing.
“Too much energy has and is being expended on the negatives of FOFA/LIF for planners and the expiration of the SMSF exemption for accountants on July 1. The reality is the future is very bright for those accountants and planners that seize the moment and embrace this new professional advice era,” Mr Tynan said.
He also noted that within the accounting sector, there are many potential sellers of accounting businesses, although he believes that accountancy firm owners lack the necessary level of confidence and knowledge when initiating the sale or merger process.
“Accountants are time poor and although very competent at taxation, compliance, recording, reporting, etc., have very little understanding of the steps required to achieve and maximise outcomes from the succession planning and exit process – an area that requires specialised skills and insights,” he said.