Speaking to Accountants Daily, Fortis Accounting partner John Kalachian said that it is inevitable that accountants and financial planners will increasingly work together moving forward.
“I feel as though this is a trend that needs to happen because accounting practices need to evolve, they need to have more services rather than just doing a simple tax return,” Mr Kalachian said.
“There’s a lot of things that accounting firms need to get into such as obviously doing their accounting, doing business planning, and also financial planning as well at the same time.”
Further, Mr Kalachian said that accountants and financial planners shouldn’t see each other as competitors, and rather work together for the greater good.
“Accountants and financial planners are dealing with the same client, talking about the same topics of money, finances and tax, but financial planners and accountants aren’t in competition, which effectively makes them alliances,” he said.
When the accountants' exemption was removed in relation to providing SMSF advice Mr Kalachian and Fortis Accounting’s other partner, Henry Zhao, decided to both become qualified financial planners.
“Myself and Henry are both qualified financial planners now, so we're educated as full financial planners, but we've also decided to hire a very experienced financial planner so we can still concentrate on our accounting clients and they can concentrate on the financial planning side of things,” he said.
“We feel as though clients are very time poor so it becomes the one-stop shop where they can come in and get not only their taxes done but also, because they trust the accountants, then they can also trust the financial planner.”
My Accounts executive director Matthew Rowe recently spoke at an event about the convergence of accountants and financial planners, pointing to changes to regulation and education requirements as one of the driving forces.
As evidence of this happening already, financial planning firm Australian Wealth Solutions recently relocated to new premises to facilitate further partnerships with accounting firms as the two professions increasingly converge.