Accountants facing roadblocks to referral partnerships

Some accountants are facing significant opposition from the advice community, with financial advisers strongly resistant to fostering referral arrangements under the licensing regime, one consultant has said.

According to John Maxwell, senior finance and business strategist at Cocalex Consulting, this is resulting in a slow take-up of the holistic advice approach, which accountants and financial advisers alike have been strongly encouraged to integrate into their practices.

“There seems to be a strong resistance for financial planners, mortgage brokers, accountants and property experts to partner and work in unison,” Mr Maxwell said.

“I have seen a very slow adoption of the holistic approach, and much of it would feel like it has been almost forced upon us with the changing legislation and compliance requirements we’ve gone through, and will continue to go through for some time yet.”

Mr Maxwell added that professionals need to come to terms with the idea that nobody “owns” a client.

“Whilst we’re fighting over ownership and permissions, all too often the client has vanished,” Mr Maxwell said.

“They’ve been picked up by another adviser who understands and embraces a holistic approach, and is not fearful of, but embraces, the essence of partnership.

“These advisers surround themselves with other like-minded professionals that complement, value-add and fill a void within the advice, technology or information sectors.”

Mr Maxwell also said that, regardless of the insurgence of robo-advice and other such technologies, the human need to connect and experience will never diminish.

“No technology will ever replace the need for a professional adviser entirely; however, we need to embrace the evolution of these professions,” he said.

“The time has come whereby we are now in an environment where we must have a broader understanding of our clients’ needs.

“If you don’t, you are greatly at risk of losing your clients to more advanced systems that are covering all allied professional services.”

 

 

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