Planners seek accounting ties despite battle lines

Financial planners are increasingly seeing the value of joint ventures and referral relationships with accountants, despite some accountants being “a tough nut to crack” when it comes to opening their client base to other advisers.

The end of the accountants’ exemption and the emergence of fintech advice offerings have forced accountants and planners to reconsider and fine-tune their value proposition, and consider providing more holistic advice services to their clients.

This has seen a spike in collaboration between the accounting and planning communities, according to several business coaches and consultants.

However, traditional rivalries continue to fester. Slipstream Coaching director Scott Charlton believes accountants and planners simply “view the world differently”.

“The sorts of things an accountant would say to me would be around a concern that a financial planner is doing [advice work] for the wrong motivations, for selfish reasons in terms of remuneration – that they’re gouging the client and not thinking about the total picture,” he said.

Advisers are often frustrated by the knock-backs they get from their accountant connections, Mr Charlton added.

“The planner has suggested a course of action; the accountant says no, that won’t work – but doesn’t propose anything else, so the net result for the client is nothing,” he said.

Planners are being encouraged to continue pushing for structured relationships with accountants to boost their own service offerings, despite being typically wired quite differently.

“Don’t be discouraged, because it’s a tough nut to crack,” Sacha Loutkovsky, director of Orion Financial Group, advised planners.

“I think a lot of advisers and accountants lack a common ground on which to talk.”

 

 

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