In December 2016, Infocus won a national tender to partner with H&R Block and provide financial planning advice to H&R Block clients.
Following a successful pilot program, H&R Block and Infocus announced yesterday that they will roll out the program nationally in August.
Speaking to Accountants Daily, H&R Block CEO Brodie Dixon said that they began searching for a financial planning firm to partner with last year, following demand from their clients.
“Many of our clients look to us to help them better understand their financial situation each year. While we can provide tax advice on clients’ various investments, we are unable to provide them with basic financial advice around superannuation, life insurance and mortgage refinancing,” Mr Dixon said.
“What we really needed was a partnership with a large national financial planning firm that can meet the needs of our national client base.”
Mr Dixon said that the partnership means all H&R Block offices will be able to quickly and easily refer clients to Infocus for financial advice, and H&R Block clients will have access to a wider range of financial advice, including advice around superannuation, life insurance and mortgage refinancing.
Between now and the roll out in August, H&R Block offices around the country will be introduced to their local Infocus Group financial adviser to begin establishing relationships.
Infocus managing director Rod Bristow said that partnering with an accounting network was a logical step, given the increasing levels of convergence across accounting and financial planning.
“We believe strategically that regulatory convergence is an important factor in the future structure of the industry and what I mean by that is that accounting, financial advice, potentially mortgage broking, insurance – it will all come under the one regulatory umbrella eventually,” Mr Bristow said.
“So we had been working on a number of different arrangements as a result; but when this opportunity came up to tender, we were really excited by it because it reinforced our view that that was the right strategy.”