As an Accountant you are your clients trusted adviser. They turn to you for help with their business. From tax related questions to how to structure their business, they look to you to sit beside and put their interests above your own.
And you do.
In my previous article, I posed the question to Accountants – what do you say when a client asks you a Financial Planning related question. You can read it here.
But let’s say you have a Financial Planner you refer your clients to?
Well, not quite.
In fact, by referring your clients to an external Financial Planner, you are taking more risks than actually not doing anything at all.
Referring your client to an external Financial Planner is putting your client relationships at risk.
This could leave your Accounting Firm with a serious problem and you spending a lot of time putting out fires.
It could be a Horror Show.
The Horror Show
George was a Partner in an Accounting firm with two other Partners.
Over the years, George had been approached by many Financial Planners. He had never taken these meetings too seriously as he didn’t see his clients having significant problems the Financial Planner could solve.
However, in the last few years, as his business clients began to look at retirement, he saw an increase in the questions he was receiving.
Around this time, Alan, a Financial Planner who worked nearby to George, approached the Accounting Firm.
This time, George took the meeting seriously. Alan seemed to be a professional operator who came prepared for the meeting. His website looked ok and he even had some client testimonials.
George agreed to trial a working relationship with Alan and refer clients to him.
A week later, George met with his client Tim who advised George he had recently received an inheritance from a close uncle and was also looking to sell his business and retire.
George saw this as an opportunity to refer Tim to see Alan and Tim was happy with this.
After making the introduction via email, the days went by, then the weeks and George did not hear from Alan about his work with Tim.
Then one day, George received a call from a very angry client.
Tim was furious and shocked at what Alan had recommended to him.
In their initial meeting, Tim felt Alan didn’t listen to him, he ignored the questions from his wife and kept on talking about how great his investment returns were.
He then went on to recommend investments Tim felt were way too risky, told him that he would put all his Superannuation into a product that would beat the market and put a document in front of him to sign.
Tim felt pressured and uncomfortable with what Alan was recommending. He had then constantly called and emailed Tim asking for him to sign and return the document – something Tim said was called a Statement of Advice.
Tim was upset that George had referred him to Alan and wanted to know if this was what George wanted for his clients.
Moving into damage control, George apologised to Tim and assured him that there is no way he would recommend this and asked Tim to meet him for a lunch to smooth things over.
It took a few months to get the relationship repaired and things are back to normal.
However, now George doesn’t have anyone to help Tim with his inheritance or his future retirement.
There had to be a better way.
And there is.
The Solution is Simple
There is a solution.
By having their own Financial Planning business, George and his partners would be able to control the Financial Planning process to their clients.
The Financial Planner would sit in on meetings with George and his Accounting Partners, meet with the Partners on a weekly basis to discuss WIP and prospect client opportunities and to keep all Accountants up to date with the clients they introduced and workshop the strategies and options for each client.
Easy, clients are happy and the Accounting firm gets to build a great Financial Planning Business.
What’s stopping you?
Having a Financial Planner in your office is the easiest way to help you provide the services your clients want.
Creating your own Financial Planning business is the answer.
If you want to know how, reach out and we can have a chat about creating a successful and profitable Financial Planning business for you.