Planners need to connect with accountants now

An industry consultant has urged financial planners to connect with accountants in order to establish a financial advisory arrangement in light of the impending scrapping of the accountants’ exemption and the low number of licence applications in response to this change.

“I can appreciate accountants by their nature are not marketers and networkers in the same sense as financial planners – hence my firm belief it is the planners that need to reach out and engage with accountants,” JWW Consulting founder John Wiseman said.

Wiseman cited a lack of expertise in the area of SMSF advice as one of the main reasons for the reluctance of planners to engage with accountants, but said that should not be a defining factor.

“I strongly believe all planners irrespective of their expertise should be acting now to engage with accountants,” he said.

He identified risk cover as an area where financial planners could add value to an accountant’s clients without possessing specific SMSF expertise.

From an accountant’s perspective, he suggested forming an advisory partnership with a financial planner could offer a viable alternative to potentially withdrawing from providing SMSF services to clients.

He stressed it was imperative for financial planners to propose potential advisory arrangements with accountants through face-to-face meetings.

“We say that financial advice is a person-to-person undertaking. If planners hope to make headway with accountants, they have to utilise those person-to-person skills and personal engagement attributes to contact and connect in person,” he said.

“Sending an email, tweet, newsletter or a big thumb up on their social media site just won’t cut it.”

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