Accountants, planners should merge strengths

Accountants should not regard financial planners as competitors and should instead use them to complement their existing client value proposition, a senior advisory executive has said.

Speaking at the Accounting Business Expo in Sydney yesterday during a session hosted by Class, My Accounts director Matthew Rowe cited a Harvard Business School survey to determine the strengths and weaknesses of accountants and financial planners to lend weight to his argument.

The study assessed each group on professional characteristics, such as quality, cost, delivery, turnaround performance, communication, certification and reputation.

“The survey was undertaken by 500 business clients around accounting and what you can see is that within the accounting space clients see that quality and time [are] the attributes accountants rate very well on. Cost was not so great. Neither was prompt communication,” Rowe revealed.

“Accountants are excellent on certification and reputation and the on the other key things they were found somewhere in the middle.”

Rowe ran through the results of the same survey performed on financial planners and noted cost was a strength attributed to that group.

“Prompt communication was excellent, [but planners were] not so good on reputation and certification,” he said.

He pointed out the results showed the strengths of one group ended up being the weaknesses of the other.

“What it does show to me is that when you put them together they do complement each other,” he said.

“So I believe there is a huge opportunity to both compete and cooperate at the same time for most accountants and financial planners.”

More specifically, he nominated one particular sector that would most likely facilitate the union between the two groups of practitioners.

“I think that the self-managed super fund space will be the common area and common ground that both accountants and financial planners will converge and come together,” he said.

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