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Full practitioner cooperation unlikely soon

An advisory environment where full professional cooperation and respect between accountants and financial planners is standard industry practice may not be achieved until the next generation of practitioners establish themselves, according to a business analysis firm.

Speaking at the launch of the “knowITdigital/Business Health Future Ready VII” report, Business Health owner Rod Bertino said: “We are not seeing a meeting of the minds [between accountant and financial planner] en masse just yet and I think it is going to be a long time before we do.

“Personally I think it will be generational. The younger guys in both professions now aren’t in positions of influence yet, but as the older guys move out, exit out, or sell down and these younger people, that aren’t loaded with the baggage of the past, [take over] they will see the business opportunities that will come from working more closely.”

Bertino pointed to several existing factors preventing closer collaboration between the two professions.

“There is a lack of trust between the two groups, but there is a bit of income envy there as well,” he noted.

“The mindset there is ‘I know what you do, I know what I get paid and I know what you are getting paid and I know the training I have done, the education I have and the business I’m in [and I don’t think the situation is equitable]’.”

While the industry might have to wait until the next generation of practitioners before the situation is properly resolved, Bertino said he felt the catalyst for change would probably come sooner via existing clients.

“I think a certain client will demand it and if you can’t provide them with that integrated service seamlessly, then they will find a practice that can,” he said.

“It won’t be every client, but perhaps they will be the better clients that most practices want to have as clients.”

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