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Growth Focus

Benefits of combining Accounting with Financial Planning

Providing financial advice and accountancy services side-by-side in a holistic approach offers an array of benefits for both clients and the business.

Research from HUB24 previously highlighted that high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are seeking to use a financial adviser as part of a professional network of specialists, including accountants, brokers and lawyers.

Advisers can often act as a “connector” between various specialists and offer expertise on matters involving from portfolio construction to succession planning.

“We believe accountants and financial planners will cohabitate because the accounting industry’s foray into the planning industry is only starting,” John Birt, founder of Radar Results, previously said.

Speaking with Money Management, three integrated financial services firms that offer both advisory and accounting services have shared the key advantages of bringing these two professions together.

Paul Barrett, founder and CEO at AZ NGA, said the company remains interested in businesses which have successfully integrated this model as it leads to a “superior consumer outcome”.

“The generalist model has been challenged now, and what we have to do is build a house of specialties. In our view, a diversified firm is a house of specialists,” he told Money Management.

For Barrett, one of the key benefits of providing advice alongside accountancy is the efficiencies it brings to the business.

“If you just have one provider, then they will have a client record across the entire group, so when the client goes to see the accountant after the adviser, they already know who you are. The consumer only has to go to one physical place and you get this central data sharing capability.

“You ultimately get a deeper relationship with the client and therefore you can actually start to anticipate what the client’s needs are going to be.”

Prime Financial is another firm which has brought its wealth management and accounting divisions together to provide its clients with an integrated solution.

Simon Madder, the firm’s managing director and chief executive, shared that the model prevents clients from repeating information to two separate specialists, enabling them to receive everything under one roof.

“When it’s done well, it must feel nice to not have to repeat what your goals and objectives are to both your accountant and financial planner. We have always philosophised that our clients are in a better position when they come to one organisation and get pretty much everything they need,” he explained.

“That integrated model gives you a better chance of there being fairer fee-for-service outcomes and more connected services which serve your ultimate goals. I find it hard to believe that you can get a better outcome when it’s all fragmented.