How Not Providing Wealth Management Services to Clients May Be a Disservice to Them

 
Chris Boynton, champion partner of Arxis Financial Inc., an accounting firm in Simi Valley, California,shares his firm’s progression into providing wealth management services to his clients and his thought processes behind it.
 
1. What was the single most important reason you decided to begin offering wealth management services to your tax clients?
Simply put, our clients were not getting taken care of properly. They were meeting with insurance sales people or stockbrokers who called themselves financial planners, but these people didn’t plan, they only sold. So, our clients were not getting the proper products or services they needed.
 
2. What obstacles did you need to overcome to become a successful wealth management services firm?
Our obstacle was getting it done the right way. In other words, we had a couple of false starts trying to provide deeper accounting transactional type services to our clients, but we didn’t have control without the licenses and products. We then tried to align ourselves with people who said they were financial planners, but they really weren’t. It wasn’t until we found 1st Global and its proper structure that we were able to get our wealth management service going.
 
3. Many CPAs have sales/marketing aversion. How did you and your partners overcome this aversion? We didn’t necessarily have an aversion to it because we were not selling/marketing other than to our existing clients. And, our clients are our friends, so it’s natural we’d want to do the best for them. After seeing financial planning not being handled properly for them, we felt if we were not providing this service, we were actually doing a disservice to our clients.
 
4. How did hiring a dedicated professional financial advisor change your wealth management offering? Did you ever try to do it on your own? We never got the licenses to sell the products and services on our own and an alliance didn’t work for us from a planning perspective. But having a dedicated financial advisor in our office makes a world of difference for several reasons.  It adds to our capacity, adds to our knowledge, and adds to our direction of someone owning it – someone whose whole job is focused on the financial planning. This helps derive the whole process. Our partners are already doing a lot of different jobs within our firm.
 
5. What would you say to someone who wants to “do it on their own” without a dedicated financial advisor? I would say, “God bless you; you’re way smarter than I am because I could never do it!” Seriously, there’s just way too much to know. And, not enough hours in the day. You’d have to build up a huge infrastructure of people working for you taking care of the details so you could do it. It would be a really big pyramid, in my opinion, or you won’t be doing a good job for anybody.
 
6. How has adding wealth management to your offerings changed your succession plan? The primary change is in added value to the firm because there are three components that add value on a sale or transaction basis: 1) maintenance renewals on our software; 2) tax and accounting consultant revenue; and 3) assets under wealth management. Those are the value propositions on a retirement or transition, the components that attach tremendous leverage on the value. Our consulting and sales (insurance, hardware, software, etc.) have limited value on a transition. They make money for us and add value to our clients, but there’s no lasting value to a successor. In wealth management, you have an intergenerational component that goes on and on. It’s a revenue stream, like tax and accounting, that’s recurring with a market value – and value down the road for a successor.
 
7. Do you think the Business Management Services (BMS) model has been the correct model for your firm? At first, we wondered if we were big enough to be a BMS firm to house a dedicated financial advisor. We only have two partners who do tax and accounting and two who do technology consulting. And, we only have about 1,000 tax returns in business and personal. But, that is what 1st Global recommended and it’s worked beautifully. In fact, I’d suggest the same for other firms our size or larger because it’s the only model that makes sense.
 
In addition, the recruiting process at 1st Global for its BMS Advisors is top notch. Our current advisor, Denise Ferrari, fits in perfectly because she came to plan, not sell. A CPA firm’s clients are like family. You don’t want to sell them anything, you want to help them. And that’s just what Denise does.
 
For more information about offering wealth management services as a CPA firm and how strategic business partnerships with accomplished partners like Chris Boynton can impact your growth plans, contact 1st Global at (800) 959-8461 or LearnMore@1stGlobal.com.
 
This article and its content have been provided by 1st Global. With more than 500 firms affiliated with 1st Global, it is one of the largest wealth management services partners for the tax, accounting and legal professions. 1st Global delivers the required capabilities essential for wealth management excellence including progressive ongoing education, which places the firm in a unique position to offer wealth management knowledge.
 
1st Global was founded by CPAs on the belief that accounting, tax and estate planning firms are uniquely qualified to provide comprehensive wealth management services to their clients. Each affiliated firm is provided with education, technology, business-building framework and client solutions that make these firms leaders in their professions through dedicated professional client relationships built around wealth management.
 
1st Global Capital Corp. is a member of FINRA and SIPC and is headquartered at 8150 N. Central Expressway, Suite 500 in Dallas, Texas,
75206, (214) 265-1201. Additional information about 1st Global is available via the Internet at www.1stGlobal.com.

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