The Optimal Path for Accounting Firms Pursuing Wealth Management Services through Strategic Partnership: A CPA’s Perspective

By Robin Matthews, Johns & Roth
 
1. What was the single most important reason you decided to begin offering wealth management services to your tax clients?
 
We wanted to help our clients reach a healthy financial position and assist them in maintaining it. Now we can offer a combination of sound planning advice with investment advice. And since financial decisions have some type of direct or indirect tax ramifications, our expertise can greatly benefit clients. We really feel we can do a much better job than the competition.
 
2. What obstacles did you need to overcome to become a successful financial planner?
 
The two main obstacles for us were time and education.  The first is time. Having the time to fulfill our current obligations and dedicate the necessary time to providing our clients with wealth management services was a crucial success factor. The 1st Global Business Management Services (BMS) Model* significantly helped Jones & Roth leverage our time and skills.
 
The second was the need for training and education of our professional staff. 1st Global provided us with eight to nine regular educational programs each year. The BMS regional meetings and the weekly and monthly conference calls gave us many educational opportunities to help us stay up to speed. We were not alone with 1st Global on board.
 
3. Many CPAs have a sales/marketing aversion. How did you and your partners overcome this aversion?
 
I feel CPAs have this aversion to the “s” word because they may simply lack knowledge about the opportunities that are available to clients. We don’t feel comfortable advising our clients without having the advantage of knowing what is best for them. Once our staff learned about the range of investment types available and felt we were doing what was in the best interest of our clients, it was easy to approach them. We feel strongly, as CPAs, that we can advise our clients better than the competition. It no longer feels like a “sale” to us but just offering advice and providing a service so clients can reach their goals.     
 
Marketing is a very important part of our business. Jones & Roth has invested in marketing materials such as developing a Web site, which gives prospective clients an opportunity to learn about our business and get comfortable with us, and the site encourages them to take action and call us for services. In the beginning, we took the advice of 1st Global and tapped into our existing clients. We utilized the “Ask Your CPA” campaign to keep reminding our tax clients we offered wealth management services as well. We used the campaign repeatedly for five or six years and it proved to be very successful for us.
 

4. How has adding wealth management to your offering changed your succession plans?

 
It has made the succession planning better. Hiring a financial planner and a CPA provides our clients with continuity, which can support and increase client activity. We also are diversifying the source of our revenue and don’t have to rely solely on the more traditional services our CPAs provide.
 
5. What advice would you offer a CPA firm that is considering offering wealth management services to its top clients?
 
Go for it! Offering wealth management services makes you so much more valuable to your clients.  Don’t do it halfway, jump in with both feet, get licensed and educated as soon as possible. I would also advise that you survey your existing clients to gain some awareness of how interested and receptive they are to wealth management services. I think you will be surprised to discover the amount of opportunities that exist within your own client base.
 
6. You chose 1st Global to be your business partner. Why?
 
1st Global allows us to leverage our time and their resources; they provide superior educational opportunities and are always there when we need them.  I can’t imagine going with any other firm. Our affiliation with 1st Global has made our CPAs and advisors at Jones & Roth a more powerful team.
 
*1st Global’s Business Management Services (BMS) is based upon a two-person team model, affiliating a champion partner and a dedicated financial advisor within a new or established firm.
 
Robin Matthews is partner and shareholder of Jones & Roth CPAs and Business Consultants and the director of Jones & Roth Financial Advisors, a premier accounting and business consulting firm in Southern Oregon.
 
For more information about offering wealth management services as a CPA firm and how strategic business partnerships with accomplished partners like Robin Matthews 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. Investment advisory services offered through 1st Global Advisors, Inc., an SEC-Registered Investment Adviser. Additional information about 1st Global is available via the Internet at www.1stGlobal.com.
 

 

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