The role of a financial planner and particularly a financial planner in a CPA firm, is to educate our clients that retirement planning is not about market timing. It's not about investment returns. It's all about having a consistent plan and then sticking to that plan.
One of the advantages offered by qualified retirement plans is the ability to acquire life insurance on plan participants using existing plan assets and future contributions to pay the premiums. This allows the plan to obtain life insurance coverage on plan participants with tax-deductible dollars.
Everyone wants a safe, stable and certain flow of income to sustain their ideal retirement. But if you were to ask five different relatives and friends what retirement means to them, you would likely receive five different answers.
Do you serve a particular niche especially well? Have you served clients with complex issues that took a great deal of research? Do you have more knowledge than most in a particular area of tax or accounting? If so, congratulations – you're an expert. But are you keeping your hard-earned expert status a secret?
Being able to offer sound financial planning advice for clients will require an accountant to gain certification, designation as a financial advisor, or to partner with someone who can be entrusted to serve clients well in this area.
Recommending a financial advisor to a client is one of the most important recommendations you can make. Customers will trust your recommendation; therefore, there is a potential your future with that customer could be impacted.
Ask your clients this one simple question and open the clients to a new perspective. In general, clients only see us providing the service that they currently receive. They know they want something more, but they don't know whether we provide it.
Regional CPA firm Warren Averett, LLC, continues to carry out its strategic growth plans in the Southeast with the recent merger of Atlanta-based Gifford, Hillegass & Ingwersen (GH&I) and Tampa-based Pender Newkirk & Company.
How is your firm different? Since the "what" of your firm has already been defined, it may be a good idea to take a close look at the "how" of your firm as a way to set yourself apart from the competition.
KPS & Company, LLC of West Hartford, Connecticut, jump-started 2013 by announcing a merger with the accounting and tax practice of Alan M. Gould & Co. of West Palm Beach, Florida, KPS’s first venture outside its home state of Connecticut.
PMB Helin Donovan LLP (PMB) is on an aggressive growth track, most recently merging with a San Francisco Bay Area CPA firm, BBR LLP. This is PMB's third significant merger in the past two years and is its largest.
Plante Moran's merger with a Chicago CPA firm last year moved it up a notch to eleventh place in a ranking of the nation's largest public accounting firms based on revenue and significantly expanded its Chicago presence.