David Davis, champion partner of JY WealthCare, LLC , an accounting firm in San Jose, California, shares his firm’s progression into providing wealth management services to clients and the thought processes behind it.
1. What was the single most important reason you decided to begin offering wealth management services to your tax clients?
Primarily, we felt that we could do a better job for our clients by offering wealth management services, based on our relationship with our clients and with 1st Global. Secondarily, we saw that they were not being served well by the referrals we were making. Those two factors led to our decision.
2. What obstacles did you need to overcome to become a successful wealth management services firm?
We had to learn a new way of doing business as far as the financial services side. We went from an hourly billing basis to taking the time listening to our clients’ financial needs and servicing them to the best of our ability. Other challenges we faced were our own initial perceptions and fears about offering these services as well as establishing and putting the right team in place to do it. The main perception we had to overcome was worrying about “making a sale” even though making a sale is not what the business is about. It’s about listening and providing solutions.
3. Many CPAs have sales/marketing aversion. How did you and your partners overcome this aversion?
At our firm, we view it as relationship building versus marketing and sales. And, there are activities that go with that. If you’re looking for relationship enhancement, the activities normally called “marketing and sales” really help you know, and get closer to, your clients. We position our wealth management services in a consultative way, just as we do our CPA work.
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 realized from the beginning that we wanted a professional to assist us who was a solid teammate and leader for our team. Doing this has totally enhanced our offerings. We hired Barbara Holian Kong, Certified Financial Planner™, which allowed us to focus on the accounting side while having a reliable team member available as we met with clients needing financial services. We never tried to do it on our own.
5. What would you say to someone who wants to “do it on their own” without a dedicated financial advisor?
I think it’s possible to do it on your own, but that person has to be very diligent in allocating his or her time as well as being 100 percent organized. But, we prefer the approach we took of hiring a skilled professional financial advisor.
6. How has adding wealth management to your offerings changed your succession plan?
It didn’t change our plan necessarily, but it enhanced and deepened our capability going forward as we move toward succession. Besides tax and accounting, it brought more revenue streams into our offerings. This now allows us more flexibility in our succession plan.
7. Do you think the Business Management Services (BMS) model has been the correct model for your firm?
Absolutely! By structuring as a BMS firm, we have both the support of 1st Global and the support of our in-house advisor. The combination of the two, melded with our contacts and relationships, has been very successful. Barbara, who I mentioned previously, is our director of financial services and has been with us for eight years now. We couldn’t be happier.
For more information about offering wealth management services as a CPA firm and how strategic business partnerships with accomplished partners like David Davis can impact your growth plans, contact 1st Global at (800) 959-8461 or [email protected]
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.
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Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame logo), which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.