CPA or Broker: Where to Draw the Line
The ability to accept commissions is nothing new for the accounting profession. For many years, CPAs have accepted commissions as part of their line of services in brokering securities, insurance and other savings instruments--in harmony with their own accounting services.
Where to draw the line and make the distinction for the public is another matter altogether. There is a substantial gray area involved. Clients may be surprised to discover that their trusted CPA also can help in the risk and savings arena.
And, if trust is the overriding issue, will a client trust the advice of their CPA if they don't know for whom the CPA is working? Is it the insurance company or the client?
Many CPAs are successfully offering services and enhancing their income by offering securities. While the solution and decision to broker is up to the CPA, principals and others should think of their clients' expectations and whether this change in services is an important retention factor.
Voice of the Editor
Which isn’t completely true. I mean, occasionally I drop by when I manage to sneak out of the nonstop frat party over at Going Concern, but I’m mostly a wallflower over there. I’m happy to say that I’ve been given express permission (or explicit orders, if you like) to wander over here to AccountingWEB more often.
Why is that, you might ask? My job is to replace the irreplaceable Gail Perry as Editor-in-Chief. What does that mean? I don’t really know! I think it’ll be fun getting a feel for things, throwing in my own thoughts here and there, and listening to the discussions you’re having about the accounting profession.