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.

You may like these other stories...

I recently talked with Doug Sleeter about the current state of the small business consulting profession. We talked about how consultants have great opportunities for competitive differentiation by taking full responsibility...
By Shawn Moriarity, Senior Consultant, SageworksRemember dating in high school? You know that guy or girl who you liked but were pretty sure didn't feel the same way about you? It's likely that you doubtless spent...
By Shawn MoriarityYour car's fuel gauge reads empty and you need to find a gas station. Despite BP's new ad campaign or the magazine article you recently read about ExxonMobil's efforts to "go green,"...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.
Aug 20
In this session we'll review best practices for how to generate interest in your firm’s services.
Aug 21
Meet budgets and client expectations using project management skills geared toward the unique challenges faced by CPAs. Kristen Rampe will share how knowing the keys to structuring and executing a successful project can make the difference between success and repeated failures.