Accountants can accelerate the process of locking in a licensing solution and begin to offer financial advice in just three months and be profitable from day one, according to an industry executive.
GPS Wealth co-founder and certified practising accountant Greg Holman said accountants could achieve that by partnering with a well-resourced and experienced licensee.
“There’s a misconception that accountants have to offer comprehensive investment advice from the outset, but many start small with life insurance and lending before gradually expanding into other areas of wealth management, such as holistic strategic advice and estate planning,” Holman said.
“It all depends on the individual practice and their clients’ needs.”
He said there were many different ways for accountants to introduce financial services to clients, including hiring a qualified professional adviser in-house or entering into a joint referral relationship with an established advice business and referring existing clients to the new entity.
In addition, he said it was often simpler for an accounting firm to initially introduce financial services on a referral basis, which could speed up the process and minimise expenses.
He said the benefits of combining traditional accounting and financial advice were not only financial but allowed accountants to satisfy their duty of care to clients by raising awareness about their potential need for life insurance, income protection and total and permanent disability cover.
Furthermore, it enabled accountants to put a fence around their clients and remove or reduce the need for them to go elsewhere for advice, he said.
“In an increasingly competitive environment, accountants who can provide more than tax advice and accounting services [and] a complete, integrated wealth management solution under one roof will become indispensable,” he said.
“Accountants have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by expanding into financial services, provided they do it right.”
GPS Wealth is a specialist financial services dealer group that provides licensing and compliance services to over 100 financial advisers and 70 accountancy firms nationally.
In the past 12 months, over 49 accounting firms have gained a limited authority from GPS Wealth, with more than 104 accountants attending the group’s two-day RG 146 courses held this month. The business was established by Holman and Rob McGregor in 2011.
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