Updated Friday, October 31, 2014 as of 9:21 PM ET

What CPAs Really Want From You

Building strategic alliances with CPAs is one the most effective ways to generate a steady stream of referrals and capture millions of dollars in new assets under management. Yet even advisors who understand such alliances say they need help connecting with accountants.

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Comments (4)
I think a lot of this is "hooey" CPA's need new business just as Financial Advisors do, and Advisors can be a great source of new business for CPA's. I believe that this is a 2 way street and that what's really needed is for CPA's to stop practicing financial advising and steering clients improperly because of their own biases against risk taking.

They should be just as concerned about developing relationships with Professional Financial Advisors as Advisors are in working with them. My experience with the CPA's that I work with is that mutual respect and professional courtesy go a long way, and the relationship works wonderfully when each party understands their respective roles.
Posted by william p | Wednesday, June 25 2014 at 9:22AM ET
First off, I believe that it is always important to understand your clients and partners so I applaud the author's intent in helping us see things from the CPA's perspective. However, is this article subsequently built upon revenue sharing? If so, are many firms turning to this practice? Doesn't it just boil down to buying referrals and how ethical is that? I believe this adds a very large conflict of interest that is not necessary or desirable to either party.

If both firms were reputable and truly looking out for the best interests of their clients they would not have exclusive relationships that offered "kickbacks" and they would refer to third parties that could really serve their clients' best interest first. Consequently, the reciprocity of referrals (only when it is in the client's best interest) and the good outcomes for clients (regardless of reciprocity) should be the only reward required from a successful firm (regardless if they are a CPA or CFP) and their subsequent partnership(s).
Posted by William R | Wednesday, June 25 2014 at 1:50PM ET
The gentlemen that said, "mutual respect and professional courtesy" hit the nail on the head.

I have been in this awhile and I feel I should share the fact that many financial advisors do not seem to consider the fact that their role in the financial world is relatively new. They also don't reflect the fact that there has been a time when most financial advisors didn't really bring much to the table. That is changing but what was....is.

For quite a number of years the only thing the financial advisor had to offer was what ever their employer/connection put on the table. As a result many of the funds they served up were not too great. I had one tell how wonderful the performance was since it beat the "benchmark"....the benchmark was a negative 10%. Not wonderful at all.

I convinced my client that moving from that advisor was more than justified by that simple remark....to say nothing of the 5% fee they had paid to purchase the fund he recommended and 6% he would have to pay to get out.

so we are seeing some very capable financial advisors on the scene and they fill an important role, and it's critical to work closely, professionally with common goals and hopefully common interests.
Posted by charles l | Wednesday, June 25 2014 at 3:41PM ET
I am not convinced that the article's conclusions are accurate and it seems that the author has not offered any data, either anecdotally or otherwise, to back up these conclusions. My equally unsupported suspicion is that CPAs don't know what they want from a financial advisor and are not close to resolving this matter anytime soon. Prior to becoming a CPA I was a Registered Investment Adviser who primarily served accountants and attorneys. While I did OK serving them as individual clients, I saw no opportunity for the types of business models suggested by this article.
Posted by Tony N | Thursday, June 26 2014 at 4:41AM ET
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