A recent BRW report on accounting services highlighted that “one-third of firms nominated wealth management services as one of their three fastest growing business lines.”
One of the major challenges accounting firms are currently facing is how to successfully provide these services in an integrated and seamless manner. Firms are telling clients that they offer an ‘integrated’ approach, but what does this really mean?
Many accountants and financial advisors still encounter barriers in working more closely together to add value to clients. Some of the common roadblocks and complaints include:
- Lack of effective communication to clients about the value of integrated advice
- Poor process for tracking internal leads and communicating status of those leads
- Variable quality of the client handover process leading to poor conversion rates
- Lack of tangible objectives for cross-referral activity and results
So, do your accountants and advisors work well together? Do you see a rich stream of opportunities between these groups.
Consider this 5 step process. What are you doing well? What could be improved?
- Establish the financial advisory relationship model that you want (internal, external, authorised representative, licenses, internal or outsourced administration).
- Encourage your financial advisor to share client stories with the team. Put in place a process for communicating service offerings to clients through information and case studies.
- Speak directly with clients about their financial needs, at a personal or business level. Remember, you don’t need to provide advice while asking questions. Get your financial advisor in front of your clients.
- Identify internal opportunities to add value to existing clients. Train all accounting staff in ‘what we need to look for’ as client work is completed. Establish a reporting mechanism to document opportunities to add value to clients.
- Establish an internal lead development process to trigger actions when leads are identified, follow up leads in a timely and effective manner and provide regular feedback on status.
Upcoming 2 part online program for both accountants and financial advisors
In this 2 part online program, we’ll outline the key steps you can take to create more opportunities for financial advisory and accounting cross referrals and track those opportunities. We’ll then discuss how you can improve the conversion rate for these internal referrals.
Dale Crosby, Director, Training Beyond Accounting. www.trainingbeyondaccounting.com.au