Add Financial Planning To Increase Revenue and Retain Clients

Filed under: The Advisor's Blog

If there was one change you could make to your practice that would help you attract and retain clients, while also increasing your revenue, would you do it? It’s a classic two-birds-with-one-stone proposition. In most business situations, the opportunity to create widespread benefits with one simple change would be an easy decision!

Empty asphalt road towards cloud and signs symbolizing success aThat’s the choice you face if you consider adding financial planning services to your practice. The AICPA recently conducted the Economic Benefits of PFP Services survey, and found that about half of CPA firms also offered financial planning services. Of those CPAs, 63 percent said that adding the service had increased their ability to attract new clients. 65 percent of CPAs said adding financial planning services increased their engagment with clients, and 54 percent said that clients appreciation of their services increased.

The reasons behind greater client satisfaction aren’t hard to deduce:

  • adding financial planning services allows you to make a greater difference in your clients’ lives
  • clients trust their CPAs with all areas of their financial lives, due to the CPAs wide knowledge base in areas like tax planning, cash flow, and estate planning
  • a greater degree of involvement and trust leads to increased customer loyalty

Feeling hesitant? Many CPAs consider tax planning their “bread and butter”, and fear that adding financial planning services will cause them to lose focus on their main objective. They worry that losing their image as a niche service will cost them clients. But in reality, the opposite result usually happens. An overwhelming majority – 83 percent – of CPA firms that offer financial planning reported that they rarely or never lost clients.

Another misconception is that financial planning is all about wealth management. But the most profitable financial planning services, as reported in the survey, were tax, estate, retirement, investment, and cash flow planning.

Where to start? CPAs who are considering adding financial planning services to their repertoire should first conduct research. The AICPA offers valuable resources, via their website and in-person seminars, to help CPAs manage the transition.

Then, CPAs face the choice of which services to offer, deciding how to manage the new workload, and communicating the new offerings to clients. One of the simplest ways to accomplish these objectives is to partner with a financial advisor. Each professional brings his or her own expertise to the table, client referrals are shared, and everyone wins.

Investment Advisory Services offered through John P. Dubots Capital Management, LLC, CA License # 0822926