As Times Change, It’s Important to Change with Them

Filed under: The Advisor's Blog

In today’s blog post, I’d like to refer to information recently published by Richard Muscio *.

As a consultant to the CPA industry, Richard Muscio specializes in helping CPAs update their practices in order to best keep up with changing times. His recommendations are geared toward obtaining a higher rate of client retention and growth for CPA firms, and he mentors CPAs in becoming Trusted Business Advisors to better serve their clientele. As the business world rapidly changes, it’s important for CPAs to hear the message Muscio is bringing to the industry.

stopwatchDuring the past few years, the financial industry has seen a number of dramatic changes. The state of the economy has certainly had an enormous impact on how people view investing, as well as the way income is budgeted.  Also, notorious scandals like Goldman Sachs and Bernie Madoff have contributed to a general distrust of financial professionals amongst the public. All of this can add up to a large blow to those who work in the financial sector, particularly if they keep doing business the same ways they did in the past.  As in any industry, keeping up with client needs and expectations is the key to maintaining success.

This is why building strategic business alliances can be so important in today’s environment. With so many clients beginning to view CPAs as a cost rather than a benefit, there is greater potential to lose business. This trend has many CPAs worried, and rightly so. The old vision of a CPA serving solely as a tax professional is outdated, and so it is important for CPAs to transition into a trusted professional who can offer a broad spectrum of financial services.

Also, affluent clients are increasingly expecting their CPAs to become Trusted Business Advisors, which means that third party referrals to financial advisors are quickly becoming a thing of the past. This old way of doing business is inefficient, and no longer meets customer needs. When CPAs partner with financial planners, attorneys, and other professionals, there is much greater potential to not only retain loyal clients but even expand through the marketing power of this type of arrangement.

These alliances allow greater flexibility in moving forward with the times, instead of allowing changes in the market to work against the business. For example, with over 80,000 pages in the US tax code, it’s impossible for any single professional to be an expert on every aspect of the code. Through a strategic business alliance, multiple experts on various topics can be brought together so that clients receive comprehensive, world-class service tailored specifically to their needs. Clients are retained when their needs are met within a cohesive system which protects these valuable relationships.  The progressive and forward thinking CPAs are moving in this direction.

*Richard Muscio works as a consultant to the CPA industry and family offices. He has recently joined LG consulting and is seen as a thought leader in the CPA world.  Muscio also hosts a San Diego radio show called “It’s Your Money”, and is often seen presenting at training events in the industry.

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