Michael S. Winslow, CPA, on Trust and Influence

Filed under: The Advisor's Blog

Building TrustIn a recent blog, Michael S. Winslow (CPA/PFS) shares a story about a long-time client who comes to him seeking advice on his daughter’s college enrollment. Surprisingly, the client is not asking financial questions, but rather questions about college choice and possible fields of study. Winslow reflects on this situation in his blog, and sheds some important light on the idea of CPAs as a close and trusted advisor.

Obviously, this scenario implies a great deal of trust and a deep personal relationship between CPA and client. Over many years, the relationship had grown beyond financial and tax advice into something much deeper: influence.

Public opinion polls have repeatedly ranked CPAs among the nation’s top trusted professionals. In Winslow’s opinion, this consistent high ranking comes from several factors having to do with the nature of the profession. Finance is an area where sound, practical advice is highly valued. CPAs are seen as highly competent, unbiased, and able to separate rational decisions from emotional ones. People have the favorable impression that CPAs treat their clients’ financial matters as they would treat their own. When a CPA consistently delivers a valuable service and is true to his word, the client develops immense trust in the relationship.

The above example underscores the high level of influence a CPA has with his clients. If a client trusts his CPA with decisions about his own family, imagine how much influence the CPA might have with business and financial decisions. It’s easy to see, then, why strategic business alliances between CPAs and financial advisors are so beneficial. The CPA is able to act as a bridge between clients and other professionals, and referrals multiply due to this high degree of trust and influence. The CPA is able to position himself as a highly valuable part of the team, which in turn ensures a high degree of career longevity and success.

[Source: http://www.accountingweb.com/topic/accounting-auditing/cpa-trusted-advisor-why-and-it-deserved ]

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