Why Now is the Time to Add Financial Planning to Your Firm

Accounting firms offer guided, professional advice to their clients, but many can offer even more help through financial planning. Client needs and expectations are growing. If you don’t meet these needs, you may lose clients along the way or fail to offer a service that could make their experience even better.

The start of a new year is the perfect time to add financial planning to your company’s offering.

Why You Should Add Financial Planning to Your Firm

Financial planning is something you need to consider even if you decide not to expand into it this month or this year. Here’s why more firms are considering expansion into financial planning:

Build a One-Stop-Shop Experience

Clients are demanding more from accounting firms. You may help with taxes, accounting, managing payroll and other areas, but your clients also need more services. Since you already have access to their financial data, it is often a natural transition to offer them financial planning.

By offering financial planning, you will create a one-stop-shop for your clients, which will:

  • Boost revenue
  • Serve clients better
  • Encourage firm growth

According to the AICPA, 66% of participants in a recent survey sought the following from their CPA:

  • Tax planning advice
  • Financial planning advice

If you leverage this opportunity to offer financial planning, you’ll create the one-stop-shop experience that your existing clients already desire.

It’s a win-win for everyone involved if you offer financial planning.

Serve Your Clients Better All Year Long

Only 33% of Americans have a financial plan in writing. Hoping that everything will work out in retirement or the long run is far riskier than hashing out the numbers and going through the years with a plan in place.

Your company can do more to serve your clients. Financial planning allows clients to enjoy a:

  • Roadmap for their future
  • Goals to strive to reach
  • Better habits (that they plan to include)

When you serve your clients better, you also enjoy year-long income. Revenue fluctuations and busy seasons are common for accounting firms, but clients need financial planning all year long.

360° Comprehensive Financial View

Clients want peace of mind that they are doing everything right when it comes to their finances. CPA firms offer many services, but when you add in financial planning, it allows you to provide a more robust financial view for your clients.

Financial planning allows you to offer:

  • A look forward into the person’s financial life
  • Advice that works better together
  • Plan implementation that has better cohesion

Taxes are a look into the client’s past, and financial planning is a look into the future. Offering financial planning is a natural progression for most CPA firms that will lead to an increase in client loyalty, too.

Boost Your Client Loyalty

Landing new clients is time-consuming and resource intensive. Repeat clients help firms find security and maintain steady revenue. It’s always better to have a loyal client base that you can serve week after week than one-off clients.

Financial planning services strengthen your firm and allow you to:

  1. Boost revenue per client
  2. Stand out from the competition

Diversifying your service offering will allow you to create a loyal client base that relies on your expertise year after year.

Additionally, if you offer financial planning or services that others do not, you’re differentiating yourself from the competition.

Judging Demand for Financial Services

Accounting firms that are “on the fence” about offering additional services need to find out if financial services are a good fit for their clients. If you want to judge the demand for these services among your clients, one good way is to send an email to start the year or quarter to your clients.

You can include a survey asking your clients an array of questions, including:

  • Would they be interested in financial planning if you offered it at your firm?
  • What services would the client like to see added?
  • What can your firm do better to improve the client experience?

When you receive your clients’ responses, you can scour through their answers and learn if financial planning is something your existing clients would want you to offer.

Offering financial planning can strengthen your company in 2023 and is something your team should consider. If the process feels too overwhelming, you can partner with a firm to help you transition to offering these services without disrupting your existing operations.

Multiple options are available to you and your firm, whether you choose to provide all or some financial planning services in-house, or you’d rather partner with a firm to take care of everything on your behalf, what works best for your firm is individual. The important thing is to consider offering these services now.

Joseph Graziano, CFP® is the Vice President and Wealth Management Partner at FFP Wealth Management. Through FFP management, Joe and his team help manage more than 2.4 billion in assets. FFP Wealth Management has served the unique needs of the accounting community for over 28 years and was formed out of dire need for accountants and financial planners to join forces in providing premium services to their clients. If you’re thinking about selling your firm but aren’t 100% sure if now is the right time, schedule a discovery call with FFP Advisors Joseph Graziano today.

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