More now than ever accountants are confronted with the questions:
‘Should I become an advisor?’
‘Is it a wise business choice to go from crunching numbers to providing financial advice?’
According to U.S. News, a financial advisor career is among the best jobs with the best pay. “Accounting firms are quickly seeing the advantages of providing more than raw data to their client,” says Justin Hatch, CEO of Reach Reporting. “The accounting firms that don’t offer advisory services are losing their clients to firms that do or to automated online accounting apps.”
Several accounting firms are having a hard time making the switch. Crunching numbers in Excel and sending spreadsheet data is just how it’s been done. With the average age of a financial accountant over 50 years old, it is no surprise that its business as usual for decades.
A change in market mind-sets and a shift in industry demographics are causing accountants to expand their offering to advisory services’ with value-based pricing.
You have to ask yourself if you try to change the direction of the market, or do you go with it?
Today’s businesses need professional financial advice.
With so many businesses temporarily closing their doors they need financial advice to help them from closing permanently.
In Yelps: Local Economic Impact Report shows “a decreasing number of overall business closures, 132,580 in total. As of August 31, 163,735 total U.S. businesses on Yelp have closed since the beginning of the pandemic (observed as March 1), a 23% increase since July 10. In the wake of COVID-19 cases increasing and local restrictions continuing to change in many states we’re seeing both permanent and temporary closures rise across the nation, with 60% of those closed businesses not reopening (97,966 permanently closed).”
Justin Hatch, CEO of Reach Reporting says “This year should be a call to arms for all financial professionals to rally the troops and provide solid advice for today’s business. This advice can only come from experienced, insightful financial advisors.”
What does a financial advisor do?
In general terms, financial advisors learn their clients’ current financial situation and then set goals and create a game plan that puts them on track to achieve those goals. They guide their clients along the way with advice, suggestions, and answers to questions. They help their clients save more, invest wisely, and reduce debt.
Types of Financial Advisors
The term “financial advisors” is extensive; there are many specialties under the same name. These are the most common types of advisors and the basics of what services they offer their clients.
Financial coaches – Also known as financial counselors. This advisory niche is the beginning of the client’s financial health journey. Services include; setting up monthly budgets, getting out of debt plans, and teaching financial management basics.
Investment professionals – This niche is filled with advisors who are experts in investments and mutual funds. They help their clients keep a long-term perspective through the ups and downs of investing and supports clients on track for their long-term goals.
Tax professionals – These advisors take the confusion out of taxes and how they impact your finances. Typical services include; educating their clients on tax strategies and setting up accounts correctly for future tax implications that come with retirement.
Wealth managers – Concentrate their services on high net worth clients. You are helping their clients with taxes, investments, estate planning, charitable giving, and the long-term growth of your clients’ wealth.
These are only a few of the many niches for financial advisors. There are many more, and often the different types of services overlap. Take some time, do your homework and find what bubble your current clients fit into and what appeals to you. Then you will be on your way to becoming your client’s financial advisor.
What characteristics should you possess:
Be personable: You have got to get your clients to open up about their numbers and goals. By being personable, you allow your clients to get comfortable with you and so you can get the answers to the questions you will ask.
An entrepreneurial spirit: To access the drive you need to succeed, you will need to understand your motivation to become an advisor. If you are becoming an advisor to make money, that won’t be enough to continue getting you out of your bed in the morning. It would be best if you genuinely wanted to help people succeed.
Problem solver: You are a money physician, a professional who improves your clients’ financial health. You will have to think on your toes. Some financial problems are only symptoms. You will have to dig deep to uncover the root of the problem. Helping them solve their problem will make you credible and reliable.
Salespersonship: You’re going to have to step up and bring your A-game when becoming an advisor. Like it or not, you are going to have to knock on some doors. If you are not out there hitting the street, your degrees and certifications won’t matter. It all starts with building relationships with trust. It is an extended play but well worth it.
Self-starter: If you are going to thrive in this business, you will have to be a self-starter. You are the one that will make a difference in your clients and your business. There will be good days and bad. The trick is to stay out there even on those bad days. That, my friend, is entirely up to you. I believe you can do it.
Ability to focus: In the above infographic, you can see that American businesses are rapidly closing their doors. You can help, but you can’t help them all. Do your research and see what companies you can impact the most. Create a unique niche that will allow you to thrive. What service can you provide that supports a particular industry?
Use your experience: Be confident in your ability to provide value to an economy that needs your help. You know this. You have the experience and the intuition that will make a difference for your local or national economy. Don’t be timid. Businesses need what you are offering.
Be humble: You can be confident and humble at the same time. We are walking through a new world that is continuously changing. Research, study, and be willing to learn. Find a mentor or create a group of like minded-professionals that can help each other grow. Connecting with others allows you to have a rich resource of other’s experiences—no reason to recreate the wheel.
These are just a few ideas as you look at enhancing your firm’s service offering. Reach Reporting wants to be your ally during and after your transition to advisory services.
Our app will automate powerful advisory reports in seconds, freeing you up to provide top-notch advisory services. Your clients need you to help them survive 2021 and beyond.