Financial planning is too important in our lives to be left in the hands of many unqualified professionals. Vast majority of people buying into the various financial planning products that are being floated almost on a daily basis are ignorant of the fact that their financial well being is as important as the medical and legal aspects of their lives.
The fact many countries of the world allow individuals without qualification of any kind to parade themselves as financial planners to a large extent contribute to the poor financial and investment decisions made by millions of people.
Financial planning ability is a core competence of a modern accountant. Though there are bodies that now certify individuals to become professional financial planners, the role of accountants in providing sound financial planning services cannot be overemphasised.
Corporations especially multinationals realised the importance of using accountants as financial planners years ago by engaging the services of accounting firms in the area of transfer pricing, the financial benefits speaks for itself.
A major obstacle that many accounting firm faces when making a decision of whether to deliver financial planning service is the fact that accounting as a profession prohibits professional accountants to charge commission that is based on the value of the investment portfolio of the client. This is one of the reasons why accountants tend to shy away from delivering a vital service that falls within the purview of the noble profession. Again, the ambiguity in the area of marketing activities of accountants places unwarranted strain on the degree of flexibility at which accountants render their services.
This article is written to highlight the roles, duties and responsibilities of accountants in delivering financial planning services.
WHAT VALUE CAN AN ACCOUNTANT ADD TO MY FINANCIAL PLANNING GOAL?
Accounting as a profession revolves around saving costs and encouraging value added processes. This mentality of cost saving is easily transferred to any project ventured into by an accountant. An accountant for instance will provide better advice that will save costs to an estate in the form of tax planning.
You will agree with me that cost saving is the easiest way of adding value to bottom line of any financial endeavour. Hay! I heard you! You just said “is my personal finance now a business?” well, in case you don’t know, YES is the answer. This is where a lot of people get it wrong. Most people don’t realise that their personal finance life is the most important business that is worth any amount of effort put into it.
BENEFITS OF USING ACCOUNTANTS AS FINANCIAL PLANNERS
- Peace of mind: you will get the peace of mind that comes with knowing that someone who is vast in financial matters is handling your finances.
- Creation of wealth through value creation: accountants are by profession trained to create wealth through cost management and cost savings while at the same time keeping an eye for avenues to multiply investments.
- Legal protection: accountants to a large extent are knowledgeable in certain laws, rules and regulations. One hardly go contrary to the provisions of the law under their tutelage.
Design and deployment of sound financial services through the outlet of financial planning is a key factor to empowering millions of people to achieve their financial dreams – which is financial freedom. If you are a qualified accountant and still haven’t recognised the vital role of empowering people financially, I encourage you to have rethought.
Remember that the importance of accounting will not be fully realised if accountants fail to fill in their rightful position in taking financial planning services to the grassroots.