Challenged to engage accountants to understand the value of financial planning.
By Julia Newbould
We have a lot of female accountants in our business so the biggest challenge was getting them to understand the value of financial planning. We’ve gotten them all involved in the financial planning journey, thus allowing them to understand and articulate the life changing difference it can make.
Kearney Financial Planning is a mid-sized multi-disciplined practice offering bookkeeping, accounting and financial planning services and has been around for 27 years.
Originally the company was just accounting but director Paul Kearney, who started the company, saw a need and realised that clients valued his advice. They brought him plans to show him and they were sub-par so it was a natural progression for him to extend into a financial planning service. Nga Vu is one of three senior advisers now in the practice.
One of the things we live by is that we want to be collaborative, she says. “We have our own departmental teams but ultimately we’re working together to achieve the broader company goals,” Ms Vu says.
“We have to understand we understand the clients from the business point of view as well as the departmental point of view and we work collectively as a team to make sure the client of the group is well served.”
A few months ago, Ms Vu saw a need that the accountants were not referring as much work to the planners. “I saw a need to educate and empower them to know more about what financial planning was all about.
There was a lack of confidence and experience in identifying and articulating the value of financial planning to the clients,” she says.
To remedy this, Ms Vu invited the accountants to sit in on client meetings with financial planning clients to give them a deeper understanding on financial planning and what they do and the level of engagement that happens.
This has resulted in a greater appreciation for the role of financial planner and the accountants are now acting as advocates for planners.
The company is now on track with referrals and in the next few months it is expected that there will be a greater increase in referrals.