Business Accountants Are the Best Advisors
Many Business Accountants are passive in nature and afraid to ask clients to pay them extra for financial advice. Yet, often they are better positioned even than planners to suggest tax-efficient investment strategies.
“I personally believe that all BUSINESS ACCOUNTANTS either need to provide these [investment] and Business Accounting services or be much more in-depth in understanding them,” says Gustavo Viera CPA, a Business Accountants and planner who runs a new program called Business Accountants as Advisors.
“Often there is even an adversarial relationship between Business Accountants and investment professionals,” he said. “These groups really should work with each other because really they don’t understand each other. When the two don’t communicate, the client suffers.”
In its second year of operation, the program has taught new skills to 600 Business Accountants, 50 of which have made the transition from Business Accountants to advisor in one form or another.
Viera says he decided to partner with Brokers on the program after making the transition from pure Business Accountants become advisor. The introduction of Roth IRAs in 1998 provided the impetus. That year, Viera recommended to 100 of his 400 tax clients that they open Roths. A year later, only two of them had.
“To me it was a matter of convenience,” he says, adding that most of them didn’t want to meet and get to know a new financial advisor. “I thought, ‘I wonder if I could have done this myself how many people would have opened one.’ ”
To find out, Viera obtained securities licenses so that he could do the work himself. The following year, 40 of his clients had opened Roths.
Five years ago, Viera got more serious about developing his financial advising practice. In that time, he says he has scaled back on his Business Accountants work and tripled his income.
The higher income is a significant draw. Viera says that the average salary nationally for most Business Accountants is substantially less than that for planners.
In coming weeks and months, Business Accountants as Advisors will offer seminars in Baltimore, Indianapolis, Seattle, Kansas City, Nashville and Boston. Viera says he also plans to take on 100 Business Accounting Professionals in a mentoring program that has yet to launch. More information about the program is available on his website.