The financial services industry, incorporating both the wealth management and accounting sectors, is currently experiencing a great deal of change. For the wealth management sector change has been a constant for the past 10 years through well documented, advice, legislation, and increasingly, technological change. Arguably however, the changes that accounting firms face are more dramatic because of the possibility of a ‘step change’.
This prospective ‘step change’ for the accounting sector could remap the form and substance of client advice, service, and importantly the client experience. This presents a substantial opportunity, and challenge, for accounting firm principals and their teams.
In Prime’s view, now is an exciting time to be partnering with, and investing in, accounting firms across accounting and wealth management as part of a vision of the future of ‘complete advice’.
Correspondingly, there are accounting firms that see the prospect of additional external competitive pressures building and while they know it’s time to evolve, aren’t exactly sure how to and in some cases remain shell shocked and unprepared, believing that the status quo will sustain itself, but will it?
The demographics of accounting firm client bases are often maturing and changing, outsourcing is becoming increasingly prevalent and technology is a constant conversation point and opportunity for improvement, when done well. Importantly, aggressive competition from global and non-traditional accounting origins means firms are not taking client loyalty for granted and are investing in delivering clients an improved experience and service.
Progressive firms are also adopting a more planned, structured and corporate approach with a responsible CEO reporting to a Board of Directors as part of a clear and accountable business plan and strategy.
Having a vision and plan to adopt or test a new approach, diversify services and continue creating value for clients, and therefore the firm, is the most common and simplest first step many are taking. But central to this development is what overriding role an accounting firm believes it has for their clients, and it is here that Prime has a very clear view that has helped us shape ‘who we are’ and ‘how we see ourselves adding value’ for our partners and their clients.
Prime’s view is that the accountant is the most appropriate central point of contact for clients. Accountants are the most trusted adviser, chief relationship manager and architect of their client’s total position. Accountants are the right people with the right level of education, experience and expertise to take control of the client advice process and can jointly create with their clients the best possible outcomes.
We also believe that the ‘firm of the future’ will deliver ‘multiple client services’, often via a partnership approach, through the ‘one location’ and help their clients ‘protect their assets and build their wealth’ by implementing ‘personalised advice’ that ‘help clients achieve the life and lifestyle they desire’.
It’s because of this view that Prime is ‘investing’ in the firms of the future and seeking to be the ‘Premier Partner to Accounting Firms for Growth, Succession and Integrated Wealth Management’.
The firm of the future will look different, be different and evolve differently over time, and therein lies the opportunity.
Prime is partnering with accounting firms in a variety of ways:
- Equity capital for growth
- Deeper wealth management relationships
- Accountant licensing
- Additional service line development
- Leadership and succession considerations.
We readily acknowledge that to be your ‘premier partner’ we have to continually develop, grow and add value based on your needs and requirements and those of your clients.
We would like to share a document with you titled ‘Our Firm Your Future’ which reinforces some of the philosophies outlined above.