The difference between an Accountant and a Financial Planner?

This is a frequently asked question many accountant and financial planners hear. 

A financial planner and an accountant hold very different certifications and accreditations for services they provide their clients.

An accountant minimises your tax payable to the ATO and ensures you meet personal or business obligations.  If you’re a business owner, they can help you identity opportunities and long term objectives to make sure your business stays ahead of the game.  They should be knowledgeable on all tax matters and have the resources available to help them, help you. They’ll also identify changes in legislation affecting you, prepare financial statements and provide advice on business structuring and succession strategies.  In most cases accountants are providing retrospective advice on what happened in the previous financial year.

Financial planners, on the other hand assist clients by working with them to identify core concerns both now and in the future.

They usually deal with a wider range of matters and a great financial planner will endeavour to know as much about you as possible.  They’ll ask you about your current goals, income structures, family dynamic and give you a financial health check to help determine the best course of action. This process builds a clearer picture of who you are and where you want to be.

Financial planners are holistic in their work and are strategic with building wealth in the most effective manner.  Financial planners can assist you with investing, retirement planning, asset allocation, estate planning, financial structures, personal insurance, as well as wealth accumulation and protection strategies.  Financial planners love working with accountants to ensure the best financial outcome for you, the client.

As with any financial decision it’s important to feel comfortable with who you choose to take care of your finances. So take your time to decide and once you’ve dealt with both an accountant and a financial adviser you yourself will start to notice the difference.

LifeTime Financial Group are specialist (holding appropriate accreditations)advisors who are ideally positioned to assist you in selecting and then managing your retirement funds.

Would you like to discuss your personal position further with one of our highly qualified financial planners? Why not call us today on 03 9596-7733. There is no cost or obligation for our initial conversation/meeting.

Written by Hugo Sampson of LifeTime Financial Group. A leading privately owned Melbourne Financial Planning practice.

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