Accountants and financial planners need to compete and cooperate

accountants, financial planners, financial advisers, compete, cooperate, compliance, regulation, social licence, Class. CUP. Connect conference 2016 keynoteAccountants and financial planners have been told they need to both compete and cooperate.

Matthew Rowe, formerly Chair of the FPA and former CEO of Hood Sweeney Adelaide, gave the keynote address at the Class. CUP. Connect conference 2016.

Mr Rowe said there was a lot of commentary about accountants and financial planners being in competition, with the implication that the market for advice isn’t big enough for both professions.

“There’s a race on at the moment, if you listen to the commentators, there’s a race around who’s going to win – is it going to be accountants, financial planners?”

However this is the wrong approach, instead accountants and financial planners should compete and cooperate.

“I believe now that, within professional practice, your business strategy should be around both cooperating and competing at the same time,” Mr Rowe said.

“Now if in the last five years you’ve been writing your strategic plan, your business plan, and you haven’t had a big red flashing warning light around regulatory impact as being a potential threat to your business, then I think you’ve been in denial.”

“There’s been no time in our history as a profession that we’ve faced this many inquiries and this many changes around legislation and regulation”

But Mr Rowe said all this change should be taken as an opportunity to innovate in business.

Pointing to recent financial scandals – including involving accountants, such as Timbercorp and Great Southern – he said it is not only important to recognise accountants and planners operate under a licence regime, but also depend upon a social licence.

“That’s the trust bestowed upon us by consumers, and it’s this trust, it’s not the regulation, it’s not our licensing, it’s this trust that actually gives us the ability to conduct business.”

“And all us have been impacted by this, whether through financial planners with more and more compliance, or whether as an accountant you now have the new licensing regime for self managed super funds.”

“But let’s face it, a lot of these changes are outside of our control.”

“There will be some of you who see opportunity created in this, and there are others that are hoping that nothing will change. If I was going to put my money on it, I’d put it on people who see opportunity, not resistant to change.” attended the conference at the invitation of Class Ltd.

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