Frequently asked questions

Most frequently asked questions heard by Financial Advisors during the CPA Referral Module

How can I earn trust?

Understand that trust won’t come instantly.  It is important to have a high level of integrity and professionalism when communicating with a CPA.  Ultimately, trust can best be developed when a CPA can “see you in action” with a client.  Outside of that, here a few  things an Financial Advisor (FA) can do to develop trust:  (a)learn to find common ground (b)invite to attend civic/charitable events, (c)provide education for them, (d)make them aware of what you do.

In this video we discussed the #1 reason why CPAs do not refer their clients to Financial Advisors.

Does revenue sharing generate more referrals?

While offering to share revenue with a CPA for mutual clients may be a desired source of additional income, offering this type of partnership may be more harmful than productive.  This relationship may be a “turn-off” for the following reasons: (a)it requires additional licensing for the CPA, (b)it asks a CPA to share their book without trust being established (CPA’s are very private with their book of business).

How can a Financial Advisor and CPA work best together?

Communication is critical to working together.  There are several ways that an FA can improve the ease of this relationship which includes: (a)communicate more frequently, (b)have client authorization letter signed in advance to communicate, (c)establish call with CPA in Oct/Nov (pre-planned, on the calendar and can review tax loss scenario), (d)conduct periodic meetings with CPA, (e)send notes of a client review meeting to the CPA, (f)email capital gains information to the CPA (in excel format if possible).

What does it mean if a CPA has only given 1 or 2 referrals?

The trust has not yet been developed, and the Advisor must work toward a collaborative meeting.  Increased trust is promoted as the CPA works with the FA.

What type of knowledge should I have?

While it is not required that you know everything about taxes, it can help to have 1 or 2 areas of expertise.  An example could be: Estate planning techniques, Titling, Community Foundations, Combining Donor-advised funds with CRT, Exit Planning, Bond portfolio management for insurance companies.

What is the best way to introduce myself to a CPA?

Introduction initiated by a mutual client either via email or phone.