Accountant vs Financial Planner

Accountant vs Financial Planner

If you need help with your finances, it can sometimes be hard to figure out what kind of help you need. Should you consult with a financial planner, an accountant, or both? Contrary to some common misconceptions, the two fields are vastly different in what kind of help they can provide.

A financial planner is a professional who provides advice on things like managing your cash flows, taking out insurance, investing your savings, maximising your tax position, preparing for retirement and preparing your estate plan.

An accountant on the other hand is responsible for completing tax returns for individuals, businesses, trusts and other entities. They also take care of complex tax issues, financial statements, business advice and record keeping. They look into the past of an entity and ensure that it is up to date with its taxes and that it is financially healthy.

Accounting is about fulfilling your legal obligations by accurately reporting on financial activity over the year. Financial planning, on the other hand, is more interested in the future effects of the financial decisions that you make today.

Most of us will need a tax return done every financial year, and so the need for an accountant is pretty much a given. However, an accountant who’s doing your tax return for the previous year can’t reposition your finances after the fact.

An effective financial planner should be able to incorporate forward looking tax planning into your financial plan. However, many planners don’t have enough accounting experience to factor this into their advice, or they choose to focus their efforts in different areas. They may decide to simply let the accountant worry about your end of year tax consequences.

The only way to ensure that all aspects of your financial situation are being covered is to engage both a financial planner and an accountant. However this often leads to increased administration, double handling of information and additional cost, with you the client stuck in the middle trying to manage the process. Surely a better plan is to enlist a professional that can do both, guaranteeing that all aspects of your wealth are monitored and maximised.

KLI Group was built around meeting this need, and we pride ourselves on providing our clients with a service that covers all aspects of their finances. On top of accounting and financial planning, KLI also offers mortgage broking and even business and personal bookkeeping services, all with an emphasis on freeing up your time so you can focus on the important things in life, like family, friends and your own personal aspirations.

As a client this provides you one point of contact, one complete financial plan and one consolidated cost. This is the future of personal wealth management. You and your family deserve the best.

Kelly Pillay is the Managing Director of KLI and a representative of Australian Financial Services Licence: 452054. This information is of a general nature only and may not be relevant to your particular circumstances. The circumstances of each investor are different and you should seek advice from KLI Accountants & Wealth Managers who can consider if the strategies and products are right for you.