Principal Helps Agents And CPAs Form Alliances
After years of attempting to work with certified public accountants, Al Hogan says that doing so through Principal Financial Group has been the most successful method hes tried yet.
Hogan, a Myrtle Beach, S.C., insurance agent, says he hasnt seen “anybody make the CPA market work really well. They havent made it a successful part of their practice yet. [Principal is] closer than a lot in helping [insurance agents] do that.”
The program is based on the idea that CPAs are “natural gatekeepers” to clients Principal would like add to its roster, says Michael Beer, CPA and vice president of Individual Markets for Principal.
The relationship is mutually beneficial, according to Beer, because many CPAs have long been trying to gain entry into sales of financial products. The marketing program is designed to match CPAs with agents who will help them achieve the financial strategy they want to implement for their clients.
“Thats something of value we think we can provide to CPAs,” Beer says. “A lot of times the CPA wants to work with an expert in some of the services they know they need for their clients, [and] working with CPAs directly adds value to us.”
Hogan agrees, pointing out that for clients in a professional market, “the accountant is the number one advisor.” Because accountants have clients who own or run growing businesses, the size of the premiums for their financial services needs tends to be much higher than that of the average client, Hogan says.
He estimates that cases “would be 20% to 30% larger for an agent working with a CPA. You dont need a CPA to sell to mom and pop at the kitchen table.”