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CPAs and advisors: Can’t we all just get along?

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While John Azodi runs a program that helps CPAs become financial advisors, his real goal is to just get accountants and producers on the same wavelength.

“My mission is really to break the adversarial relationship between the broker community and the CPA community,” Azodi says. “CPAs don’t trust brokers, in general. They think they’re there to make money and don’t care about the client. Brokers think CPAs are just there to break any deal they’ve set up with the client.”

And there’s some truth to that, he says. CPAs are much more sales averse than producers, and they’re also more willing to nix the advisor-created investment deals clients bring them, just to be on the safe side. “CPAs feel like it’s safer to say ‘no’ than to say ‘yes,’” Azodi says. “But that’s not always best for the client.”

What’s the solution for more effective relations then? Azodi says it comes down to talking. “I think one of the problems is that CPAs and brokers don’t communicate with each other,” he says.

But that doesn’t mean brokers should make a personal sales pitch over a porterhouse. “There are all these things that say, ‘Invite the CPA to lunch,’” Azodi says. “The CPA doesn’t want to go to lunch with you. You know why? Because they know you’re going to try to sell them something.”

Instead, Azodi says, brokers should aim to better explain to CPAs what they do. “You’ve got to educate the CPAs about the products you’re selling,” he says.

It’s a minimal effort that could pay off in fewer CPA-nixed sales deals and more CPA-given referrals.

To read more about John Azodi, see: CPAs can sell