Last month, more than 100 financial professionals gathered at the Personal Financial Planning Summit, sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs to hear perspectives on practice management delivered by profession leaders.
Here are four key takeaways on best practices in client services, communication and firm management that emerged from the January summit, according to the AICPA.
1. Client familiarity is essential to success.
Clients value advisors who communicate regularly, reduce complexity and guide decision making with timely and usable information. According to Stephen de Man, a regional director at Dimensional Fund Advisors, results of his firm’s 2018–2019 investor feedback survey showed that an advisor’s experience with similar clients is what clients value most in the advisory relationship.
The AICPA emphasized the importance of making a clear client profile easily available online that both illustrates the value of the firm’s work and what kind of clients it works with.
Providing exceptional financial planning services goes beyond knowing the numbers. Understanding clients’ life goals and what they truly want their money to be able to do for them adds considerable value.
2. Embrace diversity or fall behind.
Firms that fully adopt diversity and inclusion can thrive from the input of multiple perspectives, creating superior cultures and results. Firms that ignore the opportunity to do so will fall behind by ceasing to reflect or meet the needs of increasingly diverse customers.