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IFAs must overcome culture clash to win over accountants

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IFAs must overcome culture clash to win over accountants

Advisers looking to partner with accountants need to be aware of the cultural differences between the two professions, according to Paul Lothian co-director of Dundee-based Verus Wealth.

Lothian, who has a joint venture called A2+B Wealth with an accountancy firm in Aberdeen, said accountants were often introverted thinkers and accustomed to a more corporate culture, compared to IFAs who were more extroverted and had smaller businesses.

‘The accountant archetype is typically in the introverted thinking space and that will present challenges if you are not naturally like-minded,’ he said.

He said adviser had to overcome a number of challenges when building links with accountants including the negative perception of the profession, and accountants’ suspicion of advisers’ charging structures, as they were used to being paid on an hourly basis.

Lothian said that the best way to approach an accountant was to be professional, make a strong business case, present a clearly articulated client proposition, and show letters of recommendation or testimonials from clients.

‘You need to be patient, don’t be pushy….give them the details, be prepared and organised, be punctual, deliver on time what you promise and keep it formal and business like,’ he said.

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