Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The importance of the relationship between professionals and their clients


Cameron Hemming, Business Development Manager
From my experience in business banking, at Cleardocs and in my own life, it seems that the most critical element to making decisions and getting them right is not necessarily having the best professional — accountant, financial advisor, lawyer — you can find. Rather, it is more about working with the person that will understand and guide you through your particular financial or commercial situation — both now and in the future. 
To some extent, the professional you choose is a life coach in that they provide the financial support that enables you to reach the next stage of your life.  A simple example is the major assets and decisions that most people encounter along the way: First Job — First Car — First Investment — First House.  Because these financial decisions play such an important part in our life, it makes sense that your relationship with your adviser is paramount.
For a professional to provide you with the best possible advice and support, they have to be intimate with your background, what drives you and most importantly where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years ... This is only found through building a relationship with you.
If you look hard enough, you can generally find the answers you are looking for about buying that property or getting into that business. However, the question is whether it is the right choice for you at this stage in your life, both financial and personally?  This is where the professional who knows you and who you trust is the key.
The best advice I have received in terms of finding the right financial advice is to speak to as many people as possible, from all sides of life. This way you can learn about how other people make their decisions and why they choose a particular financial advisor, accountant or lawyer.
When you speak to your accountant, financial advisor or lawyer make a mental note to see if they are asking questions about you and what you want OR are they just providing you with a technical answer to your question?

1 comment:

  1. I agree. It is important for professionals, where appropriate to have a broad understanding of their client's affairs and clients seek advice that responds, where appropriate to their full situation.

    So, for instance, when considering the relationship between a power of attorney and a person's superannuation fund, an advisers mind should turn to the consequences of the disability or incapacity of the client, not just the potential for them to move overseas. The likelihood for most people is that the power of attorney will be needed to be used in these former cases and yet much commentary is focussed on clients relocating overseas.