HomePrivate WealthArticlesHow Accountants With High-Net-Worth Practices Build And Manage Exceptional Teams

How Accountants With High-Net-Worth Practices Build And Manage Exceptional Teams

In serving the wealthy, one professional cannot possibly have the knowledge, skills and where-with-all to deliver the diverse array of solutions the wealthy need and want. Therefore, an exceptional team of experts is required.

For accountants working with wealthy clients, it is essential that they surround themselves with high-caliber professionals. This means the accountants must not only identify the appropriate specialists but also manage the relationships between their experts and their wealthy clients.

According to Andree Mohr, chief implementation officer for Integrated Partners, a leading financial advisory firm where she oversees the growth initiatives, including the CPA Alliance program, “Most accountants with successful high-net-worth practices evolve their teams based on their wealthy clients’ expanding demands and preferences. This tends to leave holes that are filled on a just-in-time basis.”

There is, however, a four-step methodology accountants can employ for building and managing a team of specialists starting from the beginning.

Step #1: Understand their core competencies: According to Paul Saganey, founder and president of Integrated Partners and co-author of Optimizing the Financial Lives of Clients: Harness the Power of an Accounting Firm’s Elite Wealth Management Practice, “The very best accountants with high-net-worth practices concentrate on what they do quite well—their core competencies—and are comfortable and capable of delegating other functions and responsibilities to top-quality professionals and staff they oversee.”

Step #2: Determine the specialists needed: The specialists accountants bring to the table are there to supplement and support the expertise they provide the affluent. “By understanding the worldview and requirements of their wealthy clients, they can determine what experts are needed. Central to deciding on particular specialists to align with is that everyone can work well together. This requires specifying, in advance, the working arrangements,” says Mohr.

Step #3: Establish the ground rules: It is necessary to extensively delineate how everyone will work with the accountant’s wealthy clients. By being very clear from the beginning concerning the working arrangements among all the experts, the accountant will likely avoid all sorts of problems.

Step #4: Constantly refine the processes: This process is not linear, the reality is that the accountant will regularly have to make modifications. An ongoing iterative approach is required.

In working with the wealthy, accountants will likely have to put together and manage a team of high-caliber specialists because of their often-complex situations. By setting the ground rules and getting everyone’s buy-in, they will regularly be able to ensure that their wealthy clients are being best served and that their team is running efficaciously with them in charge.

Russ Alan Prince is the executive director of Private Wealth magazine and chief content officer for High-Net-Worth Genius. He consults with family offices, the wealthy, fast-tracking entrepreneurs and select professionals.


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