Engineered Advisory (EA) has brought together CPA firms and specialists in a range of advisory services with the aim of helping firms improve the lives of their clients.
While that goal may sound lofty, EA leaders believe joining the two groups can give CPA firms referral sources for valuable services ranging from wealth management and land preservation to grants and numerous tax incentives and credits.
EA helped connect vendors and accountants last week in Plano, Texas, at the second HABU (Highest and Best Use) conference, which attracted more than 100 CPA firm representatives and highly vetted partner companies from EA’s Engineered Advisory Accelerator program.
Jeff Pawlow, president of Engineered Tax Services, opened HABU with a picture of the accounting profession today, when firms are joining with private equity investors or merging into larger CPA peers to fund much-needed technology improvements and growth. “You’re either going to get big and ride the tech and compliance train or you’re going to stay small, but if you’re going to do that you’re going to have to heighten your deliverable. We’ve got to evolve or die.”
Firms of all sizes are looking to retain their clients and staff by devoting more time to deepening relationships while providing more interesting work for staff. That means emphasizing issues that extend beyond the must-do compliance tasks to help with any number of life and business decisions.
Louie Rosalez, president of Avantax Planning Partners, which helps firms develop successful wealth management practices, noted, “If I come to your firm, and you help me with taxes, audits, consulting and my most important life decisions and planning, it is huge for the relationship. It’s huge for retention. It’s also huge for realization rate. In our firms, wealth management is the most profitable part of their practice by far.”
The conference, held at the Renaissance Dallas Plano Legacy West, featured a combination of 20-minute presentations (just enough to give CPAs a taste of how their firms can offer more help for their clients) and extended networking breaks for additional questions and connections.
“With a program where each vendor’s presentation is not much longer than an elevator pitch, the HABU conference gives us the high-level summary of how cutting-edge strategies might benefit our clients,” said partner Daryl Petrick, of Bowman CPAs in Stockton, Calif.
Colleen Hornbacker of DePretis CPAs of Pleasanton, Calif., plans to bring back information to her firm on Work Opportunity Tax Credits, 1031 exchanges to defer capital gains taxes, optimized Charitable Lead Annuity Trusts and R&D tax credits. “It just opens the world up, and I can refer them. I don’t have to be an expert; I can be the liaison and give our clients value.”
To learn more about Engineered Advisory and the Engineered Advisory Accelerator program, schedule a call.