ICAEW highlights ‘personal finance director’ opportunities

ICAEW is launching an initiative next month in a bid to encourage chartered accountants to play a wider role as ‘personal finance director’, by providing lifetime wealth planning to help SME owners/managers and their families better manage their personal financial and investment affairs

From 13 December a new online personal financial planning community is available to ICAEW members and others in the financial planning and investments sector. The community offers access to material on regulation, pensions, investments, tax and estate planning, probate and practice development.

The ICAEW says that as business owner/managers prepare for retirement, considering the longevity of their pensions and investments, and inheritance options they are in great need of a trusted source that knows and understands their situation.

John Gaskell, head of personal finance planning at ICAEW, said: ‘Who better than the individual they have trusted to guide their business through the years? We believe that more chartered accountants should broaden their horizons to factor this personal finance market into their remit, as they are best placed to provide the support that is required for owner/managers to achieve their personal financial goals.’

To provide more support to members, ICAEW has created a lifetime wealth planning guide, which revolves around a case study.  It takes the reader through the experience of Peter Pickle, a retiring SME owner who seeks the advice of a financial planning mentor to take him through his retirement and wealth planning. 

Pickle is first advised by his longstanding business accountant ‘Limited Horizons’ who believes it cannot be of assistance as their traditional field of expertise does not encompass personal finance. ‘Progressive Planning’ proves to be the accountant of choice - a forward-looking firm that brings together a network of trusted advisors.

ICAEW says being the ‘personal finance director’ to a family is a multi-disciplinary goal, and whilst the accountant is best placed to advise on matters such as tax and generic financial modelling they will also have a role in facilitating access to and coordinating an advice team. Specialist advisers with permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to advise on pensions and investments will be needed, with the accountancy firm licensed to deal with probate to help Pickle manage the estate of his late father.   

ICAEW can license accountancy firms under the designated professional body (DPB) regime. This allows firms to undertake certain non-mainstream investment business activities, including regulated referrals to FCA authorised specialists and to ask questions on suggestions made by the wider team of advisors, translating technical information into plain English. 

The ICAEW says this way of working enables accountants to deliver an integrated service that focuses on helping clients organise their personal finances efficiently to help them achieve their lifestyle goals. 

More information about ICAEW’s personal financial planning community is here.

Report by Pat Sweet

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