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CWSEAPA® is a brand of financial, accounting, and tax services that does, bookkeeping, traditional accounting services, tax preparation, tax planning, tax consulting, tax advisory services, estate planning, entity and tax structuring and restructuring, tax resolution, and IRS representation. There has always been one thing that has been missing from our suite of products, and that is financial planning.

Last summer, I spent going back to school to become a Certified Estate Planner™, and a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist™. It took a lot of time and effort. In September I became certified, and I have been growing our Estate Planning and Tax Resolution businesses with the help of our team of professionals. This summer, I am studying for the Series 65 examination, which will license me as a financial planner. I am also, becoming licensed to sell health and life insurance, so that I can offer that to my clients. I am looking to sit for both exams in July.

Currently, I work with a lot of businesses that want to start retirement plans or are not happy with their current financial planner. I have been in business for 20 years, and I have forged relationships with financial planners in the area and refer my clients to them. The problem is that my clients are used to me. I am readily assessable, I follow up and follow through, and I review their tax scenarios quarterly. I am constantly in touch with them, so much so that sometimes I become actively involved in their businesses, helping them make decisions, and other things. When I refer a client to someone, I am not in control of how the professional treats my client. Will they give my client the level of service that they both deserve and have come to expect? It is unethical for me to receive any remuneration for referring a client. I mean Circular 230, the document that governs me, is so strict that I can’t even accept a gift of $25.00 or less for a referral. So, as a consequence I always refer clients to people that I have tried to vet. I usually will give a client two or three options on a referral. A referral is a direct reflection on me, so I do everything within my power to refer clients to the best people. Do some bad apples get through my vetting process? Of course they do. Instead of referring my clients, I will now be able to offer financial planning to them.

Look for CWSEAPA® Financial Services, LTD to come on board the family of CWSEAPA®, in the next few months. It will be a CWSEAPA® brand, which you have come to know and trust. It will have the same level of quality as any CWSEAPA® brand of products. For now, I am hitting the books, but very soon I will be offering this service.

Craig W. Smalley, E.A., is a senior partner of CWSEAPA®, LLP. CWSEAPA® is a brand of financial, accounting, and tax services with offices in Florida, Delaware, and Nevada. Craig has been Admitted to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service, is a Certified Estate Planner™, and is a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist™. Craig writes a tax column for the online newspaper Examiner.com, and has written twelve books on taxation.

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