The best results for clients are achieved when professional advisers can work together to share insights from their respective disciplines.
In the case of a company which is getting input from accountants and lawyers, it is usually best practice for the accountants and lawyers to be speaking directly to one another to ensure that the client is getting the very best advice across the spectrum of relevant legal, taxation and financial issues which might arise. This is particularly the case where, for example, it is necessary to obtain a valuation of business, such as where there may be an incoming or outgoing shareholder issue. An important consideration to a major legal transaction, such as business succession planning or in a merger or acquisition, will be consulting with the accountant to consider any relevant tax and GST issues.
The same observation can be made of financial planners. Most of our successful individual clients have a strong relationship with a financial planner, or sometimes an accounting firm also provides them with financial planning services. It is very common for us to meet with the financial planner or accountant of the client to discuss financial issues which may be relevant to the legal processes where we are assisting a client.
A very common situation relates to the estate planning work which our firm does for clients. Good accountants and financial planners will be proactive about identifying future financial needs and protecting against future financial risks. For this reason, we often meet clients with their accountant or financial planner to look at their estate planning needs, including drafting clauses in Wills which are as tax effective as possible, and which take into account the best structures to protect assets and ensure that future wishes are achieved. It also includes having in place powers of attorney, which in some instances may grant powers to the accountant or financial planner, such as when the client is overseas or suffers an adverse health event.
Over the many years which our firm has been assisting clients with their estate planning needs, we have developed strong relationships with a number of accounting and financial planning firms. We are always happy to provide recommendations to our clients and explore opportunities to work together with other professionals.