Financial Planner vs. Accountant: Which One Do You Need?
Posted by Ocean Wealth
We can probably all agree that financial planning is pretty darn important. Whether you’re spending within the confines of a monthly budget or saving for a new home — there’s a good chance you’re already doing it without even knowing. Alas, there may come a time when you need a helping hand to navigate challenging financial hurdles like investments and taxes.
This is when you need someone to help handle financial planning for you. In most cases, people seek out either an accountant or financial planner for this exact reason. These are individuals who live and breathe numbers. They have a deep understanding of what it takes to breed long-term financial success.
But there are some critical differences between the two professions concerning how they approach financial planning. The same people who need a financial planner aren’t necessarily the same ones who need an accountant — and vice versa. To make things easy, we’re breaking down how these two professions are different. Equipped with this information, you can make a more informed decision about what type of financial planning you need.
Accountants provide a particular form of financial planning. They record, summarize, analyze, and create reports of financial transactions. There are also internal and public accountants. Internal accountants handle things such as auditing, inventory accounting, and financial forecasting for private companies. Public accountants, on the other hand, work for third-party firms and audit financial statements.
A lot of people think they need an accountant. They actually don’t, in most cases. Don’t worry, it’s not because accountants are bad people; they’re simply best utilized for specific circumstances. That can come in the form of owning your own business, having a high salary, or owning rental properties.
Bookkeeping and taxes are the real bread and butter of an experienced accountant. They’ll help you navigate challenging bookkeeping and tax situations so that you’re legally accurate. This is especially helpful if you run your own business or have several investments that require a more detailed eye.
Generally speaking, financial planners have a more comprehensive approach to financial planning. They’re more focused on the elements that make up wealth management. That can include things such as budgeting, investing, and retirement planning. If you’re in debt, they’re also good at advising how to manage it and ultimately pay it off as well.
In that sense, financial planners mostly function in two ways. They can be helpful debt solvers, or they can help you build long-term wealth. Depending on your needs, they can even do both. This is why it’s imperative to select a financial planner who specializes in financial situations similar to yours. If you’re already good with money, you may want to look at investments. If you’re still learning, you may need help through simple savings strategies.
It’s also not uncommon for accountants to work together with financial planners. If you feel like you need the extra support, it’s not a bad idea to have both. If you’re faced with a particularly challenging financial situation, get in touch with us. We have the knowledge and experience to help you get on your way.