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Individuals who wish to transition from accountant to financial advisor must take out time to understand what is involved and be ready to meet all requirements. Although accountants and financial advisors may belong to the same industry, their roles and activities in the financial market differ. 

Moving from an accountant to a financial advisor is a steep learning curve with lots of pitfalls if the right balance and stamina are not built. While the two are exclusive, it is pertinent to note that they are related. Before getting involved in how an accountant can become a financial advisor, it is important that we understand how the duo relates or differ from each other.

Differences between accountants and financial advisors 

Financial advisors are seen as surgeons in the financial market. They come in as the last solution when businesses are worried about cash flow and are looking for a way to get their finances back on track or are considering expanding their businesses and want an actionable plan that will give them a seamless transition. Their main job is to assist clients in identifying where and when to invest their money. 

While an accountant is described as someone who is responsible for the provision of bookkeeping, tax preparations, and auditing services, a financial advisor is a person (or a tool or service) that offers assistance with an individual’s finance. As the name implies, a financial advisor offering services ranging from serving as investment managers to financial planners and consultants.

Financial advisers are often employed to guide people on the best ways they can manage their finances. They help with action-driven, fact-based points that provide clients with a broader understanding of their investments and businesses.

Why you should consider switching from accountant to financial advisor 

Professionals who major in financial advisory services are in high demand thanks to their roles in the financial market. One important factor that influences this increased demand in the current employment landscape is the need for people to plan long-term. Information from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the job outlook for professionals who organize, maintain, and examine financial records will grow by 6% from 2018 to 2028. There are also reports predicting the need for financial planning and advisory services to increase by 27% in 2022. 

There is no gainsaying the fact that individuals, businesses, and governments seek the objective advice of financial advisors to identify possible investment opportunities, plan their finances and become well-positioned to provide the right professional, a long-standing regulatory framework that is in compliance with the Code of Professional Conduct. To achieve this, they need the input of financial advisors who are better equipped to meet their needs. 

How to transition from accountant to financial advisors

Becoming successful financial advisors requires a good knowledge of the market and how to identify pain points in a client’s financial history and discover ways to solving them. Here are a few tips that will help you enjoy a seamless transition from accountant to financial advisors. 

a. Get the right education and certification. 

What makes you a financial advisor is the ability to look into the finances and deduce important points that will assist clients to invest wisely. This skill needs to be backed by the right education and certification. Most successful financial advisors have to major in some form of business or finance programs. Focusing on certifications gives you a chance to delve into the financial planning and advisory services world and learn the required skills in a concise and efficient manner. 

Although the requirements may differ slightly, it is important to get a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, business, or mathematics to excel as a financial advisor. Getting these degrees could be a good first step to a financial career. 

The licenses needed to work as a financial advisor depend on the aspect of financial advisory services you intend to work in. Note that financial advisors can focus on stocks, financial planning, real estate, insurance, taxes, education, and retirement. 

For instance, Individuals who intend to focus on stock financial advisory services may be required to get licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The license allows financial advisors to sell specific types of securities, mutual funds, insurance premiums, and variable annuities and stock. Other Certifications may include those administered by the North American Securities Administration Association (NASAA). 

Financial advisors can also focus on having insurance licenses, securities licenses, or strive to become a Certified financial planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). These certifications and licenses will increase your chances of meeting new clients and practicing what you love. 

b. Acquire the right skills through training or internship

It is important that you pursue a financial advisory career by interning at an accounting firm that provides such a service. This will grant you access to mentors and experts in the field. It will also expose you to the day-to-day basics of becoming a financial advisor and give you real-world experiences of what it means to be a financial advisor. Internships, apart from building your skillset, allows you to focus on building healthy relationships that will follow you throughout your career. 

c. Build your skillset 

Becoming a successful financial advisor goes beyond what you carry as certifications; you must be able to develop the right skill sets and technologies that allow you to identify challenges and how to solve them with ease. As a financial advisor, you may need to learn how to be comfortable with ambiguity, learn to turn your gaze forward, and develop a strong tie with business partners. 

d. Keep learning 

When it comes to transitions from accountant to financial advisor, acquiring the right education is important. Make sure you don’t stop learning as the market terms are likely to change anytime, and your clients will totally depend on your expertise to survive. You can visit custom financial advisor websites to see what they are doing and how to leverage that information to build your career. 

Remember, the strengths of a financial advisor are to see beyond the numbers and provide clients with the most suitable solutions concerning their finances. 

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