How Expanding from Tax Planning to Holistic Planning Led to 3000% Growth
Carey & Hannah Tax & Wealth expanded from tax planning to holistic financial planning with eMoney.
When Carey & Hanna began, its team of CPAs provided tax preparation and consulting services to the Ventura, California area. However, when CPA licensing laws changed, it allowed CPAs to also become licensed as financial advisers.
According to Davin Carey, Senior Wealth Advisor at Carey & Hanna, this opened the door for a new opportunity to help the firm round out its services and allow team members to do more for clients while growing company revenue. When he joined the team, the firm leveraged Davin’s passion for finance to not only help transition tax-only clients into holistic financial service relationships, but to also grow the firm substantially.
This approach was the main catalyst for taking $8 million in assets under management to where we are today: just shy of a quarter-billion dollars in AUM.”
Financial Planning Consultant
Pursuing this opportunity required significant changes to business operations. New technology and software would be needed to collect and interpret the financial information necessary for successful planning relationships with clients. The firm embraced this challenge. As Carey explains it, “If you wait six months, a year, five years to jump into the financial planning game, you’ll probably find yourself at the very back of the pack relative to your competitors. And you’ll eventually have to go through the exact same learning curve you’ve been avoiding. So, I’d rather be an early adopter with strategies and technology that obviously have some staying power and can benefit our clients.”
As Carey & Hanna proceeded to grow the planning side of the business, it became clear the firm needed a robust financial planning software solution, both to better serve clients and empower advisors to take relationships deeper.
It needed a program that could accommodate investment real estate and depreciation information, as well as aggregate data for clients with multiple investment accounts and outside banking and lending relationships. A simple but powerful client-facing portal was also important because clients wanted the ability to log in and check their finances at their convenience.
As Carey and his team explored the various planning software packages available at the time, they found many of them shared one critical limitation. “Most of them didn’t deal with mortgages and real estate property for investment very well,” he recalls. And this was an issue. “In Southern California, most people have a mortgage for life and a lot of people have a couple of rental properties,” he continues. Accounting for real estate investments was a significant part of Carey & Hanna’s tax and financial planning needs.
Another challenge was finding a software tool that offered account aggregation capabilities.
“You can’t give someone a complete financial plan if you don’t have their complete financial picture. Having the ability to link in those outside client assets was really important for us. We needed everything—work retirement plans, mortgages, loans, outside bank accounts, and credit cards—to give us the complete picture, so we could give the client complete advice.” – Davin Carey
Carey sees eMoney as an important tool for opening up opportunities to not only deepen relationships with clients but also to offer a unique service to other financial advisors.
“We’re working with a number of other advisors to start doing some shared services.” As Carey sees it, while advisors see the benefits of using a tool like eMoney, not all of them have the time or desire to learn how to use it. “One of the things we’re doing is further building out a financial planning team to help them so they can just work with the output.”
Being able to offer holistic financial planning fosters client confidence, long-term relationships, and loyalty. Carey believes that even if clients can’t put a name to this type of service, it’s what they’re expecting from advisors today.
“I think when clients come to someone for advice about their future retirement investments, they kind of expect you’re building a full picture behind the scenes. And if you’re only going as far as a yellow pad, there could be things that you’re missing. eMoney allows you to present your value in a clearer, more way.” – Davin Carey
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