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Do You Need a Financial Planning Professional or an Accountant?

financial planning Dallas

Financial planning is important for everyone in Dallas, Texas. After all, whether you’re saving for a new home, starting a business or simply trying to stay within the confines of a monthly budget, you’re already managing your money in order to meet your goals – and that’s the essence of financial planning.

But if you need a little help with your finances, who should you call? Is a Dallas financial planner or advisor the right professional to contact, or would you be better off working with a local accountant?

While the two professions share some commonalities, turning to an experienced financial planning professional is likely in your best interests.

How Do Financial Planners and Accountants Differ?

Financial planners and accountants both have expertise in a wide variety of matters and situations related to finances, but their areas of focus are not identical.

Accountants complete financial reports and documents, ensuring their compliance with any and all relevant laws and regulations. They also help clients track their income and expenses, and accountants are qualified to prepare tax returns and suggest tax-saving strategies.

However, while experienced accountants can offer advice on financial and tax matters, executing their ideas often requires the assistance of a financial planner or advisor – most accountants aren’t licensed to set up tax-sheltered accounts like IRAs. In addition, Dallas financial planning professionals are equipped to provide investment advice, guidance on risk management, retirement income planning strategies and more.

Working With a Financial Planner vs. Hiring an Accountant

As a client, your partnership with a financial planning professional won’t be the same as your relationship with an accountant.

Financial planners tend to have frequent and regular interactions with their clients. They focus their attention on the big picture, creating detailed plans and monitoring their clients’ progress. Whenever necessary, advisors help implement new strategies, and they continually work to keep their clients on track with their personal goals.

In contrast, accountants generally provide more transactional services. People turn to these professionals for help with specific issues and circumstances. Think of an accountant as more of an independent contractor, someone you would hire to perform a certain task – not as someone who can provide you with comprehensive financial planning to smooth the way for success now and in the future.

Should You Hire an Accountant or a Financial Planner?

The decision on whether to reach out to a local accountant or a Dallas financial planning professional comes down to your personal situation and the type of assistance you need.

You may want to contact an accountant if you need help with any of the following:

  • Tracking your income and spending
  • Filing your federal and state tax returns
  • Business bookkeeping and employee payroll

An experienced financial planner can provide you with a broader range of services, including assistance with:

  • Making appropriate budgeting decisions
  • Saving for a home or college expenses
  • Dealing with the impact of unexpected life changes
  • Combining your finances with a partner
  • Managing an inheritance, bonus or monetary prize
  • Formulating and implementing investment strategies
  • Mitigating tax consequences and financial risks
  • Setting up a realistic plan for retirement
  • Real estate transactions and business entity formation

Financial planning and estate planning often go hand in hand, so you may be best off looking for a firm that provides both services. That way, you’ll have access to professional help with the following:

  • Creating a plan for long-term wealth management
  • Making sure your assets are covered by insurance
  • Accounting for the future needs of your family
  • Crafting directives to protect you in the event of incapacitation
  • Drafting a will and preparing other estate plan documents
  • Administering the estate of a loved one who has passed away

Also, it’s not at all unusual for accountants and financial planning professionals in Dallas, Texas, to work together. You may need the services of both, so don’t think that you have to choose one or the other.

Finding a Professional to Help With Financial Planning

In Dallas and the greater northeast Texas area, there are numerous financial planners ready to provide you with professional services. The question is, how do you find the right advisor to hire?

As we mentioned above, estate planning and financial planning often overlap, so you’d be wise to look for a firm that provides both services. Besides that, it can be beneficial to work with professionals who have a legal background, as knowledge of the law allows for better holistic advice. Very few firms fit this description, but one that does is Schultz and Kellar.

With Schultz and Kellar, PLLC, you can feel confident about managing your finances, protecting your assets and preserving your legacy for future generations. We’re here to meet your needs, and we invite you to learn more about the services we provide to residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced financial planning lawyer, contact our office today.

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