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A natural complement to providing tax consulting and tax preparation services is giving financial planning advice. Every tax practitioner should offer this service to not only increase billings but also to effectively fend off competition from non-CPA practitioners. The financial planners offer tax advice; it is extremely logical that tax practitioners offer financial planning services.

According to Thomas C. Hansch, CFP, CLU, president of Financial Profiles Inc., approximately $10 trillion will be passing to the Baby Boomer generation--from frugal parents who worked and prospered from the World War II years. The heirs will want to grow their inheritances to provide for a long and prosperous retirement for the boomers. Added to this is the natural life cycle of individual tax clients that are accumulating economic resources as they move toward retirement years.

Hansch and his company have been providing computer software and related training to planners at financial institutions for over a generation. It began with the use of main-frame computer power and--like the rest of the world--it has migrated to the personal computer. He advises tax practitioners to use a software product to break the ice and begin offering the service. Many vendors have made demos available at their Internet sites that can be downloaded and experimented with. Some financial institutions with investments to promote have developed software for use by individuals and planners. Hansch's product, Profiles Plus, is tied to a worksheet that the planner completes while interviewing the client.

Hansch also notes that many of the traditional planners--securities brokers and the like--are moving from a commission to a fee-based arrangement as compensation for offering financial planning. The CPA/planner is in a unique position to compete because of a reputation for objectivity and integrity and a strong knowledge of tax and business issues. Financial Profiles, Inc. is located at 5421 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad CA 92008, (619) 431-9497; http://www.profiles.com. *

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