Financial Planner and Accountant – How are they different?

When you are seeking for financial advice, you might be trying hard to decide between an accountant and a financial planner. If you are wondering what the difference between these two is, we are here to help shed some light.

Having a financial team comprising an accountant and a financial planner will be beneficial to your company as both will be able to explain the issues with regards to your finances. These experts will have a strong base of knowledge in their respective fields and bring you two perspectives on one matter.

So, let’s see, how is an accountant different from a financial planner?




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Accountants usually handle your taxes from budgeting to tax preparation. They can help you with numerical issues that most people find tedious.

If you own a business, you would want to hire an accountant who’s a CPA or a tax specialist to handle your taxes. They can help you to understand the laws surrounding your bookkeeping and taxes as well. As a small business owner, you should understand how your books are set up and the information you need to key in daily. What’s more, an accountant also can help you to predict your cash flow that will help in your planning.

They can also help you with financial statements, breaking down your expenses, offering you business recommendations, advices, strategies and audit representation.

Accountants are generally quite task-oriented as they’re charged an hourly fee for their service so you need to be specific about how you want your accountant to help you.


Financial Planner


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While accounting is all about the taxes, financial planning is all about investments.

If you are looking for advice on investing or getting out of debt, you should look for a financial planner.

For investment, your financial planner can help you to determine the best investments to achieve your financial goals. He or she will also advice you on ways to get out of debt before you are serious about investing your money.

If you have issues with debt, you can also consult a financial planner who can help you create a budget plan that gets you out of debt.

Also, financial planners can help you to create a long-term financial plans for matters like retirement and tuition fees for your kids in the future.

Your financial planner also may focuses on asset allocation, estate planning, insurance planning, wealth accumulation and protection.

Financial planners usually focuses on the bigger picture which makes them goal-oriented and holistic. They often provide a more comprehensive outlook of how your business can fit into your life, overall.

*Text by Chris Tan