About one in eight holders of the certified financial planner mark started out as an accountant, and there are a lot more CFP/CPAs waiting in the wings.
Investment News ran a good piece on the drift of many accounting practices into planning.
If anything, its focus on accountant planners as "nerds" downplays the serious competitive friction that many investment-oriented advisors feel toward their CPA counterparts.
After all, the CPA starts out in a more central position where the client's finances are concerned. He or she knows the IRS returns and everything that goes into them. And trust is usually high.
From a business perspective, the CPA's traditional fee-for-service model also provides a revenue base that other types of advisors have to work hard to match.
But buried in the article is a statistic that every advisor should know. Among the roughly 63,000 CFP holders, 7,600 are CPAs, so one out of eight planners is already also an accountant.
And the ranks of hybrid planners are expanding. The number of accountants taking the CFP exam last year shot up 71% and 256 new accountants won their planner mark.
Interestingly, accountants don't pass the test any more frequently than anyone else -- about 60% of the time -- but the sudden spike in accountants interested in the CFP may indicate a trend in the making.