Find the original article posted by Accounting Today Here.

Anthony Lombardi of the Lombardi Group aims to be an essential resource for the CPA firms he works with in Southern California.

His Carlsbad, Calif.-based financial advisory firm has developed a system it calls Perfect Client to help CPAs in areas such as tax planning and estate planning in-house, without needing to refer the business outside of their practice. The goal is to have the client tell the CPA’s story to friends and colleagues, rather than the story of a financial advisor who wants to sell the client a service. He created his company 15 years ago to provide an alternative to the traditional model in which CPAs refer work to outside financial advisors.

“There’s a problem with the referral model,” he said. “They get you to make it look like the CPA is in need of someone to do what the CPA can’t do in-house, and then his very best clients end up working with an outside source. At the end of the day, the CPA puts himself at risk by putting his client in someone else’s hands. They can be having a bad day. The secretary can miss an appointment. All you can hope for is cash flow, and that you’ve still got your client and everybody’s happy. When your client is out there surrounded by other business owners, the story he’s telling is the story of the person you referred him out to. He’ll say these people did a good job, that they saved him some taxes.”

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