Personal Finance – Why are accountants unable to look after their own money?

Despite the fact that they look after clients’ finances, most accountants do not have access to financial guidance of their own. This is the case even within the large firms which offer other personal in-house services, such as doctors and travel agents.

Before the merger, both Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand used to offer staff personal financial advice. A spokesman for PwC said that it was planning to set up ‘something more substantial’. Arthur Andersen, on the other hand, has no formal system in place to help its employees.

Jeff Bennett, senior consultant at independent financial advisers Lamensdorf & Company, said that the most difficult part of advising an accountant on financial matters is that they are simply not aware of the larger picture, especially when looking at their own situations.

‘In my experience, practicing accountants are no better, or worse, than anybody else at organising their own personal finances,’ Bennett said.

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