Tax has been a hot-button issue both in Canada and across the world over the past few months. The Panama Papers scandal implicated a number of Canadians and shone a light on the unsavory world of off-shore tax havens.
Having your tax affairs in order has never been more important, and it is a significant part of what financial advisors do. Of course, the more wealth involved, the more complex the tax plan, but luckily there is technology out there to assist.
Dutch company Wolters Kluwer is the leading global provider of tax, accounting, and audit compliance tools. For financial planners, its FP Solutions product has become the go-to tool in matters of retirement and estate planning.
Karim Rashwan is product manager for FP Solutions and explains why it stands out against rivaling brands. “The software has been available for about 20 years in various forms,” he says. “Our main market is financial planners. For advisors there are four different levels of the program. Really we are the only one on the market that offers a fully comprehensive business level.”
He adds: “What that means is that advisors can fully integrate businesses into a client’s personal plan, include a number of companies, as well as integration of dividend payouts and tax calculations that are quite accurate.”
The product has found a solid client base, and with Canada’s aging population meaning these matters are only increasing in importance, FP Solutions is sure to find plenty more interested parties.
“The market that we are going after are advisors that are doing more comprehensive planning, cash-flow modeling, net worth and estate planning, insurance planning,” says Rashwan. “That could be independent planners, wealth managers, brokers, insurance advisors and various banks that have wealth management divisions.”
Although the product is principally targeted at advisors specializing in comprehensive plans, it can also be used for more general financial planning, which should expand its reach even further.
“One of the things we are looking at for the mass market is for more basic retirement planning,” says Rashwan. “The software does provide for that right now, but at its core it’s more for comprehensive planning. Realistically that’s the next biggest market for us as far as planners go.”
Canadian bank denies Panama Papers links