P R O F E S S I O N A L . . . C O N T R O L L E R S




(Advice to Colleagues)


To help us evaluate the offerings of financial planners please be prepared to discuss issues related to the following questions, and more.  If this looks like it might be a tough interview, that’s our intent.  There are hundreds of financial planners, both large and small, from which to choose.  What fits for one company does not necessarily work for another.  Cost should be a consideration, but only as it relates to overall affordability and to otherwise similar offerings. 

CONTEXT ----- COMPLUS Professional Controllers serve clients (owners of "for-profit" businesses in the Chicagoland area - McHenry to Merrillville) which are too big for him/her to run with only a checkbook in the back pocket and too small to hire one of us full-time (generally 20-100 workers or $2-10 million sales).



  • What services/products do you offer to business and business owner customers?

·         Evaluation of investment portfolio

·         Evaluation of Lifestyle Expenses

·         Plan for Retirement Lifestyle

·         Plan for Education of Children

·         Plan for Repayment of Debt

·         Plan for Business Succession

·         Plan for Estate Distribution

·         Plan for Gifts to Charity

·         Plan for Disability Care/Lifestyle

·         Plan for Old Age Care/Lifestyle

·         Plan for Care of Aging Parents




  • How would you describe your business?  Is it more like:
    • Attorney
    • Accountant/CPA
    • Insurance Agent
    • Mutual Fund Sales
    • Stock Broker
    • Licensed/Certified Advisor
    • Other


  • How would you describe your “target market?”

  • How would you describe your competitive advantages?

  • If I hired you as my Financial Planner, what other services (if any) do I need to engage?
    • Attorney
    • Tax Accountant
    • Insurance Agent
    • Mutual Fund Sales
    • Stock Broker
    • Other


  • What do you want to know about a prospective client before accepting him?

  • How do you charge for your services?

  • If you are not a CFP, why not?

  • What is your CPE strategy?

  • What do you think of the disclaimer:
      “Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.”  (???)

  • What computer software do you use?

  • How do you safeguard the personal information you must gather? 



Cocktail Party Questions: 

  • Why will a typical stock broker not mention “no-load” mutual funds?

  • What do you think of Bob Brinker’s investment strategy?

  • What do you think about the value of a “Model Portfolio?”

  • If a business owner friend asks, “I just got a proposal from Administaff -- what do you think?”  How do you respond?


If you're a business owner looking for a Financial Planner, you might find some of these questions helpful. COMPLUS is not a CPA firm, although many Associates are CPA’s..  COMPLUS offers Professional Controller (management team) services.  COMPLUS does not compete with firms offering products and services traditionally associated with “financial planning.”


You always pay for GOOD accounting, one way or another!