Benefits of a Fee Audit for Financial Advisors

Financial Advisors

Learn how a fee audit conversation can help grow your financial advisor practice.

In the spirit of maintaining current clientele and attracting new prospects, financial advisors should be able to outline the tangible and intangible benefits they provide. When you meet a prospect, whether through word of mouth, your website, or at a finance-related function, consider performing a fee audit of his or her portfolio and financial plan. If the prospect is interested in having you conduct this fee audit, complete an overview of his or her last five years of financial planning and determine if goals and milestones were reached. This would include an overview of items such as dollar gains, tax planning and estate gains, and advice gains – all tangible benefits, plus comfort, confidence, and trust – the intangibles.

Using this information from the prospect’s previous years opens up the perfect scenario to detailing the tangible and intangible benefits your services and knowledge can provide. As for current clients, ask yourself if you are able to perform a fee audit on their portfolio and plan over the past five years if they were to ask you first. Why is this crucial for financial advisors? For starters, you should be able to quantify the value of your services, programs and knowledge in dollar terms to your clientele. If you have never conducted a fee audit, it is time to create a process that can give your current clients and prospects a clear picture of what they are paying for and all of the benefits they are receiving in return. Visualization can help with fee audits, so you might want to consider a checklist of benefits that helps someone see what they will and will not receive.

Whenever you are meeting with a client, it is always a good idea to ask him or her if they understand the fees that they are paying and what those fees are for. To confirm, ask your client to explain these fees back to you. This conversation is a great segue into fee audits. Ask your client if they would be interested in a fee audit over the past five years (or a period of time you prefer). Explain the following advantages:

  • To see the measurable benefits of advice from their financial advisor
  • To better understand the immeasurable benefits such as simplifying their financial planning responsibilities, and having confidence that their finances are in order.
  • To understand what costs are involved when working with an independent financial broker.

Once you have created a process for converting prospects through offering a fee audit, and showing them calculable and incalculable value, it will be time to practice the conversation. Practice your script not only on your own, but also with a mentor, coach or trusted friend who can provide valuable feedback. You can even ask clients or prospects if you have their permission to record meetings, which you can revert back to later and note areas needing improvement or script revision.

After you have created and practiced your fee auditing conversation, it is time to get out there and find prospects in order to grow your practice. For additional financial advisor tips on fee audits, marketing techniques and more, visit Summit Brokerage Services has been voted the #1 boutique independent broker dealer in the country. Let us show you why! To experience the Summit difference, learn more about our network of independent financial advisors, and begin creating your financial planning documents, visit or call us at (800) 226-2660.


About Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.

Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.


About Cetera Financial Group

Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera”) is a leading network of independent retail broker-dealers empowering the delivery of objective financial planning advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions.  Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.

Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations.  Independent financial advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and financial planning and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology.  For more information, visit

*”Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of retail independent broker-dealers encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities, and Summit Brokerage Services.


All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy.


Content created by Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.

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