Financial adviser vs coach: Who to talk to about your money

Got a money query? Here’s who to ask about your personal finances.

As we enter a new tax year, are you looking to spring clean your finances? Maybe you need a new cash ISA, want to build better money habits or need some help with your tax codes.

From financial advisers to accountants and social media “fin-fluencers”, there are plenty of people ready to tell you about money. So we’ve broken down who can help with what.

Financial adviser

A financial adviser can give you specific recommendations for what to do with your money. They will do a deep dive into your personal finances, and consider your goals and personal circumstances to suggest the most appropriate financial products or investments for you.

Financial advisers are regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and must hold a higher-level qualification recognised by the FCA, like a Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA). This sort of advice doesn’t come cheap.

Seek a financial adviser if… you want advice on pensions or how to invest your savings.

Accountant or tax adviser

In the UK, you can file your corporation tax and self-assessment tax return yourself. But if you don’t fancy crunching the numbers, or your tax is complex, you could get an accountant to help. An accountant typically deals with the nuts and bolts of preparing your tax return, whereas tax advisers tend to support with more specialised tax issues or strategy.

An accountant doesn’t necessarily need a formal qualification, and can have learned their trade through an apprenticeship or years in a business. But they are bound to the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) code of conduct. Chartered accountants, chartered certified accountants and chartered tax advisers are examples of accountants who are trained to the highest standards and are governed by their respective accounting bodies.

Seek an accountant or tax adviser if… you want help filing your taxes, or advice on a complex tax issue.

Financial coach

A financial coach can’t give you specific advice about what to do with your money. Their role is more to educate and empower you to make good financial decisions for yourself. With a coach you might work on building better savings habits or a more positive mindset towards money. You might work with a coach to create an action plan to achieve your financial goals, but your coach can’t tell you specifically what to do with your money.

Coaches aren’t regulated. And while many coaches have some level of training, it’s not compulsory.

Seek a financial coach if… you want help to beat your habit of overspending every month.

Social media influencers and blogs

“Fin-fluencers” (financial influencers) on social media can feel like murky territory, especially where some individuals are also qualified financial advisers.

To keep your cash safe, consider whether their content offers a balanced perspective and is transparent about any paid partnerships. Are the companies or brands they work with regulated by the FCA? Are they brands you trust? Remember, even if an influencer is a qualified financial adviser, they need to do a deep dive into your personal finances to be able to offer specific advice. If they suggest a product or investment that catches your eye, you need to do your own research to ensure it’s right for you.

Seek a “fin-fluencer” if… you like their content but you’re also prepared to follow up with your own research.

About the author

Louise Bastock is an editor at Finder, specialising in a broad range of personal finance topics, from financial wellness to first-time buyers. As video manager, she’s also responsible for presenting and producing the UK’s video content across multiple channels, including YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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