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Advisers optimistic about 2014: survey

Eighty-three per cent of financial advisers expect increased profits within the next 12 months, according to a survey conducted by Macquarie.

The Macquarie Practice Consulting 2013 Financial Planning Best Practice Benchmarking Survey found practices offering financial planning only or financial planning and accounting only are the most positive.

Thirty-two per cent of the firms offering financial planning exclusively and 39 per cent of the firms offering just financial planning and accounting stated they expect at least a 20 per cent increase in the next financial year.

Data from the survey was collected from 226 financial planning practices in October 2013 and covered a wide range of areas, such as business structure, financial management, general practice and confidence.

Macquarie's head of practice consulting, Fiona Mackenzie, said this year’s survey has shown steady growth in revenue and gross profit in advice practices.

The results indicate there was a 15 per cent increase in average revenue since the last survey as well as a 45 per cent increase in average operating profit.

“Expenses appear to have been well managed, which can contribute to driving profit improvements,” said Ms Mackenzie.

“From the survey, we can see that many appear to be making real efforts to refine their client base and increase the focus on active clients, and this tends to improve the profitability per client,” she said.

Ms Mackenzie added that based on the evidence of profit and revenue growth, this could be a good sign that many are having success with such strategies.