In-house advisers sought by accountants on SMSFs

Many accountants are evolving their relationship with financial advisers as the number of self-managed superannuation funds continues to steadily grow, according to a report.

Investment Trends’ 2019 SMSF Accountant Report showed that more accounting practices are employing in-house advisers (48 per cent, up from 41 per cent in 2014) instead of referring their clients externally (25 per cent, down from 36 per cent).

“Rather than referring their SMSF clients elsewhere or providing financial advice services themselves, many accountants believe an in-house financial planner can most effectively service their SMSF clients,” said Investment Trends senior analyst King Loong Choi.

“Accountants with in-house expertise have had greater success in servicing SMSFs than those who refer clients externally. Currently, those with in-house planning expertise typically service more SMSF clients (71 per cent versus 45 per cent) and derive a larger proportion of their income from SMSFs (22 per cent versus 19 per cent).”

Among SMSFs looking for a new adviser relationship, the report found that what trustees value most is an advisers’ expertise in SMSFs (46 per cent), ahead of integrity (42 per cent), low fees (38 per cent) and value for money (35 per cent).

“For accountants, an SMSF specialist accreditation from a professional association can help assure clients of their ability, while at the same time equipping them with a tangible qualification and the requisite skillset and knowledge,” Mr Choi said.

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Nationwide, the number of SMSFs continues to grow steadily, approaching 600,000 in 1Q 2019, according to Investment Trends.

However, the annual establishment rate is at a decade low, with 22,000 funds established in 2018 (down from a high of 43,000 in 2012).

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is a features editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.

You can contact him on [email protected].

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