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Accountants must weigh up opportunities

In order to deliver a first-class experience to SMSF clients, accountants need to examine an array of issues regarding their business and its future strategy, and then assess the pros and cons.

“The issues you really need to be considering right now include the commoditisation of accounting work and the removal of the accountants’ exemption and the imposition this will place on your business should you wish to continue to provide the advice that you always have provided,” AMP SMSF head of SMSF sales Greg Schapkaitz told the 2015 Accountants’ Technology Showcase Australia conference in Sydney today.

“Also, how you and your business will remain relevant to this changing landscape?

“The question you need to be asking yourself: is this an opportunity or a threat?”

Schapkaitz said accountants must consider how to bring about scale opportunities as well as repositioning strategies around the expertise they would be bringing to the table, separate to the administrative and compliance function they delivered.

“If you believe that this perfect storm is an opportunity and that you as an accountant, the most trusted adviser to your clients, want to take advantage of this opportunity, then you are in the box seat,” he said.

“All the data that I have suggests 80 per cent of all SMSFs are touched by an accountant in one form or another.

“It’s time to decide what type of SMSF support you will offer.”

Further issues for accountants to consider were what the total SMSF business solution would look like, whether they would go down the path of a compliance specialist or a holistic SMSF specialist and whether it was necessary to get their own licence or become an authorised representative, he said.

“How are you managing the resources needed to provide the advice levels that you decide on versus the admin pressure that will continue to grow?” he said.

“How will this affect your business, your clients and the service you offer?

“And most importantly, how will you balance the administration, compliance and licensing requirements whilst managing the risks and overheads you want to minimise, and the revenue and relationships you want to grow?”

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