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Provision of one-stop advice shop a great challenge

The ability of SMSF advisers and accountants to provide a one-stop shop for the advice needs of trustees will possibly be the biggest challenge for the sector in the coming year, according to a research house executive.

“About 50 per cent of the [trustee] market is looking for a one-stop shop, so they want to go to one place to get that trusted advice,” CoreData chief operating officer Julian Fewtrell told attendees at the SMSF Association Sydney chapter Christmas lunch briefing.

“So the challenge for them will be finding someone who is going to be prepared or can provide the full service advice for them.”

Fewtrell identified accountants as the professionals who would have the most challenging times in this environment, particularly with the abolition of the accountants’ exemption and introduction of the new licensing regime.

CoreData research showed 31 per cent of people who wanted to establish an SMSF would turn to their accountant first, compared to 17 per cent of individuals who would initially consult a financial planner when faced with this situation.

“What we’re seeing in a lot of the focus groups is the accountants who have been providing a lot of this advice, rightly or wrongly, see themselves as the trusted adviser,” Fewtrell said.

“And they struggle with the prospect of referring business to financial planners that they perhaps don’t have sufficient trust in to recommend their highly valued clients.

“So I think the next 12 months is going to be very interesting for self-managed super fund advisers, and for trustees, as they seek the advice that they are looking for and they seek professional groups who are going to be able to provide the full gamut of advice they’re looking for.”

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