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Time for specialisations within SMSFs

Advisers servicing SMSF clients currently need to consider specialising in a specific area of the sector rather than the sector as a whole, an industry expert has said.

NowInfinity principal Grant Abbott suggested practitioners should go about providing SMSF advice like chartered accounting firms provided their services.

“If you work in a big accounting firm, particularly if you work in tax, you focus on a specialisation,” Abbott told the SMSF Strategies Day 2016 in Brisbane on Friday.

“Even if you work in the audit division you specialise in healthcare or specialise in another industry because it just makes sense.

“So there are now areas within a self-managed super fund in which we need to specialise.”

He used aged care as an example of an issue an SMSF specialist adviser could further specialise in.

“There are quite a few aged-care specialists around Australia, but they don’t specialise on the impact of SMSFs in aged care,” he noted.

“That to me is a worry because the clients who have got the most money to get the best quality accommodation of aged care are the people who have got a self-managed super fund.

“So it means there is a niche there. Whether or not you want to service that niche is up to you.”

Acquiring businesses within an SMSF was another area of specialisation advisers should consider, he said.

“Our support centre is getting a lot of queries about buying things like real estate businesses and dental practices through their SMSFs,” he noted.

“It’s a new proposition but some practitioners are already advising on it.”

Accountants in particular should examine that course of action to enhance the value proposition for their clients looking to grow via acquisitions, he added.

“If an existing client wants to expand and buy a new business, the first thing you should always consider is can they do it with their SMSF,” he suggested.

“It doesn’t have to be wholly, but in part, even if it’s a joint venture or it’s through a unit trust, it must be determined if they can execute the acquisition through their SMSF.”

He said specialising in that area could be beneficial when a client was looking to sell a business too as the accountant could then look to connect them with people with their own SMSFs as potential buyers.

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