Accounting, Management

Online portals flagged as key SMSF gap

SMSF trustees who use accountants as their main source of advice have expressed a demand for online access that allows them to monitor their fund, which in turn will lift their satisfaction levels, new industry research has revealed.

At the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand National SMSF Conference 2018, Investment Trends head of wealth management research Recep Peker said there were a number of gaps accountants were not necessarily delivering on when it came to matters that were important to their clients.

“The comments in the survey were interesting because accountants were saying their older clients were resistant to using online portals when the accounting practice first implemented them, but now the clients are the greatest advocates of their business because they’re really happy they can see everything,” Peker told the conference in Melbourne today.

“Online access – being able to see what you have either on your phone or tablet – has become very critical to the end consumer.

“Our broader research into people’s advice needs has shown 85 per cent that begin using an adviser expect to receive online access to monitor and track their situation and to see whether their goals are going well.

“So, again, this has become a critical gap, but as an industry it’s not one that’s there yet in terms of accountants delivering, so it’s an area that potentially can lead to opportunities.”

He said the survey identified value for money as another big issue when it came to the largest gap in services.

Associated with this was a gap in relation to clarity on fees and charges, as well as the level of fees and charges.

Peker said accountants can take satisfaction to the next level by improving perceptions of value for money using both online portals but also expanding investments.

“Trustees also said they wanted to see investment selections and access to products,” he said.

“So there’s a strong indication that they do want more from their accountant.”

The research was based on surveys capturing the responses of 2315 SMSF investors and 871 accountants.

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