Management, Practice Management

SMSF practice benchmark tool released

FASEA; education; tool

FASEA has released its Education Pathways Tool to provide new and existing advisers feedback on their education requirements.

SMSF advisers will be able to use a new assessment tool developed by Smarter SMSF to benchmark the areas in which they may need to improve if they plan on growing or specialising in this area of advice.

Smarter SMSF chief executive Aaron Dunn said using eight metrics, including the number of SMSFs covered by advice, the range of SMSF services provided, how those services are charged and SMSF-related revenue, the tool can assess the current stage and areas of potential development for an SMSF business.

The tool was launched at the Accounting Business Expo in Sydney yesterday and Dunn said the tool was the result of survey work conducted by Smarter SMSF in late 2018 and had been validated using data from Class, BGL and the ATO.

Using the collective data, he said more than 50 per cent of SMSF advisers were generalists and many would fall under the category of ‘endangered practitioner’ as they struggled to keep up to date and had yet to fully embrace and implement technologies that could reduce the work involved in providing SMSF advice.

“What we are seeing with the ‘endangered practitioner’ is they are doing the same things as 10 years ago and if they don’t change they are likely to be forced out by legislation or regulation changes,” he said.

Advisers who had higher scores across each metric were likely to be considered as either a ‘steady professional’, ‘specialist provider’, ‘emerging player’ or ‘industry leader’ and these were the stages SMSF advisers should be working towards, he added.

He pointed to the recent reports from the Productivity Commission and ASIC regarding SMSF advice as reasons for practitioners to improve their services.

“As practitioners, we need to demonstrate our competency in this space. We have identified what are the biggest challenges preventing practitioners moving to the next stage in their SMSF business as well as the opportunities,” he said.

“Those who dabble in SMSFs can do so no longer because we are seeing a shift in the dynamics of the sector at a trustee level, but also at a practitioner level, and we need to continue to respond and evolve.”

The assessment tool is available for free at the Smarter SMSF website and practitioners can also download a free e-book detailing how they can progress through the five stages identified by Dunn.

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