Accountants could miss huge SMSF opportunity

accountants overlooking SMSF opportunity

While demand for SMSF advice from accountants is on the rise, recent research has shown this professional group is largely overlooking this trend.

Research performed recently by CoreData has indicted SMSF trustees are increasingly turning to accountants for advice in relation to running their fund, but these practitioners are overlooking the opportunity to service their clients in this capacity.

When asked about which information sources are used when they require SMSF help, 43.6 per cent of trustees said it was their accountant they sought assistance from. When posed with the same question in 2018, only 29.5 per cent of respondents nominated their accountant, with financial newspapers/magazines/websites cited as the first preferred choice.

“So accountants have gone to the top of the list with a bullet,” CoreData managing director Jason Andriessen told attendees at the selfmanagedsuper/CoreData SMSF Awards 2019 in Sydney last Thursday.

“That’s kind of news to a lot of accountants who have no interest in this whatsoever.”

To this end, the CoreData study showed 86 per cent of accountants who do not currently offer financial advice do not plan to offer advice, despite the fact 60 per cent of consumers would take up advice if accountants offered it.

“What’s holding them back? It’s scary right? Advice is scary so why would they want to buy into that? So they’re worried about reputation risk, tighter regulation, conflicts of interest, time constraints and additional education requirements,” Andriessen noted.

“It’s all painting a picture of an advice gap that needs to be solved.”

To further highlight the opportunity, Core Data quantified the potential level of revenue being sacrificed.

“We did some maths here to determine what the opportunity is over the next 10 to 25 years and we’ve sized it at around $3.94 trillion,” Andriessen revealed.

“Again people just want help in relation to how they make decisions.”

The research on attitudes among SMSF trustees and advisers was performed in conjunction with a questionnaire to determine the 2019 SMSF award winners conducted online across June and July with close to 1000 respondents.

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