Accounting, financial advice

Accountants still primary advice source

accountants SMSF advice

Accountants continues to be the first consultant SMSF trustees approach over any type of unmet advice needs with regard to running their fund.

Investment Trends research into the SMSF sector has shown accountants, and in particular one type of practitioner, remains the primary source of advice for trustees across a range of issues where they believe assistance is required.

“Whatever [advice] needs people have, it may [concern] retirement, strategic investment advice, pension strategies, tax planning, there are a whole range of issues, when we ask [trustees] who have these advice needs where did you go first to seek help, guess who comes first? It’s actually the tax accountant,” Investment Trends head of research Irene Guiamatsia told attendees at the Institute of Public Accountants National Congress 2022 on the Gold Coast yesterday.

“I think this is a measure of the trust [within] that relationship that the tax accountant is their first port of call [for any advice needs].”

In the study, accountants were also nominated as trustees’ second most important source of advice when assessing their investment strategies.

Further, the analysis found financial planners only ranked third among respondents as to who they would turn to for their unmet advice needs.

Guiamatsia said these findings should not be dismissed because trustees indicated they go to tax accountants for investment advice, which on the surface may not appear logical because they cannot necessarily deliver this kind of advice, but should be recognised as an insight into what SMSF members are really seeking with regard to an advice relationship with a practitioner.

“What [this shows] is that they are looking for a trusted relationship with someone who understands what they want and someone who is meeting their needs,” she noted.

“[It means] a holistic advice proposition may not be what they need [and instead they want] someone who will listen and actually leave them in control of their affairs.

“So that’s really where we believe the opportunity is.”

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