Accounting, financial advice

Underlying pain needs recognition

SMSF pain point

The true nature of a client’s pain point in the running of their SMSF needs to be recognised by accountants to improve the value of their service.

Accountants need to identify the exact nature of any client’s pain point with regard to the running of their SMSF to provide the most value to the trustee relationship, a senior executive of a research house has said.

The suggestion from Investment Trends head of research Irene Guiamatsia stems from a study into SMSF trustees that found 51 per cent of respondents indicated administration and compliance matters associated with running their fund were the source of their biggest concerns.

However, Guiamatsia pointed out it was the underlying issues behind this finding on which practitioners need to focus.

“So one in two SMSF are citing admin and compliance as their main pain point … within that the first point is not the paperwork [and] I thought that was quite interesting. It’s really [about] understanding the various regulatory changes [that have taken place],” she told attendees at last week’s Institute of Public Accountants National Congress 2022 held on the Gold Coast.

“So your ability to actually help your clients understand what changes are occurring and perhaps take that to the next level and help them understand what that means for them [is important].

“This can be incredible value that you can actually add to that relationship between you and your client. I think that’s a really important point to take away from this.”

However, the same survey revealed delivering this type of service for SMSF clients may not be considered conventional in the immediate future.

“Increasingly we’re finding client education is a significant component of where accountants have trouble,” Guiamatsia noted.

“But there is certainly a bit of work there that accountants can assist with.”

More specifically, the Investment Trends analysis found 46 per cent of accountants admitted educating clients was a key challenge they were facing. This ranked second behind the legislative restrictions they faced in their ability to provide financial advice to their clients (54 per cent).

During the same presentation it was revealed the tax accountant is the most favoured professional from which SMSF trustees seek advice across a range of issues.

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