Advice practitioners should consider becoming specialists in the area of SMSFs given the sector continues to grow at a steady pace and offers more referral work for high-quality advisers, according to the SMSF Association.
Association chief executive Peter Burgess said the SMSF sector was approaching $1 trillion in assets and had more than 1.13 million members, leading to fund members not being able to get the advice they need.
“The feedback we are getting from our SMSF specialist advisers is that they cannot keep up with the demand for specialist SMSF advice – they simply don’t have capacity to service them all,” Burgess said.
“Providing life-cycle SMSF advice requires an extended network of professionals working together for the benefit of the client – this can include accountants, auditors, lawyers, financial advisers, stockbrokers, actuaries and SMSF administrators.
“These professionals become advocates for each other and a potential referral source for new business.”
He added that while there were commercial benefits in gaining the qualifications and competencies to provide specialist SMSF advice, accredited practitioners also played a key role in maintaining the integrity and quality of advice in the sector.
“We know an SMSF is not suitable for everyone, so it’s critically important existing SMSF members and prospective SMSF members have access to specialist SMSF advice,” he said.
In an effort to equip more advisers to provide SMSF advice, the industry body has released education modules for the 2024 financial year that make up its SMSF specialist adviser (SSA) and SMSF specialist auditor (SSAud) accreditation programs.
Burgess said the programs provide independent recognition of SMSF expertise and knowledge and the association recently added new online sessions, hosted by its technical team, to help practitioners complete the SSA accreditation course.
He added the sessions provide further information around technical issues and the accreditation programs were also suitable for advice professionals in support roles aiming to become SMSF specialists or auditors.