Accountants outline ‘challenges’ in servicing SMSFs

An increasing proportion of accountants are citing issues related to value proposition as a key challenge in servicing SMSFs, new research has found.

According to the OneVue and Investment Trends 2014 SMSF Accountant Report, which surveyed 1,289 accountants, 37 per cent of accountants cite issues relating to value proposition when asked to outline the single biggest challenge in servicing SMSFs, up from 29 per cent in 2013.

Accountants also noted educating clients and competitive pricing and fee recovery as challenges in servicing SMSFs.

The research also found an extra 35,000 SMSFs started using a specialist provider in the past 12 months.

 

“Last year it was estimated that 115,000 SMSF trustees utilised the services of SMSF administrators,” OneVue head of platform strategy, sales and service, David Storm said.

“This year there’s been a 30 per cent increase, with SMSFs indicating the key reasons are ease of use, low cost and admin efficiency.”

While 57 per cent of accountants surveyed said investment platforms are appropriate to manage client portfolios, cost remains an “overwhelming” barrier to further use of investment platforms for SMSFs.

Other reasons barriers include conflict of interest from financial planners and loss of investment control, the research stated.

In addition, accountants are increasingly considering changing software providers, with 13 per cent of those interested in doing so thinking of progressing to a cloud-based product, the research found.

 

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