Accountants warming to platforms: report
Accountants are increasingly approving of investment platforms when managing the portfolios of their SMSF clients, according to a report from OneVue/Investment Trends.
A majority of the 613 accountants surveyed in the SMSF Accountant Report have indicated that investment platforms are an appropriate online facility to manage SMSF client portfolios.
While respondents estimated 18 per cent of their clients use investment platforms, 54 per cent of recent SMSF client investments were made through an investment platform.
“The most common reasons accountants said platforms were appropriate for SMSFs were consolidated reporting, access to wholesale funds and wholesale rates, as well as easier administration and tracking of investments,” said OneVue head of partner solutions Brett Marsh.
However, high costs are commonly seen as a “major barrier” for SMSFs using investment platforms, Mr Marsh added.
“A number of platforms have been cutting fees in recent times and more are placing greater attention on offering new efficiencies for those advisers and accountants who work alongside each other in catering to the SMSF sector.”
Common drivers for nominating a platform for SMSF clients included good reporting, good administration, easy to manage, familiarity with the platform they use and a comprehensive investment menu.
“I think the newer platform entrants are really paving the way for further innovation to support accountant and adviser partnerships, particularly as they are not hamstrung by legacy systems which can sometimes be very costly to change,” Mr Marsh added.
“The smaller independents are boosting competition and helping modernise the industry through things like more extensive investment menus which give greater choice to accountants and advisers, which is particularly important ... post-FOFA.”