Analyst calls for end to accountant-planner turf war

An industry analyst has called for calm amidst the ongoing backlash to the Tax Agent Services Act (TASA) negotiations.

Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Wealth Within chief analyst Dale Gillham said planners and accountants need to accept the shifting SMSF regulatory landscape and work together for the sake of their clients.

“They need to play in the same sandbox, so they need to get along and work with each other for the benefit of the person at the other end. The focus needs to be on the client and not on themselves,” he said.

“It’s not about trying to protect your turf, it’s about working with the client. The client is the critical person, and they determine who the adviser is that they use at any one time.”

However, Mr Gillham said he is confident there will be a peaceful merging of accounting and financial planning practices in the long term.

“It’s not just the accountant and the financial planner, it’s the mortgage broker. The client has different needs and changing needs all the time … they need to drift towards whoever the right person is at the right time,” he added.

Accountants in particular need to adjust their business models to suit the new regulatory landscape, Skeggs Goldstein’s Jonathan Reynolds told SMSF Adviser.

“The bar is rising significantly for accountants because clients are expecting more. However, in many cases, they’re not getting it or receiving the advice they deserve,” Mr Reynolds said.

“Businesses that are only offering basic compliance and taxation advice are not being as competitive as they could be in the marketplace, and certainly are not offering as much as they could be to their clientele.

“This does not mean to scrap the basic compliance and tax services altogether, it’s just a way of forging new relationships with your clients that would otherwise not occur if you did not take the initiative,” he added.

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