Accountants resisting insto ‘stigma’ with SMSF licensing

In the lead up to the accountants’ exemption phase-out, accountants are resisting institutional licensing arrangements in light of several large-scale advice scandals, according to one mid-tier firm.

Greg Hayes, the Hayes Knight's chairman and joint managing director told SMSF Adviser’s sister publication AccountantsDaily that the majority of accountants do not want to align themselves with a large institutional licensee given several recent scandals involving a number of these organisations.

“From the accountants' point of view, in terms of being aligned to one of the large institutions, there's probably the greater proportion of accountants saying they don't want to do that.

“They see that institutional alignment, even if it is only on a limited authorisation, they actually see that institutional alignment carrying with it a perceived stigma with clients and even if it doesn't come with that stigma for the clients, accountants have that perception themselves.

“Accountants are not comfortable with that institutional alignment and tend to be looking more at non-institutionally aligned groups," Mr Hayes said.

Executive director of Crystal Wealth Partners John McIlroy previously told SMSF Adviser accountants are typically “independent thinkers” and would not want to be seen to be 'product pushing' for their licensee.

“Accountants generally like to be seen in their clients’ eyes as being an independent party,” Mr McIlroy said.

He added that accountants are unlikely to join bank-aligned licensees, citing potential product restrictions and cultural differences.

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