Accountants encouraged to utilise data mining
The extensive and under-utilised client data held by accountants could be a powerful tool for identifying client advice needs and better targeting services, according to one licensee.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, FPT Wealth director Tony Bates said the data that accountants have for their clients is invaluable, and with technology becoming better at extracting it, it can be used across the practice to better identify client needs, and thus provide more targeted services.
"There's approximately 60,000 data fields that go into a tax return that have to be legally correct, so it's better than data that you might get from any other source because the accountant has to verify that it's correct," said Mr Bates.
"If they wish to grab the opportunity all they need to do is look at that data, and start the conversation."
Mr Bates said accountants can interpret the data and then make enquiries with clients about what it means, which paves the way for upselling opportunities.
"[For example], why is profit down this year in a business sense? Or how much interest are you paying relative to salary?"
If the data shows the client has a lot of debt or young children, he said, this might be an opportunity to address insurance with the client.
"Or if they're looking at what age, they might ask the client if they've commenced a transition to retirement income stream," said Mr Bates.
"There's a lot of data there that can lead to a conversation."
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.