Investment Trends research director Recep III Peker says whenever there are changes to rules and regulations, there is an increased appetite to seek financial advice.
“A really good example of this is the Simpler Super reforms back in 2007. What that did is it triggered a really large number of SMSFs to go seek financial advice,” Mr Peker said.
Just 31 per cent of SMSFs in 2005 used a financial planner. In 2007, following the Simpler Super reforms, this figure doubled to 62 per cent, he said.
“What this shows is that when there are changes to the rules and regulations or the super system, it triggers people to seek advice because it’s their retirement nest egg and they need to really understand how it will affect them,” Mr Peker said.
“Now arguably those  reforms were more significant and drastic then what is proposed at the moment, but still it’s undeniable that it’s had a positive impact on the uptake of financial advice.”
Mr Peker said accountants in particular need to ensure they establish the right kind of referral relationships or bring financial planners into their firms to capitalise on this demand.
“There are a lot of areas that SMSFs want help with that accountants can’t provide advice on,” he said.
Mr Peker added that he is already seeing firms move in this direction, with half of all accounting firms that service the SMSF sector now having at least one person in their firm licensed to give advice.
“That’s up from about a third in 2012 and part of it is because of the reforms bringing in more licensed people.”