Advisory firm calls for additional SMSF qualifications
With the super reforms further increasing the complexity of SMSF advice, one technical specialist believes a mandatory SMSF accreditation would be beneficial for both professionals and clients.
Cooper Partners director Jemma Sanderson said the education around SMSF advice could be improved, with mandatory qualifications currently bundled in with other streams of financial advice.
“I would like to see there be a separate SMSF accreditation for people to be able to provide advice on SMSFs,” Ms Sanderson said. “It’s a very specialised area and the education in the space could be improved.”
Ms Sanderson, who won the SMSF Adviser of the Year at the inaugural Women in Finance Awards 2017 recently, said that advisers could be a marketing win for clients, who are often swayed by additional accreditations.
“Clients are trusting all of the advisers in the SMSF space, and I guess that does cover the wider community in terms of accountants and financial advisers who will have clients who are in SMSFs, and I just feel it’s incredibly important that people who are advising on using an SMSF understand that as a separate structure, and it would be great to have a higher level of education for people in that space,” Ms Sanderson said.
“A lot of people are entrusting the management of their wealth to those in the industry and to really ensure that the industry maintains its status as being professionals with a high level of integrity and qualifications, that additional sort of qualification would be really beneficial from that perspective.”
Partner at Aquila Super, Chris Levy, said the lead up to June 30 this year was easily one of the busiest on record for his firm, largely because of the complexity of the super changes, particularly for wealthy clients.
Similarly, he believes SMSF advice is becoming its own specialist service line.
"We were so busy leading up to June just giving this very tailored advice. I'd have to say that last year it was easily the most disruptive... nine months in at least 10 years, probably even 20 years of me actually doing this. It wasn't like the old $1 million into super that happened in 2007. This sort of stuff was very, very tailored," he said.
"Having that higher level of knowledge I think is going to be critical. The whole way that we manage SMSF is going to look better, but I do worry that it’s going to be more expensive. And definitely, there is going to be higher demand for SMSF specialists. Definitely," he said.