Change Accountants & Advisors chief executive Timothy Munro said there is a “monstrous” opportunity for unlicensed accountants to service clients who are looking for a one-stop shop financial outlook.
While Mr Munro himself is licensed to provide financial advice, he believes he has benefited from getting “so many referrals” from clients who are seeking his wealth co-ordination services.
“What clients are crying out for is one simple place that co-ordinates everything,” Mr Munro said.
“We are getting so many referrals from clients who are sick and tired of having to deal with five or six different people.
“If you aren't licensed, you can still co-ordinate everything and that's not giving advice; you get a snapshot of where the client is and what the client wants to do then saying, ‘I will liaise with someone and get your loan down with a better interest rate, or I will liaise with someone that can help you with some advice with your super and I’ll bring this all together and charge you a fee for that and I'll meet with you once a quarter or every six months and we'll look at your snapshot of your wealth and we'll keep you on track’.”
Unsurprisingly, Mr Munro believes a limited licence is an “absolute waste of time”, with accountants either becoming a fully authorised representative of a dealer group or outsourcing the work to a licensee.
For the Brisbane-based firm, the positive spin in wealth management is that it does not require a licence and helps deepen the relationship an accountant has with their clients.
“An accountant has the best relationship with the clients, they know everything like their family, etc., so use that information to talk about what the client is aiming at in life and then tying it all together,” said Mr Munro.
"There's nothing stopping an accountant giving cash flow and tax advice based on [financial information] and the good thing is you've got all the information in one spot — we put wills and insurance policies in there and that means if anything happens to mum or dad, there's one spot where all the financial information is.
“The smart accountants are the ones that are getting their clients onto that and then data mining that information and using it to customise financial and accounting advice for them.”