Report finds profit sweet spot with SMSF client numbers
The number of SMSF clients is one of the key factors determining whether SMSF services are successful and profitable, and a new report looks to pinpoint that figure for accounting firms.
Research conducted by Bstar using BGL data in the 2018 Bstar/BGL SMSF Insights Report has indicated that building a critical mass of clients is important for accounting firms who want to achieve sustainable growth with their SMSF services.
The report focused on key practice management issues and trends with SMSF services, and used data from BGL from the 2015, 2016 and 2017 financial years.
According to the research, effective growth starts when a practice has established a base of between 50–75 SMSF clients.
“The number of SMSF clients is the top revenue and profit driver,” the report said.
“Accountants need to prepare and implement plans to accelerate the growth in the number of SMSF clients. Once a critical mass of clients is achieved, the delivery of SMSF services becomes both a successful client retention strategy and growth opportunity has indicated.”
The research indicated that 83 per cent of respondents had experienced zero to 10 per cent growth in their SMSF services.
The SMSF services of a further 17 per cent of practices are growing at more than 11 per cent.
“[These practices] are clearly different, and the most noticeable difference is how many SMSF clients they have,” the report said.
In contrast, 54 per cent of the practices with 0-10 per cent growth have less than 50 SMSF clients and 34 per cent have fewer than 25 SMSF clients.
While there's an appetite among firms to boost revenue from their SMSF services, the willingness of accountants in particular to adapt to the AFSL environment is low.
Bstar's research last year found 71 per cent of about 600 firms Australia wide rated licensing as a low priority, despite it being necessary for the provision of SMSF advice services.
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.