SMSF accountants in ‘unique position’ following RC
With banks and financial planners in some ways marred by the findings of the royal commission, now is an ideal time for SMSF accounting firms to bolster advice services, according to a research firm.
Investment Trends research director Recep III Peker said a lot of accountants, especially those already in the SMSF space, are thinking about broadening their proposition to include advice of some form.
“Right now we are in a very interesting period. As you are aware, there is this whole royal commission happening, and that’s affecting people’s trust in banks and financial planners as a whole,” explained Mr Peker.
A survey conducted by Investment Trends asked consumers to rank the different companies or professionals they use for SMSF services on a scale of one to 10 based on how much they trust them.
Mr Peker said the research showed that banks had lost a lot of trust since the royal commission commenced with average score now sitting around 4.6.
“Financial planners who were already at a relatively low base, are also less trusted than they used to be,” he said.
“That puts accountants in a unique position because of all the services that trustees turn to for advice, accountants are the most trusted.”
The only group ahead of accountants were family friends, he said.
“Even family and friends get an average score of 7, which shows that Australians in general aren’t that trusting but accountants received trust scores that were very similar to family and friends,” he said.
“That puts accountants in a unique position because banks and financial planners are suffering a lot from this trust deficient.”
Mr Peker said research undertaken by the firm also shows that those SMSFs who use accountants tend to have unmet advice needs that they are willing to pay for.
“So even if you didn't expand into the market, and just had a close look at your own client base, there are a lot of opportunities to broaden the proposition that you have,” he said.