Increasing proportion of accountants assisting with SMSF setups
A greater proportion of advisers and accountants assisted with SMSF establishments in the past year, with accountants tending to be the first port of call for new trustees, according to new research.
A new report released by Investment Trends titled the 2022 SMSF Adviser and Accountant Report has shown that the proportion of advisers and accountants that assisted with SMSF establishment in the past 12 months has increased.
Based on the 2022 report, 65 per cent of advisers reported assisting clients with SMSF establishments in the past 12 months — an increase from 54 per cent in 2021. Seventy-two per cent of accountants reported that they had assisted clients with SMSF establishment — an increase from 68 per cent in 2021.
Investment Trends research director Dougal Guild said accountants “remain the first port of call for new trustees, according to the research”.
The research shows that accountants derived over a quarter of their revenue from SMSF clients in the past year. It also indicates that nearly half of accountants expect their revenue from SMSFs to increase in the next three years.
The study showed that advisers have seen a sight decrease in the share of revenue contributed by SMSFs this year from 27 per cent in 2021 down to 24 per cent.
Mr Guild said administration and compliance followed by client suitability remain the biggest hurdles in servicing the SMSF market at 75 per cent and 42 per cent respectively.
“The ability to comprehensively demonstrate a SMSF is in the client’s best interest is a key pain point that advisers felt are holding them back from setting up more SMSFs,” explained Mr Guild.
“Advisers want to feel better equipped to educate current and prospective clients and are calling for content that can help their clients evaluate their own suitability.”
The research showed that advisers are generally positive about the upcoming regulatory changes that will apply from 1 July and are expecting a net positive impact on business value and revenue. These regulatory measures include the changes to the work test and age limit for downsizer contributions.
“It’s encouraging to see SMSF advisers are positive about the outlook of business outcomes, despite the impending regulatory changes,” said Mr Guild.
“What’s more interesting to consider is that advisers believe the new measures will alleviate a lot of the operational challenges they currently face — potentially strengthening the appeal of SMSF establishment for clients.”
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 also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.