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You are right Michael. At the moment most people do trust accountants more than financial planners. But accountants should be respecting that trust, not exploiting it. Accountants who recommend inappropriate and unnecessary SMSFs and investment properties due to the extra ongoing accounting fees they generate, are doing the wrong thing by their clients.

Justifying it by saying "at least they'll be better off than seeing a financial planner" was never ethically defensible, and these days it is no longer accurate. Financial planning regulation and standards have increased markedly in recent years. In reality consumers are now much more likely to get good quality advice from a licensed financial planner than an accountant. If accountants continue to exploit their historical trust advantage and provide clients with substandard advice, that trust advantage will quickly be eroded. And many more accountants will (rightly) be sanctioned by ASIC.