IT integration key to successful accounting

The change towards clients' online needs is a crucial step in success the business model for accountants, says Mayflower and Xpress Super.

"Clients want online access to their SMSF (Self- Managed Superannuation Funds), along with greater transparency, quicker response to queries, and facilities to send information to their financial planner whenever they want at a click of a button," Mayflower management consultancy principal Sarah Penn said.

The ever-shifting trend towards technology integration will test accountants' long term plans and IT capabilities of each outsource provider they use, Penn said. The growing demands of SMSFs are also another issue accountants will need to consider.

"At one end, low price high volume SMSF administrators will price accountants out of the market, while at the other, specialist groups focusing on family offices and high net-worth individuals will need to charge more," Penn said.

"The average accountant is going to need to make some tough choices whether they want to be either ‘low fees, high volume' or ‘high fees, low volume'."

Xpress Super and SuperGuardian chief executive Olivia Long said that SMSF critics need to acknowledge that the sector is achieving results.

"The fact remains that for the five years to 30 June 2013, $75.6 billion was rolled into SMSFs from APRA-regulated funds and only $19.8 billion was rolled out of SMSFs," she said.

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