Planners and accountants need to change mindset

Accountants and financial planners will need to change their mindset to successfully advise self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) clients following the scrapping of the accountants' exemption, according to William Buck.

The firm's wealth advisory director, Adrian Frinsdorf said accountants might not have grasped the level of data that would be required to be collected before delivering advice and making recommendations to clients.

He also predicted that there would be considerable duplication of information as planners and accountants exchanged information and passed it through to the clients, which would result in clients incurring the additional costs.

"Some clients just won't accept that, something they see should come from their accountant so it'll be really challenging," Frinsdorf said.

On the planner side, Frinsdorf said they needed to change their mindset by being willing to provide piece-by-piece advice to SMSF clients as these self-directed investors would prefer to choose what pieces of advice they received.

"So the advice community that gets that right will do exceptionally well. The financial planning community predominantly provides holistic advice," he said.

Many SMSF clients set up SMSFs due to a lack of trust in planners but they may be forced to seek advice from planners in the current circumstances.

"I do think there is a trust issue and a lot of studies have shown the highest level trust is actually with their accountant," he said.

"There's a great opportunity for planners but they're going to need to demonstrate that they can be trusted by both the accountant and the client and show ways that can occur."

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