SMSF advice not for all accounting firms

Having self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) capabilities may not be the best fit for every accounting practice, Count Financial believes.

A blog post by the firm's national head of practice recruitment, Euan Sneyd, said while accountants had been at a crossroads for some time, the new licensing rules were a game changer.

Sneyd said that smaller accounting firms that did not have the scale, capability, or technical know-how could pursue alternative options.

"There are many solutions that may work better for small firms, such as outsourcing or partnering with someone else who can provide those services on their behalf," he said.

"Licensing isn't for everyone — financial advice requires a unique skill set that not every accountant has.

"For example, within a three-partner accounting firm, maybe only two partners should become licensed. It comes down to each accountant's personality and whether they're comfortable having the right sorts of deep conversations with clients."

Sneyd said a division was likely to emerge between accounting firms who were branching into financial advice and those who chose to stay where they were.

"On one side will be the tax compliance firms, and on the other will be firms that are looking to add value to their clients," Sneyd said.

Sneyd noted that 10 per cent of the accounting profession controlled the majority of growth within the SMSF space.

"Generalist accounting firms that only have a few SMSF clients will be impacted the most. Firms who manage more than 70 SMSFs will be the true winners because they'll have in-house specialists who can identify new opportunities," he said.

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