Self-licensing brings practice management to forefront of advisers’ minds

self-licensing financial advice financial advisers practice management

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Insights from the Ensombl digital advice platform has ranked practice management as the most frequently discussed topic among financial advisers.

Ensombl’s What Advisors Want report used artificial intelligence to analyse conversations on the platform’s 8,750 users, including 5,900 Australian advisers.

The research revealed the top 10 topics that advisers engaged with most between July and December 2023.

Practice management ranked as the top discussion point among advisers on the platform during the six-month period, compared to its fourth position in the previous period.

“The trend towards small and boutique Australian financial services licences (AFSLs) means advisers increasingly find themselves acting as business owners and people managers as well as advice professionals,” Clayton Daniel, Ensombl chief executive, told Money Management.

“This can be a difficult balance to achieve, especially given the complexities of running sustainable, compliant advice practices. It comes as no surprise that so many are leaning on the experiences and recommendations of their peers to navigate such a challenging landscape.”

Moreover, Daniel recognised that the cost-of-living crisis impacting the affordability of advice as well as business efficiency through automation has become top priority for many firms.

“Along with the talent shortage, these are probably the biggest themes we see in the practice management area, and so the recent prominence of this topic across the platform is understandable,” he continued.

In comparison, the government’s response to the Quality of Advice Review (QAR) was ranked as the top issue during the first half of 2023.

The full list of frequently discussed topics for the July to December period are as follows:

  1. Practice management
  2. Advice technology
  3. Superannuation
  4. Investments
  5. Technical knowledge
  6. Insurance
  7. Retirement
  8. Client experience
  9. Centrelink
  10. Platforms

According to the report, the second half of last year saw a significant increase in adviser focus on retirement, client experience, platforms and Centrelink.

Daniel added: “In terms of shifting adviser focus, we can see conversations around retirement and Centrelink, two related topics, were significantly higher in the second half of 2023, likely reflecting the increased advertising and marketing by providers in this space.

“As a result, these topics found their way into the top 10 for July to December 2023, with discussions about the professional year (PY), client acquisition, strategy and self-managed super funds (SMSFs) falling down the rankings.” 

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