Advisers safe from accountant take-over

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Despite fears and talk of accountants moving in to financial advice territory, feedback from National Tax and Accountants Association (NTAA) members is that jumping into the world of full financial services is far from their minds.

NTAA Advice member advocate Phil Osborne says that most accountants just want the ability to talk to clients that inquire about setting up an SMSF.

“They still want to be able to help out in that regard, but they don’t really have any designs on going forward and saying, ‘here are the investments you should be investing in and I’ll source the life insurance policy’. They’re still very comfortable to refer that to the relative professional in those areas,” said Osborne.

He is encouraging members to build strong, and formal, referral relationships with advisers. Osborne says that in the early to mid 90’s, when he studying financial planning, it was all about recognising where a client had a problem and referring them to the best professional.

“With financial services reform back in the early 2000’s it started that trend of people trying to be everything for all people, and it was more about being commercially sound rather than the actual financial advice that people were getting.”

However, financial services professionals are concerned that if they refer a client to someone that has a different idea, they may lose the client, says Osborne.

He is telling members to set up formal agreements with advisers, which state that the adviser will provide the set up advice and the accountant will do the tax administration and related activities going forward.

“Talk to some people, interview people, treat it as a job interview – that you want to be referring people to them…Document that and have that as a formal agreement so that you know what’s going to happen and everyone understands what the expectations of the relationship are.”

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  • Ron on 13/09/2013 4:01:04 PM

    C'mon! What is this? It is ludicrous to think Accountants will start this on droves. If it was beneficial, they would have done it years ago. They will continue to suggest cash trusts, property both residential and commercial and to buy a few blue chip shares. Online insurance options will take care of that area. They will take up a limited licence once they have to but that will be the end of it. Would be fair to say many will give it away by then once they realise the costs involved to be an 'accountable' & 'licensed' SMSF adviser.

  • Ralph on 13/09/2013 3:22:15 PM

    What is it about these Accounting bodies that they think that Accountants will all of a sudden change what they have been doing for so long? Yes they may get a restricted licence but in the main they will continue to advise their clients of term deposits and property along with pick a few shares themselves. This agreement partnership has been done for years. If anything, they will become more closed to such ideas.

  • Les on 13/09/2013 2:49:03 PM

    This guy is living in la la land if he thinks Accountants are going to give up their clients to Planners. Sounds like he's trying to find something to do.

  • Harry on 13/09/2013 10:42:06 AM

    We'll this is obvious. We all know this to be the case that accountants just wanting to recommend clients set up a SMSF and get the accountancy fees without the added hassle of talking to clients about investments and all the other guff that goes with it. This is where the problem is starting, in that SMSF are being sold to people where SMSF are just inappropriate. What needs to provided is a sign off where consumer have been provided with all the implications of moving, the alternatives and options and risks. Not just 20% of the story.

  • Adam P on 13/09/2013 9:47:03 AM

    So Accountants have finally worked out that if they want to provide AFSL advice that they must do AFSL compliance and it is a hell of a lot of work. Im so happy Accountants are so smart to have finally worked this out.
    Now if they just stop pretending they know everything and more about anything financial about all clients and that they own every client relationship as the only trusted adviser with any financial client, we might just all be able to play happily in the Accounting / Planning sand pit together.

  • Wf1 on 13/09/2013 9:39:02 AM

    is this a follow on from this...

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