CEO: Accountants could lead Australia's GDP

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If accountants want to practice in the SMSF profession, they need to understand the boundaries of the law and build competency to be able to provide professional, valued advice, says SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia CEO Andrea Slattery.

She was one of a number of speakers at the annual national congress of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), held last Thursday and Friday on the Gold Coast.

I think the conference highlighted the fact that accountants now need to become more diversified into the financial services regime or decide if they want to continue just on the compliance route,” Slattery told Wealth Professional.

“They really need to strengthen and build their own knowledge and competencies in other diversified areas, like SMSF, insurance and other limited licensing arrangements.”

Being an SPAA member as well as an IPA member is a very important move to make sure knowledge is up-to-date enough to help the consumer, she says.

Slattery says the most important point that came out of her presentation is there are opportunities for accountants to become significant players in the advice market in financial services.

“Accountants will play a very important role in the future of financial services. The profession will be one of the leaders of Australia’s future GDP, and to be in that environment you need to add value.

“To add value you need to build your competency and you need to commit to the specialties that you’re in or diversify the nature of your services.”

The meeting highlighted the importance of public accountants to embrace their future professionalism and the value of their services, Slattery says.

“You’ve got clients wanting things and their expectation is high; now we need to have those practitioners ahead of the game rather than being told what to do.

“IPA members can now be the leaders in the public accounting arena and they need to be proactive in the value proposition they provide to meet their client’s expectations of professional services.”