In a survey of the group’s accounting network, 84 per cent of accountants said maintaining independence is ‘of critical importance’, more so than any other factor.
Dermot Lindsay, national manager for alliance partners, Perpetual Private, said the finding was unsurprising, noting that independence has been important to accountants for decades.
“It is what they stand on when it comes to clients’ best interest,” he said.
“They’ve always been held as the trusted adviser within their clients’ eyes and the independence piece is integral to holding that mantle”.
Mr Lindsay warned that some licensing options may jeopardise the independence of an accountant in their clients’ eyes.
“My understanding is if they were in an authorised rep situation, most licensees would be receiving some form of commission from legacy product, or insurance or whatever, and if they’re in that situation they lose the ability to call themselves independent.
“It is a perception within the market and it’s something that they want to hold on to, that they can actually hold themselves out as independent.”