Amanda Kenafake, taxation and business services director for Power Tynan and the recipient of the Executive of the Year Award at the 2015 Australian Accounting Awards, has claimed that compliance work is no longer a beneficial service, and continues to become commoditised.
The comments follow the claims of PKF Lawler managing partner Wayne Healy, who stressed that compliance work “is dead – and should be.”
Ms Kenafake noted that while compliance will always remain to a certain extent – mainly since it is a legislative requirement – firms must be able to offer the service for a set price and focus on a shift to the advisory model.
“I think the part where businesses and individuals all need assistance is really in that advisory piece – what they’re doing with their business or where they’re going personally,” she said.
According to Ms Kenafake, the push for advisory services is being driven by clients rather than by the industry itself, and the accounting and financial planning spaces are moving closer together.
“The lines are becoming more blurred; everything’s happening so quickly with technology changing,” Ms Kenafake said.
“I have noticed that clients are actually the drivers in wanting that advisory [service], and [they are] becoming more efficient in their bookkeeping.”
Ms Kenafake added that with the industry's shifting landscape and the end of the accountants' exemption looming, some tax agents have begun their diploma of financial planning so as to be able to provide a broader spectrum of services to their clients.
“It’s just about being able to offer a full advisory service to the client, and not doing the basics in financial planning, because it’s really quite difficult if you don’t do a certain level of advice.
“All you’ve got to do is mention superannuation and you’re already stepping over the line as part of that exemption ending.”
Ms Kenafake noted that even in regional areas, clients are continually pushing for greater efficiencies and new services, and so this represents a new area of opportunity for advisory work.
“Because it’s regional, it’s harder to get help sometimes, so if you can make it quicker, easier, efficient and with less errors, they’re more than happy to do that,” she said.
Are you thinking of expanding your offering into SMSFs to grow your client base? Become a pro at SMSF fundamentals and make your clients bulletproof with the SMSF Foundations course. Learn directly from Aaron Dunn from Smarter SMSF as he deep-dives into the fundamentals you need to know to successfully undertake your work as an SMSF practitioner. Earn up to 21 CPD hours! Learn more