In the recent Accounting Business Expo, My Accounts executive director Matthew Rowe has spoken about the changes the financial advice space is currently facing.
Mr Rowe said one of the factors forcing the advice space to change is a consumer trend he called, ‘The Bunnings Model’.
Mr Rowe explained that when undertaking renovations, people no longer go to a separate tile shop, paint shop and timber shop, but instead go to Bunnings where they can buy tiles, paint and timber in one place.
“There’s been some research done around consumers now and the age that we live in, and people are now looking to be able to get everything in one place and for it to be as easy as possible,” Mr Rowe said.
“So there's a growing trend towards consumers looking for that ease of experience, and the growing body of research shows that advice is no different. The advice space is the same.”
Mr Rowe said that the demand for more services is evidenced by the fact that 25 per cent of clients have left their accountants last year because they want to retain more than just tax advice.
Because of this, Mr Rowe said accountants need to stop considering financial planners as competitors, and instead regard them as complementors.
“There’s a lot of talk about accountants and financial planners being in competition. It’s almost as though there's some sort of fight among us as professionals,” he said.
“It’s like we're being asked to assume that the advice market isn't big enough for both accountants and financial planners. We’re being told it’s a race, and there are only winners and losers in this race.”
“I have a different view that I think that strategy going forward now in professional services will be around both competing, but also cooperating at the same time.”
Mr Rowe predicts that eventually the accounting and financial planning professions will merge in order to offer clients the full service they want.
“I do believe that in the next five to seven years, we will see a convergence between the financial planning profession and the accounting profession. I believe that clients will pay for this type of advice because they are looking for a one-stop shop,” he said.
“I do believe that that's how we will be able to add value to the market.”