Connect Financial Services Brokers chief executive Paul Tynan said the next decade will see countless issues for Australia to confront, in an “environment of massive upheaval with the conventions and norms of the past no longer recognisable or applicable”.
“The 21st century is being driven by even faster advances in technology and ‘real time’ communications which are changing our way of life, jobs and disrupting cultures,” said Mr Tynan.
“Financial services are at the forefront of these changes, with the financial planning and accounting sectors required to adhere to even higher standards of legislated education, compliance and governance to safeguard the consumer, whilst simultaneously incorporating new technologies and processes needed to operate practices efficiently and profitably.”
Many of the principals of financial planning practices that should be implementing their succession plans are “clinging on in the vain hope that sale prices will return to pre-GFC levels”, Mr Tynan said.
“In contrast, accountants are being far more pragmatic and realistic, forming alliances with – or selling their businesses to – fellow local accounting practitioners, or changing their operational models to specialise in business advice supported by alliances with financial planners, lawyers, etc.,” he said.
Mr Tynan said that while the prospect of change and the socioeconomic challenges of the coming decade may seem daunting, it will also bring significant opportunity.
“The pace of change is being driven by technology and a new commercial and economic environment in which the old rules no longer apply and, in doing so, opening up opportunities – especially in financial services,” he said.
“Accounting and financial planning services are about to morph into exciting new forms of advice that will be demanded by a more sophisticated and savvy consumer.”
Accessing this new market, he said, will require advisers and accountants to better educate and inform their clients and demonstrate the meaningful value of their services, which must be done at much lower prices.