However, CoreData’s 2014 SMSF Professionals Report found that a large proportion of accountants have no intention of obtaining a licence themselves.
“Our research on this sector tells us that a substantial portion of the accountant market have no intention of obtaining a licence to provide SMSF services,” said Kristen Turnbull, head of financial services at CoreData.
“Which means that by 2016 they will need to find alternative arrangements to deal with existing and future clients with SMSF establishment or advice needs,” she said.
The report also found over three quarters of both accountants and financial planners believe that client referrals will be the top source of new SMSF clients in the next three years.
This suggests the need for licensed planners and accountants to begin forging relationships with those accountants who do not intend to obtain a licence, suggested Ms Turnbull.
The CoreData research also found accountants are less likely to hold specialist SMSF qualification than planners, 58.9 per cent over 43.7 per cent.
Three in four (75.0%) accountants without these qualifications said they believe they are not necessary.
"The needs of SMSF trustees are often unique and complicated in comparison to the average super fund member, so it stands to reason that professionals servicing the sector should have the appropriate qualifications and experience to make informed decisions on behalf of their clients,” said Ms Turnbull.
“This doesn’t necessarily mean specialist qualifications, but the PJC’s latest inquiry certainly raises some questions over whether the minimum RG 146 qualification for advisers is appropriate going forward,” Ms Turnbull said.
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