Research has shown that despite the slow start on the licensing front, a major chunk of accountants plan to significantly ramp up their superannuation-based advice services.
Accountants set to ramp up super offerings
As it stands, there are lengthy hold-ups at ASIC, as the bulk of accountants applying for an AFSL lodged their applications after the soft deadline of 1 March this year.
Some can expect delays of up to 12 months before their licences are approved.
In spite of this, it seems the market is bullish on its prospects in the SMSF advice space in the mid to long term.
Investment Trends head of research Recep III Peker said a recent study showed that of the accountants looking to get a limited AFSL, 30 per cent stated they plan to get their full licence eventually.
A further 17 per cent said they were undecided, which Mr Peker noted could translate into more accountants moving towards full AFSLs.
Only 18 per cent of the surveyed accountants intend to provide just SMSF establishment, wind-up, contribution and withdrawals advice.
The rest have intentions to advise on borrowing, investment strategy and estate planning for SMSFs eventually.
“Accountants understand that the composition of the revenue they derive from SMSFs is changing,” Mr Peker said.
“The general direction of these numbers indicates that accountants are acknowledging that business models are changing,” he said.
“The opportunity is huge, because 272,000 SMSFs have no accounting relationship aside from auditors.
“SMSF investors, most of which have unmet advice needs, turn to accountants with their advice needs because they trust them the most.
“There is a distinct and large opportunity for accountants to understand these needs and position their services to be relevant to them.”