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Accountants and Financial planners in battle over advice on superannuation

By: admin|

Accountants and Financial Planners are now competing for the large and one of the fastest growing areas being superannuation advice and advice in self managed superannuation funds. Self managed Super funds balances have now risen to $332 billion in June 2009 which equates to an 20%  annual growth over the past 5 years. On the other hand large pooled funds only grew by 8% and hence its a clear indication that more and more people are now seeking to control their own destiny, in regards to managing their superannuation accounts.

Accountants maintain given planners are rewarded by commissions on volumes and the accountant is more a fee for service model, they feel clients may not be getting the right advice for the right reasons. Bearing in mind that Financial Planners are also now moving to the fee for service model which is to come into effect from 2012.

Financial Planners and Accountants are also debating over the giving of tax advice versus incidental advice, the Government is currently reviewing that and a decision is due to made on this matter  by 30/7/2011 as to whether a Financial Planner also needs to be a registered tax agent to continue to operate as they currently do.

It is purported that currently around 70% of Australians use a tax agent whilst only 15% use a financial advisor and accountants tend to be the first port of call for many savers and hence should be able to offer their clients advice on superannuation options.

Financial Planning Industry on the other hand is pushing for accounts to gain their own Australian Financial Services Licence or work under another licencee, either as a Corporate Authorised Representative or an Authorised Representative and be accredited to give advice in the areas of Superannuation and Self Managed Superannuation.

No doubt the debate will rage on until the regulators make the decisions to allow everyone to service their clients needs, whilst meeting all required regulatory requirements.

Both professions play a vital part in servicing clients needs and hopefully a workable solution is not too far away so harmony may prevail.

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