'A-class' clients set to look beyond accountants
Accountants need to be proactive and discuss the $1.6 million transfer cap with their clients or risk losing their “A-class” customers, a mid-tier warns.
McLean Delmo Bentleys partner Jamie Bishop says accountants are in danger of losing their “most important” clients if they do not discuss and implement the necessary changes before July 2017 when the $1.6 million transfer cap on pension funds comes into effect.
“Whilst it’s estimated [the transfer cap is] only going to affect 1 per cent of members in a self-managed fund, typically the people that it does affect are the high in debt wealth individuals that accountants have as clients, and usually they’re the most important clients, they’re the clients that pay the highest fees,” Mr Bishop said.
“So whilst [those members] might be smaller in number, they’re high in importance to some accounting firms, and so there’s going to be a challenge around contacting and advising all of those [members].”
Mr Bishop said that while the changes to the transfer cap have created an “opportunity to add some value and generate some fees” through giving advice, accountants face pressure to ensure they have discussed and put in place “whatever they need to do before that new regime comes in”.
“You need to be proactive, and certainly the effective clients, all firms will be planning on being proactive with, because ... they’re typically the high net wealth clients and they’re the ones that do often pay substantial fees, what you call your ‘A-class’ clients,” he said.
“I think that all firms will be very conscious of the fact that they need to be proactive and they need to be providing a proactive service to those clients, and I’d suggest that anyone that doesn’t, that isn’t proactive with those clients, is definitely in danger of losing them.”