Andrew Walsh

Almost three quarters of advice businesses are confident about future growth prospects according to research from Iress, but the shape of those businesses is set to change across the board.

Data out of Iress’ inaugural Advice Efficiency Survey, conducted in partnership with consultancy Business Health, shows 72 per cent of advisers forecast growth over the next three years despite concerns about pandemic and regulatory pressure.

“The survey results clearly show that advice businesses are optimistic about the future,” said Iress chief executive Andrew Walsh.

While the overall outlook is positive, the research, which used surveys across 113 advice practices, identified several areas of concern. Almost two thirds of advisers (60 per cent) said compliance and legislative requirements will be the greatest obstacle to overcome in the next three years along with finding “good people and advisers”.

While technology is put forward as the panacea to a lot of the indsutry’s ills, teething problems still remain. Many advice businesses are keen to build scale and grow their business, yet half (57 per cent) expressed frustration at having to manually enter client data into multiple technology platforms.

“Australian advice practices are going through an unprecedented period of change driven by regulation, demographics, markets and competitors,” Walsh said. “Technology can be an important ally to help practice owners adapt and thrive, now and in the future.

“Successful advice firms are achieving scale by optimising their processes and harnessing technology to unlock potential and work smarter,” he continued. “This is enabling them to provide advice faster, which equals more opportunity to generate revenue.”

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