The SMSF Association's evening festivities in Adelaide

In what I assume is Christmas for SMSF advisers, the SMSF Association also held its National Conference in Adelaide in April.

The Covid-19 pandemic pushed the conference back from its usual home in February to after the Easter long weekend – the 2023 iteration will be hosted on 22-24 February in Melbourne.

At the conference, veteran adviser Deborah Kent spoke about the constant pressure being put on advisers by the regulator.

“Obviously us advisers know about it [and] licensees know about it,” Kent said.

“Regulators don’t because they don’t understand and they’ll never understand. It doesn’t matter how much we sit in front of them and explain what we do, they just don’t see it that way.”

With the Quality of Advice Review due to examine the regulatory framework, a panel discussion expressed concern Treasury would not be up to the task.

“Definitely there’s been a concern for a long time that there’s been a hollowing out of expertise in Treasury in particular, and it’s been ongoing,” Institute of Public Accountants executive general manager Vicki Stylianou said.

“There are a lot of super intelligent people but… not particularly experienced in what really goes on out there.”

The conference also included video appearances from then financial services minister Jane Hume, as well as Stephen Jones and Jim Chalmers who at the time were opposition financial services minister and Treasurer, respectively.

Calling Mr Jones

April may have very well been the month of Stephen as the then opposition financial services minister was everywhere around the industry in the lead up to the election.

It was in stark contrast to the incumbent minister whose appearances were focused to mainstream press, including an appearance on Channel 9 on election night in May.

The rumour around the industry at the time was that win or lose, Hume would move onto a bigger portfolio.

“In the financial advice area, the whole market is cooked,” Jones said at the RIAA conference.