High-performing advice practices are servicing 40 per cent more clients, according to research from Dimensional Fund Advisors.

The 10th annual adviser survey by Dimensional found high-performing advice practices service an average of 173 households, compared to the average of 122 for other local firms. Dimensional noted households can have more than one client.

Additionally, high-performing advice firms in Australia and New Zealand enjoyed an average 19 per cent year-on-year growth in revenue, as opposed to 14 per cent among other local firms.

Dimensional Australia Client Group co-head Nathan Krieger spoke to Professional Planner last year about the findings of the report, noting the best advice firms around the world have less senior advisers who focus on face-to-face relations with clients but are supported by less expensive support staff.

“They’re getting leverage, and they’re able to get leverage from the way in which they’re organising their teams, the way in which they’re using consistent processes and systems to apply at the back end, and both the production and output that comes from that,” Krieger said.

The research noted high performers were also generating more revenue per household at about $8400 versus $7400; high-performing practices were generating $1.45 million versus $900,000 further compounding the revenue gap.

“Part of the success is coming from improving efficiencies and implementing technology, but also from growing their client service support personnel significantly faster,” Krieger said in a media release on Monday. “That’s allowing high performing firms to service more clients per adviser without losing quality.”

Internationally, the top global firms generated US$10,978 ($15694) per household while the average firm generated US$8626 per household.

Average revenue per senior adviser was also significantly higher at the top firms at US$1.1 million ($1.57 million) versus AU$943,000 at other firms in Australia and NZ.

Higher performing firms were also managing to provide a greater number of services to a larger percentage of their clients in areas such as tax planning (19 per cent higher rate of service provided), retirement planning (15 per cent) and insurance planning (9 per cent).

Compared to global firms, the report found Australian businesses were less reliant on M&A to source growth and less likely to pay staff compensation through performance bonuses.

The research was conducted during the Quality of Advice Review and noted regulatory concerns played a bigger role to surveyed Australian firms than their overseas counterparts.

However, there was also a strong focus from higher performing firms on implementing workflow processes, and selecting and maintaining technology.

“The picture we get from firms we survey with is that years of advisers working on the business, as opposed to in the business, is finally starting to bear fruit,” Krieger said. “There’s definitely a greater sense of optimism now than there was a few years ago.”