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Advice profession ‘rises to challenge’ 

Financial advice practices are holding up well despite challenges such as rising operating costs and staffing issues, according to a new report.

Average revenue per client is $3852, up 8% since 2020, and the average number of clients per adviser is 141, the analysis from Financial Advice Association Australia and industry consultancy Business Health says.

Salaries take up almost half of practices’ revenue and finding the right staff continues to be a challenge. Competition for talent remains stiff and two-thirds of practice owners say they will be looking to hire in the coming year.

Client satisfaction ratings have remained high over the past few years, sitting at 4.3 out of five points. The score shows the profession has coped well with regulatory changes, declining adviser numbers and covid pandemic disruptions, the report says.

“It doesn’t surprise me to see that advisers have risen to the challenge and have continued to provide quality advice to Australians,” association GM Memberships Tania Milnes said. “The move to professionalism has been a very positive development for clients. Our financial system has become so complex that it’s almost impossible to navigate alone and quality professional financial advice is essential.”

Business Health Principal Rod Bertino says it is important that advisers continue to focus on their clients and provide great service and advice. He says they should regularly seek client feedback.

“Without clients, you don’t have a business and, without satisfied clients, your business is at risk. As such, it’s simply best practice to regularly seek feedback from your clients in an objective, independent way so you know how satisfied they are with you and your service. If you haven’t undertaken a client satisfaction survey in within the past 24 months, we strongly suggest you do so.”