GPS Wealth expands regional footprint with 60 new accounting practices

From

Shane Bartrim

Shane Bartrim

Regional accounting practices have flocked to leading independently-owned licensee GPS Wealth in the financial year to June 30, 2016, demonstrating the dealer group’s commitment to supporting advisers and accountants nationally.

In the last year, 60 practices including Collins Hume, a five partner practice in Ballina and Byron Bay in New South Wales’ Northern Rivers region and mid-sized firm McKinnon & Co in far north Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands have moved to become authorised to provide financial advice ahead of the introduction of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s new licensing regime on July 1.

GPS Wealth has also significantly expanded its footprint in country NSW, licensing practices in Orange, Dubbo, Parkes, Tumut, Armidale and Broken Hill.

According to Shane Bartrim, partner at Collins Hume, GPS Wealth stood out as a well resourced, non-aligned licensee with a sharp focus on helping accountants and advisers provide quality advice to their clients.

“A quarter of our business clients have an SMSF so we needed a licensing solution ahead of the removal of the accountants’ exemption, which is why we started talking to several dealer groups about a year ago,” he said.

“We ruled out all institutionally-aligned licensees from the beginning because we wanted an independently-owned group that we could trust not to flog product but who was committed to helping us deliver quality advice in the client’s best interest. That ultimately led us to GPS Wealth. Their model was different and the way they approach advice is very much aligned to our way of thinking.”

The majority of partners at Collins Hume hold a limited authority from GPS Wealth. The group also has a relationship with GPS Wealth adviser Adam Vermillion who provides holistic strategic advice on superannuation, investments, insurance and retirement planning.

Greg Holman, Certified Practising Accountant and co-founder of GPS Wealth, said the removal of the accountants’ exemption had forced many practitioners to become licensed or authorised for the first time in order to continue providing advice on the establishment and winding up of SMSFs but the process was daunting for many, especially those in regional locations.

“We’ve been able to help many accountants on their licensing journey because we have a simple, straight forward approach,” he said.

“Only a handful of accountants who have approached GPS Wealth in the last year have previously been authorised before so the overwhelming majority needed considerable support. Our job has been to walk them through the process, help them meet the necessary education and training requirements, and put the right processes, systems and in some cases, people in place.”

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