Glenn, who is Director of GWR Professional Services, had not planned to get into the field of self-managed super funds (SMSFs). “It was completely the luck of the draw,” he says. “On my first day in an accounting firm I was told I'd be working on “the super funds”.”
He says that all he knew about super at the time was what he’d seen on television ads. “Then I learned about self-managed super funds and here I am. I've enjoyed the work ever since.”
Glenn was working as the Divisional Manager of SMSF at HLB Mann Judd in Brisbane and when the SMSF Specialisation Program with Chartered Accountants ANZ became available in 2012, he leapt at the opportunity. “I wanted to make sure I was keeping on top of the technical side of things as much as I could,” he says.
In 2014, he decided to go out on his own and he launched Brisbane-based GWR Professional Services. In moving from a mid-tier firm to becoming a sole principal, he has found it invaluable to have the SMSF Specialisation Program under his belt.
Building networks, sharing knowledge
Glenn says he was keen to update his knowledge and find a way of letting potential clients know he was dedicated to SMSFs.
“When you're working in the SMSF space, most of your training is on the job, not through a formal course,” he says. “You tend to be very practical because you need to get work out the door quickly. So, you're not necessarily asking why you’re doing something a particular way.
“The program was a good reinforcement of the technical background behind why you’re doing things the way you are.”
You wouldn’t go to your GP for eye surgery. In the same way, you're going to want to speak to a specialist about a super fund.
Glenn says an important benefit of the specialisation has been its ability to help him form professional networks and sharing knowledge with peers. Organised networking events, such as the SMSF conference specialist breakfast, are an effective way to connect with and learn from like-minded industry professionals.
He also says the specialisation has enhanced his credibility as an SMSF expert – something that’s particularly valuable for a sole practitioner.
“People might think, ‘Does this guy really know his stuff?’ If you have the specialisation under your belt you can say, ‘I'm a dedicated CA SMSF specialist. This is an area that I live and breathe.’ It makes them feel far more comfortable that they're in safe hands.”
SMSFs account for about 25% of total superannuation assets in Australia, and the sector is continuing to evolve and grow. Glenn believes there will be increased demand for SMSF specialisation as the field matures and becomes more complex.
“Trustees are a lot more engaged, and their expectations of their SMSF professionals are only going to increase - so people who have specialised in super gives them peace of mind,” he says.
“You wouldn’t go to your GP for eye surgery. In the same way, you're going to want to speak to a specialist about a super fund.”Dates and course information for 2022 are coming soon. Register your interest to be notified when enrolments open.
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National SMSF Conference 2021
Join us at the National SMSF 2021 Virtual Conference on 19 October and get equipped with valuable strategies and key takeaways which will empower you with the tools necessary to advise your clients with confidence and accuracy, in a rapidly changing SMSF industry.Find out more