liance is still the single most important issue for financial planners despite Federal Government attempts to cut the red tape choking the industry.
Compliance was identified as the single most important issue for 21.8 per cent of the 512 planners surveyed for research house Brandmanagement's latest CoreData adviser sentiment index.
This compared to 24.1 per cent of the 487 involved in the third quarter survey.
Compliance is one of the main challenges for around two-thirds of all planners.
However, workloads for some planners have improved in the last quarter of the year, a sign that heavy schedules throughout 2007 may have eased off.
"Workloads for some financial advisers are improving after a mad first three quarters of the year with paperwork, time management issues and limited client-facing time no longer an issue for a lucky group of planners," Brandmanagement said in an online report.
"However, compliance remains a thorn in the side of planner businesses as is still the leading encumbrance on advisers, reinforcing it as a systemic industry problem."
The data was collected over the week starting October 29.
The Federal Treasury has taken significant steps to ease the burden of compliance for advisers this year, such as allowing web-based disclosure and the elimination of the need for a statement of advice for small client balances.
Initial results suggests managing paperwork and office procedures (54.6 per cent), time management (40.8 per cent) and getting sufficient client facing time (30.3 per cent) remain challenges for many advisers.
However, these numbers are down markedly from the previous quarter.
They were identified as issues by 66.3 per cent 50.7 per cent and 46.6 per cent of planners respectively.
Brandmanagement said the numbers were not a complete surprise.
"Recent profit announcements by the major banks provided some insight from that segment of the market into how busy their respective wealth management arms and therein advisers had been in the post-June 30 quarter," the Sydney-based research house said.
Advisers said lesser issues were succession planning, adverse press and consumer perceptions and managing business growth.