A lack of clarity from the FSA about advisers' use of platforms means firms have to "second guess" the regulator's requirements, according to The Platforum managing director Holly Mackay.
The suitability of risk profiling tools and whether advisers who use a single platform can call themselves independent are among the issues advisers continue to be uncertain about, Mackay said.
How much due diligence should be carried out on platforms and where VAT is and is not chargeable are other grey areas, she added.
"There is a lot of confusion and IFAs feel they are second guessing what the regulator wants," she said.
"We did not speak to one adviser who felt clear on the position of VAT. There is so much change going on advisers feel they are being hammered on all fronts."
Mackay said she expected platforms to play a big role in the provision of simplified advice to consumers, even though this too remains loosely-defined by the FSA.
"Platforms will have a big role to play," she said. "This area of advice will have to be a big technology play."
Mackay's comments follow recent research conducted by The Platforum pointing towards "fatigue" in the platform space with assets under administration growing just 3.62% in Q1.
Despite signs of stagnating growth, Mackay noted "improved processes" and the positive impact platforms have on the industry.
She said more than half of those advisers actively using platforms are placing over 60% of business on them.
"For those who have made the move, business is revolving around platforms," she said.
A further positive sign is the "land-grab" for assets as new entrants, such as Close Asset Management, prepare to enter the fray and other players look to target different sectors.
Whilst Aviva's new integrated platform is an effort to tap into what it calls "middle Britain", Barclay's rumoured platform launch will target higher net worth individuals.
"With Barclays and Aviva we see two different strategies and this can only be good as it indicates a healthy and competitive market," Mackay said.
"It is inevitable we will see more platforms in the high net worth, direct to consumer, simplified advice and those targeted at the lower-end market."
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