The survey was sent out to AIFA's members in March and over 800 responses were received.
Commenting on the research, Tracey Mullins, AIFA's Director of Public Affairs said, "Interestingly, 65% of IFAs identified the portrayal of the industry by the media as the major challenge facing their businesses. This is surprising given the overwhelmingly positive content of the consumer press coverage given to independent advice.
"Much has been achieved by developing independent financial advice as a brand which is recognised and trusted by consumers - but this particular result challenges those with concerns about the media to become more involved in further increasing the media's understanding of its very real benefits by, for example, joining IFAP media services.
"The survey also found that the majority identified regulatory bureaucracy and dealing with product provider administration, as the main serious impairments to business efficiency.
"The national press, the trade press, and the internet, were all found to play a very important part in keeping IFAs up-to-date with developments in the financial services world."