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IPA adopts own standard ahead of APES 230

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) will adopt its own financial planning services standard in place of the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB) measure.

“After extensive consultation with our members and affirmation of our board, the IPA wishes to announce Pronouncement 11 will be established in place of APES 230, issued by the APESB,” IPA chief executive Andrew Conway said today.

“The IPA has consulted with APESB regarding APES 230 and the alignment with the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms.

“APESB has been made well aware of the IPA’s constitutional power to issue a pronouncement in place of an APESB standard where it is in the interests of IPA members to do so.”

Conway said the IPA maintained its firm view that the additional components imposed by the IPA on members effectively addressed the public interest, including compliance with FOFA, compliance with IPA professional standards and compliance with APES 11: Code of Ethics.

In addition, Pronouncement 11: Financial Planning Services includes mandatory continuing professional education, extensive quality assurance review processes and the IPA’s complaints, investigation and disciplinary system.

“The IPA continues its strong and committed support of the APESB,” Conway said.

“This pronouncement seeks to provide certainty to our members while ensuring they are able to continue to provide high-quality, affordable advice to their clients.”

However, CPA Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) reaffirmed their support for the APESB and their commitment to the APES 230: Financial Planning Services standard.

“The APESB sets the standards and ethics for Australian professional accounting bodies, which aim to reflect the high expectations of consumers and the role of the profession to act in the public interest,” CPA Australia chief Alex Malley said.

“The release in April this year of the APES 230 standard followed more than five years of public and industry consultation.

“It is disappointing, therefore, to see the IPA adopting its own standard rather than accepting a standard set by an independent body acting in the public interest.”

ICAA chief executive Lee White said the profession was gearing up for the start of the new framework for professional accountants who provided financial planning services from 1 July 2014.

“As the independent standards-setting body, it is appropriate for the APESB to set the framework for all professional accountants,” White said.

“During the consultation period, we engaged with members and industry stakeholders to get a thorough understanding of the issues.

“We’re now comfortable that the final standard reflects and addresses the practical issues raised during the consultation period.”

He said the institute would follow the APES 230 standard and guide its members with training and other support in the lead-up to the implementation.

“APES 230 places consumers’ best interest at the heart of all advice and aims to remove any real or perceived conflicts of interest by implementing a genuine fee-for-service model,” he said.

The standard is effective from 1 July 2014, with transitional provisions for some requirements commencing from 1 July 2015.

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