Business News

Training requirements an issue for accountants

Accountants operating in the SMSF space who are assessing their licensing options in regard to the future direction of their practices need to be aware of the different training requirements associated with the various courses of action, according to a senior executive of a major professional body.

Institute of Public Accountants technical policy general manager Tony Greco said the main education requirement accountants needed to examine closely was the one involving the RG 146 qualification.

“It varies in time how long it will take you to complete this educational requirement and whether you’re an authorised representative, operated under a limited or full licence, it is one of the requirements for entering into these types of arrangements,” Greco told the recent selfmanagedsuper/CoreData SMSF Accountants’ Day seminar.

“I’ve seen people offer the course over two days and I’ve seen others that take up to two years to complete. So that gives you an idea of what the marketplace will be bombarding you with.”

Greco pinpointed the quality of the courses on offer as another variable accountants needed to consider very carefully.

“Obviously there is the issue of quality as well. I think ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) has now dropped the preferred list of providers for RG 146, so now it’s just open slather,” he said.

“So as far as the quality goes, I can’t comment.”

He emphasised to accountants that holding off on a preferred course of action regarding licensing in the hope the requirement might be scrapped was a flawed strategy.

“One thing is certain and that is the accountants’ exemption will end,” he said.

“Even in the most recent FOFA (Future of Financial Advice) changes, there is nothing slated in regard to the accountants’ exemption, meaning it will end come 1 July 2016.”

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