Business News

Fortnum launches licensing option for accountants

Independent financial planning dealer group Fortnum Financial Group is now offering a limited Australian financial services licensing arrangement for accountants servicing SMSF clients.

The new licensing service has been set up as a separate subsidiary, Fortnum Professional Strategies, under the Fortnum group and will give practitioners operating under the existing accountants’ exemption the ability to provide class-of-product advice.

Also included in the Fortnum Professional Strategies offering are educational, training and business coaching resources.

The new subsidiary will be managed by Fortnum Private Wealth head of strategic Scott Charlton.

“With the removal of the accountants’ exemption on July 1, 2016, many organisations have launched a licensing solution for accountants, but licensing alone won’t ensure that accountants and their clients are better off under the new regime,” Charlton said.

“In addition to licensing, we want to give accountants clarity and direction around their business model. We want to help them run more productive, efficient and profitable practices through training, coaching and interaction with their peers.”

According to Fortnum executive chairman Ray Miles, setting up the business arm was partly motivated by the opportunity to fill a void created by the recent exit of the Proactive Accountants Network from the professional training space.

“At this critical juncture, there’s strong demand for licensing solutions and development programs specifically designed for accountants,” Miles said.

“We aren’t interested in working with accountants who want the cheapest solution.

“We don’t believe that the challenges facing accountants can be solved with licensing or software alone, but rather we want to partner with people to implement effective programs and help grow their business.”

Charlton emphasised accountants needed to understand there was more to the process than just applying for an Australian financial services licence of some description.

“Many wrongly believe they have a lot of time to figure it out, but what they don’t realise is that there’s more to it than just licensing,” he said.

“They may need to undertake additional study, so they can’t afford to leave it much longer before committing to a course of action.”

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