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CPA advice arm preparing to reveal details

CPA Australia Advice is expected to release the next level of detail for its licence around mid-August, breaking down the options it will make available to members and the cost.

“Our intention is to try to make this as streamlined and easy as possible for members, particularly for members with past authorisations to transition across,” CPA Australia senior policy adviser Michael Davison told the 2015 CPA Australia SMSF Conference in Sydney earlier this month.

“We are about six weeks or so from announcing the next level of detail as to how it’s all going to work.

“We’ll have a better idea then as to how that would all work, but the intention is to get you across painlessly.”

On 5 June, CPA Australia announced it had established a new subsidiary organisation that would provide financial advice to the general public.

It said it expected the new company, CPA Australia Advice, to be operational next year.

It has yet to release the cost of its licence options.

CPA Australia financial planning policy adviser Keddie Waller said the entity had applied for an Australian financial services licence and Australian credit licence.

“What we will do is have licensing authorisations and different levels available to members,” Waller said.

“There will be different pathways for each level and every level will have a different cost.

“The reason we went out early and told members before it was operational was because we wanted to let members know we had a solution that’s coming and that there’s another alternative if you’re not sure which way you want to go.

“The whole purpose of this is to be an independent model. It’s not going to be tied to a product manufacturer. That’s the intention behind it.”

She said the body would set some parameters and rules around whether former education and training courses, from Kaplan for example, would be accepted for members looking to switch to CPA Australia Advice.

“We’d need to go through a vetting process for each individual because training courses, and even with Kaplan courses, the qualification might have changed with the units, so anyone who’s already done training might need to go back.

“From a risk perspective, you’ve got to be current in your knowledge.

“If you’re going to be licensed, just get on with your training.”

She added accountants should exercise extreme due diligence before signing up to a potential licence provider.

“There are some courses that are being marketed as an accountants’ solution, but depending on what you want out of licensing, it may not be a solution,” she said.

“And be wary of a cheap and nasty course.

“My personal view is that if you do a quick and easy course, it just puts you at more risk in your practice and your clients as well, especially in the world of litigation.”

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