Accountants going beyond limited licence

Fiducian Financial Services (FFS) has revealed accountants using its practice development Associates Program are going all the way and opting to become fully licensed, rather than sticking to the establishment of SMSFs.

“The Associates Program provides the accountant with the flexibility to stop at the point where they are capable of establishing SMSFs or to continue on through further mentoring and training until they become fully licensed providers for full advice,” FFS director Jai Singh told selfmanagedsuper.

“Because of the hands-on support, a lot of them have opted to go further where they get fully licensed and they’ve been very happy with it because for many of them they thought it was something that they couldn’t achieve.

“Only maybe one or two have indicated to just do SMSF establishment.”

The program transitioned tax agents to a licence that complied with providing financial advice, Singh explained, and he revealed 14 accounting practices had joined with more in discussions.

“This program is an efficient and productive disciplined process that actually gives accountants flexibilities to make their dreams a reality, but a lot of them see it as something that they worry about,” he said.

“But when they understand what it can do for clients and the practice itself, and ultimately the service they provide their clients, it does become a dream, so it’s just about making it a reality.

“What Fiducian does really well is that it gives them a plan and supports them with the discipline to follow that plan so that they can see the light at the end of the tunnel and have a time frame, and also understand the variations in time frames or understand the flexibility [available to them], at which point they can choose not to continue.”

He stressed accountants and their practices were treated as individuals and were offered coaching and a phased transition to full financial planning, along with dedicated business modules.

Places in the program were limited and, so far, selected accountants, their businesses and clients had benefited from being an operational financial planner through the program, he said.

“FFS provides licensees with exceptional legal and compliance processes, training, support and service, and we also attend financial planning client meetings during the first six months so accountants can own their clients and generate revenue to offset their study costs from day one,” he said.

FFS, a subsidiary of Fiducian Group, established its Associates Program about eight years ago.

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