Accounting services provider AccountantsIQ has admonished the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) over its intention not to provide preparation materials for the financial adviser examination, arguing this defies the purpose of the exam.
AccountantsIQ director Bronny Speed questioned why FASEA will not be providing course material, as outlined in its consultation paper on the financial adviser examination, if the purpose of the exam is to ensure consistent, minimum professional standards of education and competency for all financial advisers nationally.
“Could you please tell me why they would not be providing course materials if they want to ensure consistent minimum professional standards and competency?” Speed told selfmanagedsuper.
“Surely if you want consistency, you would put out a set of course notes that you would want everyone to attain the knowledge that is set in those course notes.”
She called for greater clarity around each component of the exam, such as the behavioural finance module, the FASEA code of ethics and financial advice construction.
“I’d like to see the course content that’s behind, for example, the behavioural finance module. It says client and consumer behaviour engagement and decision-making. Could I please have a bit more understanding of what you mean by that?” she said.
She also said some accountants with limited licence authorisations are not traditional financial planners and may require a licence to work in areas such as business evaluations and investment markets. She questioned how the exam will apply to this segment.
Access to course content would allow industry bodies to conduct training sessions for accountants and advisers to understand the modules, she said.
She also called for the provision of practice questions to understand the types of questions the exam will ask.
“But at the moment to say here are five topic areas, and here’s a three-to-four-hour exam, I’m not sure is going to achieve what they have said is the purpose of it. I think it’s a mismatch,” she said.