Accounting, Education

FASEA can’t steer accounting business structuring

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has reiterated its stance that the body developing the new education standards for financial advisers should not dictate to accountants how they should structure their businesses.

In his welcome address at the IPA 2018 National Congress in Sydney last week, institute chief executive Andrew Conway said the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) must respect members’ business models and be cognisant of their obligations.

Conway said accounting practitioners are bound by a code of ethics, other professional standards, obligations of the law and professional indemnity insurance requirements.

“All of these safety nets are in place to protect public interest,” he said.

“To have another layer that says the profession should be put at a competitive disadvantage is nonsense. That’s not the role of a standard setter.”

He said the IPA was maligned when it initially took this position on the issue.

“I suspect as we roll out and go into the new phase of FASEA and other financial adviser standards education authorities, we will be faced with similar conversations,” he said.

He also warned accountants need to be well versed on issues related to FASEA if they are not already.

Elsewhere in his address, he said the accounting profession has to acknowledge the growing regulatory oversight of the profession and participate in that conversation.

“We can’t just stand back and resist. We have to be a part of the conversation,” he said.

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