The impending Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) deadline has caused confusion among accountants with a limited licence, mainly that they will need to be on the adviser register.
“I need to bring up a point that’s really important – if you have your own licence, primarily if it’s a limited licence and you’ve got that piece of paper that says you’ve got your limited licence, you still need to register to be on the financial adviser register,” AccountantsIQ director Bronny Speed told the joint I Love SMSF and AccountantsIQ FASEA webinar today.
“It’s a part of the ASIC MoneySmart site.
“For all our limited licensees who came through on 31 June 2016, we have had a constant stream of queries because it’s been so difficult to understand that you need to be on the financial adviser register as well as holding your own licence.
“And being on an authorised representative register is yet another register.”
Speed reiterated that even if a practitioner has their own licence but is not registered, they will need to register immediately, in addition to registering anyone in their business or office who is able to be a representative of their licence on that register.
She also revealed ASIC was chasing practitioners who they know have a licence but are not on the adviser register.
“Therefore, it is a big-ticket item,” she said.
“Being on the register is all that’s required at the moment. What happens post-1 January and when FASEA’s legislative instruments become law, subject to the updated or revised version off these submissions we’re all putting in, that’s all up in the land of the gods.
“But we have to work on what we’ve got. So if you’re on the register, and all those with limited licences are on it as an SMSF specialist or practitioner, you should be fine.”
I Love SMSF founder Grant Abbott added: “Come 1 January 2019, if you’re not on the register or you’re not an existing provider, you’re going to have to go through quite a comprehensive professional year.
“And it won’t matter if you’re a 45-year-old experienced SMSF adviser who knows the law, SMSF compliance and the ins and outs of strategies, if you’re not on that register, you also haven’t met the RG 146 requirements and, effectively, you’re going to have to go back to school and have someone supervising you for 1500 hours.”
This will also involve 100 hours of education, Abbott noted.
“That means from a business succession planning approach and an SMSF advising perspective, you really need to make sure you’re not only on the MoneySmart register if you’ve got a limited licence, but, effectively, make sure you’re competent,” he said.
“As long as you’ve enrolled for a course by 31 December, you should be A-okay.”