The new education requirements for accountants who wish to continue providing financial advice coupled with the limited licensing requirements have made compliance activity excessively onerous for these practitioners, according to an online technical service provider.
KnowIt Digital chief executive Wayne Wilson told selfmanagedsuper at a media luncheon in Sydney today that the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority’s (FASEA) new education requirements for accountants and financial planners are a by-product of legislation passed by the government, while at the same time the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) regulates accountants around the limited licensing regime based on past legislation and amendments to legislation.
“There is a little bit of the left hand not acknowledging what the right hand is doing,” Wilson said.
He also noted FASEA has not amended its requirements to acknowledge SMSF specialists despite having himself lodged submissions with the standards body on behalf of the Financial Services Industry Reference Committee, of which he is a member.
“We were encouraging them to consider how they develop their policy as it related to people who just worked in very specific specialised areas,” he said.
“In particular, we had in mind people who are in that self-managed superannuation funds space that had limited licences which had been set up specifically by ASIC.”
He argued FASEA should establish education and training requirements relating specifically to accountants who operate within the limited licensing framework with an SMSF specialisation.
“It shouldn’t relate to the other things the financial planner has been asked to study,” he said.
“They’ve been more open-minded about relevant degrees, non-relevant degrees and the professional year. But in terms of actually doing anything from a specialisations’ perspective they’ve done nothing.
“They’ve just said if you’re a financial planner, you’re a financial planner. And yet limited licensing says that’s not the case at all.”