Accountants who may not currently be licensed to provide SMSF advice should complete the new Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam for advice practitioners to prevent having to requalify from scratch, according to an SMSF strategy expert.
Merit Wealth accountants services director David Moss said accountants should be looking at completing the exam set by FASEA as it would give those who previously had a licence a longer time frame to reapply for it in the future.
“There are people who are thinking ‘Do I want to be licensed?’ and there are people in the industry who have stopped being licensed because they thought it was not worth it,” Moss told attendees at the recent Easton Wealth SMSF Adviser Conference in Sydney.
“They should do the FASEA exam and anyone who was licensed in the last two years should do the FASEA exam. It extends the opportunity because if you have done the exam, it means you can get relicensed in the next four-and-a-half years if you want to. You don’t have to be relicensed, it just keeps the door open.
“If you don’t do the FASEA exam, and in four-and-a-half years you want to get licensed again, you will have to go back to university and do the full degree. Do the exam and it buys you four-and-a-half years. It is not a bad return.”
He also pointed out accountants were likely to have an easier path to meet the FASEA requirements after the authority announced it would give recognition of prior learning to professional designations from CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand the day before the conference.
“What we hoped would happen, has happened,” he said, referring to the FASEA decision, adding the recognition, and the recent first round of the FASEA exam, provided clarification for the education requirements for advisers.
“We have been waiting and have not been able to talk about subjects you will have to do over the next few years until yesterday. We have had people doing the exam as well, so now we know,” he said.