Accountants who are not licensed to provide financial advice can still play an active role in assisting SMSF clients with their investment strategy compliance obligations, a technical expert has said.
“You can document the investment strategy as in if you are provided with information from a trustee to put that information in based upon what they have provided you,” Smarter SMSF chief executive Aaron Dunn told attendees of his latest technical webinar held today.
“But you cannot fill in that investment strategy for them.”
According to Dunn, unlicensed practitioners could refer to regulation 7.1.33A of the Corporations Act for guidance as to the type of discussion they can have with a client about the issue of diversification, but suggested they do it with great care.
“[From what I’ve been told] it is quite complex,” he said.
His advice to this cohort is to maintain the discipline of providing clients with factual information only to ensure they continue to act within the bounds of the law.
“So stick to the requirement of telling the client of the need to have an investment strategy, to [have] to regularly review that investment strategy, and there is nothing wrong with you providing them with a template of information that they will need to complete,” he noted.
“If they can’t complete that, then that is where the advice function is going to need to be considered.”
He pointed out the provision of an investment strategy template to a client is not without its issues with regard to what the regulator feels is acceptable.
“What the ATO also makes very clear is [for practitioners not to] just throw up pro forma [documents] that really don’t have the trustees consider what SIS (Superannuation Industry (Supervision)) regulation 4.09 requires,” he warned.