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Review history must be used

advice review history

An accounting body has asked for the learnings from previous industry assessments to be used in the Quality of Advice Review process.

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has called on Treasury to bring all of the learnings from past industry evaluations together before making recommendations in its current Quality of Advice Review.

“There have been so many reviews, and they’re ongoing, and each successive review doesn’t seem to take into account what’s happened in the previous reviews, so what we want to see is a decent stocktake but also an evaluation of what’s already happened,” IPA advocacy and policy group executive Vicki Stylianou said during a panel discussion at the SMSF Association National Conference 2022 in Adelaide last week.

“So with this review we’ll be looking for the same kind of thing. We want to see the valuation and then an adjustment of what’s come before and what’s being implemented.”

According to Stylianou, Treasury has to be bold in its approach to the review for any meaningful outcomes to be achieved.

“What we’re also hoping for is just an appetite – a political will for bold reform because I think if we’re going to fix a lot of the problems in [the advice] sector, there really, really needs to be bold reform,” she said.

“Bold reform has been missing for so long, for more than a decade, in so many areas and we keep saying to government, to successive governments, we really, really need to tackle these problems but do it with great innovation.

“Do it differently and do it boldly.”

On a negative note, panel members from the Financial Planning Association (FPA), Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, the Association of Financial Advisers and the SMSF Association and Stylianou all expressed concern over the review’s terms of reference.

“What I was quite concerned about when the terms of reference came out was actually how much was exempt. So I really do hope that the exemptions don’t actually stymie the outcomes of the review in itself because a lot of the questions they’ve asked in the review are referring to the exempt areas,” FPA chair Marisa Broome noted.

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