‘Flood’ of AFSLs for accountants never expected
A range of misconceptions has impacted available information about the accountants’ exemption and associated expectations, according to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
Financial Services Leader at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Hugh Elvy, said an “important issue” to be reminded of is that many professional accountants and their practices have historically made a business decision to not become licensed and provide financial product advice.
Those accountants have focused on structuring related advice that included SMSFs - that is, operating under the accountants' exemption, said Mr Elvy.
“As a consequence, having consciously made this decision over the last 10 years, there was never an expectation that there would be a flood of applications to move into the licensed regime once the transition period commenced,” Mr Elvy said.
“It is also worth reflecting on the often quoted, ‘10,000 accountants were to become licensed’. The number is an indication of accountants who may end up operating under the licensed framework, not the number of licenses,” he added.
Mr Elvy added there is “no doubt” that professional accountants should consider their options and should start, or be about to start, any necessary training.