SMSF accountants heading for ‘car crash’ in 2016

The SMSF sector is going to see an “almighty mad rush” of accountants attempting, and potentially failing, to become licensed by mid-next year, according to a dealer group head and practice principal.

Omniwealth principal Matthew Kidd echoed the views of the joint accounting bodies in saying accountants need to start assessing their licensing options now as opposed to waiting until next year.

“There are a lot of accountants out there that haven’t done anything about it; [they] haven’t even started to think about their plan of attack,” Mr Kidd told SMSF Adviser. 

While the deadline for the phase-out of the accountants' exemption is not until July next year, Mr Kidd said accountants are likely to wait till April or May before they consider what they’re going to do.

“There’s going to be this almighty mad rush towards the end of June next year to limited licensing and I think it could be a car crash,” he said.

“It’ll put pressure on AFSL holders like us who are looking at limited licensing; you have to go through a compliance process before you give anyone a limited licence and that takes time, there’s police checks, there’s background checks, there’s compliance checks, there’s all these things you have to do and that takes time.”

Mr Kidd said if accountants leave it to April or May next year, they’re going to find themselves unable to advise on SMSFs in July and August because they haven’t been licensed.

“They need to start lining up their ducks in the next 6 to 12 months so we don’t get this panic in 2016, with everyone running around trying to get licensed,” he said.

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