With less than 18 months to go until the accountants’ exemption is phased out, ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said accountants need to “get their skates on” or risk not being able to provide SMSF advice beyond 30 June 2016.
“The original estimate was that there might be as many as 10,000 applications. I don’t know whether that will turn about to be the case, but if it is, well we’ve received about one per cent,” Mr Kell said.
“The last figure that I’ve been provided it was 105 applications, we’ve approved 44, some are currently being assessed but quite a few have - I’ll use a euphemism - been ‘returned’ on the grounds that there’s more information [needed],” he added.
He urged accountants to ensure their documentation clearly sets out they have adequate professional indemnity insurance, that they understand how to handle their clients’ finances and that they have the relevant qualifications.
“The longer you leave it and especially with those sorts of things, the more challenging it’s going to be, so early and accurate,” he said.