ASIC informed SMSF Adviser that as of 13 April 2015, it has received only 121 applications.
This accounts for only one per cent of the 10,000 accountants that could potentially apply for the licence, as estimated by ASIC.
ASIC also reported that of the 121 applications received, it has only approved 50.
“The number of applications which have been withdrawn by the applicant or which were administratively returned to the applicant because they were incomplete, defective, inadequate or incapable of assessment by ASIC is 59,” the corporate regulator said in a statement.
This follows comments by ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell at the SMSF Association conference that with less than 18 months to go until the accountant’s exemption is phased out, accountants “need to get their skates on”.
Mr Kell also 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 be early and accurate,” he said.