The main options currently available to accountants, Royston Capital said, are to obtain their own limited licence from ASIC or licensing via a bank or financial institution.
Royston Capital proprietor Chris Boag said the company is targeting accountants who want to provide quality advice “free from conflict of interest”.
“In essence, businesses looking for a solution that will set them apart from the crowd but without the burdens of their own limited AFSL or being beholden to large scale institutions,” said Mr Boag.
He urged accountants to act on the FOFA legislative requirements, stating that a failure to become licensed or make other suitable arrangements could result in businesses losing their SMSF tax and compliance work to institutions that focus on the SMSF market
“This would not be a good outcome for accountants. It would not only damage a critical part of their business but could result in client disengagement with new advisers working to very different delivery schedules,” he said.
However, Mr Boag warned accountants to choose wisely when selecting a licensing provider.
“Don’t get hooked on the first presentation and glossy brochure; conduct your investigations fully,” he said.
The major banks and financial services businesses are currently engaged in a race, trying to shore up as much licencing business as they can, with many cold calling accountants, trying to sell their licensing option.
“For these players, it is potentially big business as it opens the door to a greater distribution network for their products, and doubtless they will be seeking ways to encourage accountants to plug their investment platforms, managed funds and insurance products,” said Mr Boag.