SMSF Association head of education services Liz Ward and Licensing for Accountants chief executive Kath Bowler said while 1 July next year may “seem an aeon away, the reality is accountants who want to give financial planning and superannuation advice after this date need to start the process now”.
Ms Ward and Ms Bowler said that from 1 July 2016, giving advice on setting up or winding up an SMSF will be no different from advising on contributions, limited recourse borrowing arrangements, pensions or transition to retirement – “if it gets into financial planning territory you will need a full or limited licence”, they said in a joint statement.
“If you aren’t licensed there is every possibility you will hold your business back, as well as potentially losing financial planning and superannuation revenue and clients to practitioners who are licensed,” they said.
They also warned accountants who are working on the premise that the 1 July deadline will be extended.
“It’s worth remembering there was no extension granted to financial planners when their licensing regime was introduced,” said Ms Bowler and Ms Ward, suspecting that “the official attitude will be that accountants have been given ample time to prepare, and it’s hard to argue with that”.