ASIC has already begun shadow shopping to ensure accountants are complying with their new licensing obligations, and compliance activity is set to ramp up in 2016, according to the Institute of Public Accountants.
Speaking at the IPA’s National Congress on the Gold Coast last week, the IPA’s Vicki Stylianou also warned that ASIC is treating the accountants' exemption phase-out as a “hard and fast” deadline.
“I know some accountants are thinking it’s all going to go away but there is absolutely no sign whatsoever that it is going to go away,” she said.
“I know some people might be thinking they can just continue doing what they’re doing but no, it is a completely new world and things will be changing from 30 June, so I urge you to have a think about it and make decisions and act one way or the other,” she added.
Ms Stylianou also told accountants to be aware that “not all licensees are equal” in terms of resourcing and support.
“Do a really thorough comparison because they don’t all offer the same services – don’t just look at the price if you’re becoming an authorised representative,” she said.
Late last week, ASIC revealed it has only received 204 applications for a limited licence, and approved only 78.
“Accountants who do not lodge applications which meet ASIC’s requirements by 1 March 2016 run a significant risk that their application will not be assessed before 30 June 2016,” ASIC said in a public statement in August.
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