Licensee hit with ‘sharp increase’ in applications
One licensee offering services to accountants transitioning to the AFSL regime is reporting a “sharp increase” in applications from prospective authorised representatives, and offered tips for those looking to speed up their authorisation process.
The SMSF Advisers Network*, the AFSL of the National Tax and Accounting Association (NTAA), offers accountants looking to continue providing SMSF advice after July authorisation under a restricted licence.
The licence has been up and running for approximately 18 months, and while the uptake initially was “not huge”, in the last four months the licensee has experienced a significant increase in enquiries and applications, NTAA chief executive Geoff Boxer told SMSF Adviser.
Also speaking to SMSF Adviser, SMSF Advisers Network* authorised representative administrator John Hondros said the “biggest hurdle” accountants are facing in the application process is getting the RG 146 requirements appropriately sorted.
Accountants should be aware that simply being degree-qualified does not exclude them from completing further courses or studies, he noted.
Further, if accountants have completed RG 146 in the past, it’s important that they produce adequate evidence of their ongoing CPD register, to recognise prior learning. This is also a problem area in the application process, Mr Hondros said.
Overall, the number of accountants who have sought their own limited licence remains significantly smaller than initial predictions, with ASIC telling SMSF Adviser earlier this month it has received 494 applications for a limited AFSL, and has approved 100.
In line with broader industry consensus, Holley Nethercote partner David Court believes the authorised representative model is proving more popular with accountants than seeking their own licence.
He noted the significant interest from the accounting community in CPA’s licensing offer, which at time of writing is yet to be fully operational.
“Rather than leaving the SMSF industry, which I don’t think [accountants] want to do because it’s such a core part of their business, they are finding people who have got a licence who will appoint them as authorised reps,” he told SMSF Adviser.
*Editor’s note: The licensee is not affiliated with SMSF Adviser.