In light of ASIC’s $127 million budget boost, accountants are being warned that the likelihood of them being targeted under the AFSL regime for compliance is even “more intense”.
Late last week, ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said the regulator plans to undertake a series of expanded and additional projects directed at financial advice with its new revenue boost.
Included in this will be a “major shadow shop” with a follow-up shadow shopping project two years later.
From 1 July, accountants providing SMSF advice will be required to operate on the AFSL regime, and the Institute of Public Accountants’ executive general manager of advocacy and technical, Vicki Stylianou, said ASIC’s new capabilities serve as a warning to accountants who haven’t got their compliance processes in order.
“Even without the boost, we knew it was going to happen. It means that it might happen even more so, and it’ll be more intense,” Ms Stylianou told SMSF Adviser.
“If I was an accountant I’d be thinking ‘there’s a greater chance of being caught out’.”
Ms Stylianou’s warning is in line with ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer’s recent caution to accountants who think ASIC will be light on compliance early on in the new regime.
“Frankly, if you decide after 1 July to give advice on establishing or operating an SMSF and you don’t have the requisite licence, where you’re not operating under a licence for someone who does, you’re acting illegally,” Mr Tanzer said.
“Then you’re joining the club with the investment scammers, the property spruikers, and all of the other people who choose to operate illegally.”
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