Accountants facing compliance risks post 1 July
While licensing numbers are on the up, many accountants are failing to implement the new necessary processes in their practices, exposing themselves to "significant compliance problems".
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Licensing for Accountants chief executive Kath Bowler said a lot of accountants have gone to a considerable effort to get licensed or authorised but are yet to get processes up and running in terms of writing statements of advice and transitioning their clients into the world of licensing.
"They’ve got the keys to the car, but now they’ve got to learn how to drive it," said Ms Bowler.
"I just encourage anyone who's gone down the path of getting licensed to get some support with the transition and don't just leave the licence sitting on the shelf."
Ms Bowler said there has been a lot of focus on statements of advice and templates, but accountants also need to ensure they're building a process that works for their business.
"It's about understanding what your value proposition is; it's about being comfortable selling that value proposition to the clients, not being afraid of offering additional services."
"There's lots of moving parts associated with this, but this is the next big challenge that’s facing accountants."
Accountants who fail to properly integrate the necessary processes into their business, she said, are placing the practice at risk of "significant compliance problems".
"If they give advice and they don’t follow the process, and they don’t give a statement of advice, they may as well not be licensed; they’ve got just as many issues as if they weren’t licensed," she said.
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.