Onerous CPD process for SMSF professionals blasted
The accounting bodies and associations have been urged to adopt a more consistent approach with CPD obligations, with accountants currently managing a multitude of obligations across different formats and reporting periods.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Licensing for Accountants chief executive Kath Bowler said a typical SMSF accountant would need to comply with obligations for either CPA or Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), obligations for their tax agent registration and on top of that requirements for their limited AFS or authorisation under a licence.
“If they are also an SMSF Association member, that’s four different requirements and dates,” said Ms Bowler.
The CPD reporting requirements across the accounting bodies and associations, she said, are extremely varied, which adds to the complexity of managing these obligations.
CPA uses a triennium calendar based on the calendar year, CA ANZ and the FPA also use a triennium calendar but based on the financial year, the IPA uses a biennium calendar based on the calendar year and the SMSF Association uses a triennium calendar but based on 1 April.
The reporting calendar for tax agent registration also follows a triennium calendar, but it’s based on the registration date, while AFS licensing obligations have their own annual requirements.
“I would like to put a call out to the associations for more consistent reporting because some are based on the calendar year, some the financial year – others like the SMSF Association are based on a specific date,” added Ms Bowler.
“There is a lot for accountants to manage anyway, let alone these varied reporting dates.”
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.