A new form of financial advice licence will allow accountants to
become licensed and able to provide a much broader range of
financial advice than they have previously been able to.
Licensees will be able to advise on self-managed superannuation
funds (SMSF) and superannuation generally and also give "class
of product advice" on basic deposit products, general and life
insurance, securities, and simple managed investment schemes. This
is financial advice where no specific recommendation of a
particular product is made.
The consumer protection provisions of the Corporations Act, such
as the best interests duty will be extended to the financial advice
provided by accountants.
A streamlined transition period will be available for
accountants between 1 July 2013 and 1 July 2016. Accountants
registered with CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered
Accountants or the Institute of Public Accountants will not need to
satisfy ASIC that they have the necessary experience to qualify for
the licence. After 1 July 2016 all new applicants will be subject
to ASIC's requirements in this regard.
Applicants are however subject to ASIC's existing training
requirements to hold an AFSL and provide financial advice.
A compliance certificate regime will be introduced instead of
annual audits for this type of licence and where no money is
actually handled in connection with the financial advice.
SMSF AUDITOR REGISTRATION
A new SMSF auditor registration scheme will require auditors to
meet the following requirements to be registered as an SMSF
hold a tertiary accounting qualification that includes an audit
component or have successfully completed study in audit as part of
a professional accounting body program;
meet a fit and proper test;
hold professional indemnity insurance;
have 300 hours of SMSF audit experience in the three years
prior to registration, subject to transitional arrangements;
pass a competency exam, subject to transitional
Auditors will be able to apply for registration from 31 January
2013. All auditors must be registered with ASIC by 1 July 2013 to
conduct SMSF audits after this time. Auditors required to sit the
competency exam will be able to do so from 1 July 2013 and will
have until 30 June 2014 to complete the exam and become fully
The competency exam will be developed by ASIC in consultation
Auditors who sign off 20 or more audits in the 12 month period
prior to applying for registration will not be required to sit a
competency exam to become registered as an SMSF auditor.
Current SMSF auditors who have signed off on an SMSF audit
within a 12 month period will be exempt from the hours based
experience requirement when registering.
Registered auditors will be required to meet ongoing
professional obligations including:
undertaking a minimum amount of Continuing Professional
Development (CPD) training (120 hours) every three years;
complying with the Accounting Professional and Ethical
Standards Board's APES 110 – Code of Ethics for
Initial registration cost is $100 and annual statement costs are
$50. Competency exam cost is $100.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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