The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) believes it is accountants who should be filling the advice gap in Australia and has developed what it describes as a revised financial services licensing regime for qualified accountants recognising their existing qualifications and experience.
IPA chief executive, Andrew Conway said the Hayne Royal Commission had reinforced the importance of trust and seeking appropriate advice from professionals and this sentiment had been echoed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) which had acknowledged there was a gap between “full financial advice and smaller matters”.
“For people looking for a solution to this gap, the IPA believes they should be able to get genuine advice and support from their trusted adviser; the accountant,” Conway said.
“The Productivity Commission observed that 48 per cent of Australian adults indicated having unmet financial advice needs. So, obviously there is an advice gap in Australia which needs to be addressed,” he said.
“Other research indicates that there is a gap between the fees that most consumers are prepared to pay and the average fees being charged by financial planners, with the majority of consumers being open to having reviews with someone else if it meant a reduction in fees.”
“To address these gaps the IPA has developed a revised financial services licensing regime for qualified accountants, which recognises their existing qualifications and experience,” Conway said.
“Members of the three professional accounting bodies are answerable to high levels of professional and ethical standards, subject to ongoing quality assurance evaluations, and must maintain currency of knowledge through committed and continuous professional development and training,” he said.