Accountants can’t decide on SMSF path

Almost three-quarters of accountants have not started their licence application to continue offering self-managed super fund (SMSF) advice after next year's exemption cut off, according to Perpetual.

The financial services group's survey found many accountants remain undecided about which licensing path to pursue.

Perpetual Private national manager for alliance partners, Dermot Lindsay, said to meet the 1 July 2016 deadline, accountants wanting to provide SMSF advice need to start planning now.

"Our survey shows that 72 per cent of accountants have not yet started their licence application or made a firm decision about which licensing path to pursue," Lindsay said.

"Preparation for the change, no matter which path you choose, can take several months. It's important to recognise if you don't get the wheels in motion by the end of the year, you're going to face serious challenges in 2016."

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said previously that applications not received by 1 March 2016 would run a significant risk of not being assessed before 30 June 2016.

"Accountants have a well-earned reputation as trusted advisers, with many clients turning to them for guidance around their SMSFs and it would be a shame for many accountants to miss out on the opportunity to continue this important service and the potential for further business growth by failing to get a licence before the deadline," Lindsay said.

Lindsay noted that accountants should be clear about the authorisations they require and have completed the right RG146 training.

"It's also important to check the adequacy of your professional indemnity insurance," he said.

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