Accountant licensing arrangements have imposed the same challenges on the accounting profession as those being experienced by financial planners as they approach higher education standards, according to an analysis published by Count Financial.
The analysis, attributed to Count's Network Development Manager for Victoria and Queensland, Susannah Hart, has pointed to older accountants finding themselves facing the same dilemma as older financial planners in being reluctant to undertake further study and education.
According to Hart, there are strongly differing attitudes between older and young accountants, in circumstances where many senior accountants did not believe the new licensing regime for accountants would actually happen.
"That means there a lot of junior accountants who are working at firms which aren't looking ahead — those accountants are likely to move to firms that do embrace change and want to offer holistic advice," she said.
Hart said that under the new licensing rules, one of the major hurdles for senior accountants was the need to undertake further training and education.
"Accountants of a certain age aren't interested in extra study. So if a senior partner is planning to exit the business in the years ahead, they're still going on the journey with their firm, but they won't get licensed themselves," she said.
Hart said that while younger accountants were often the driving force behind a firm's licensing journey, those firms needed to avoid the temptation to seek out a quick solution to their licensing obligations and, instead, take a long-term view.
"From a licensing perspective, accountants who don't want to take on additional study still need to get accredited — which can be an easier process under a limited licensing arrangement," she said.
"But it's important to remember that if you want to expand into full advice down the track, your accreditation may not necessarily be transferrable."