Will tardy accountants create licensing bottleneck?

23 November 2015

Accountants have been reminded that traditional compliance work is diminishing and that they need to look to new business models for their future, including the limited licensing regime to replace the accountant's exemption.

The reminder has come from the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) and coincides with further confirmation that the take-up of licensing options by accountants, while accelerating, remains comparatively slow given looming deadlines.

The ‘accountants' exemption' which allows accountants to provide advice on the establishment of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF), without the need for an Australian financial services licence (AFS licence) will cease on 1 July 2016 and there are concerns that the tardiness of some accountants will see the Australian Securities and Investments Commission faced with a bottleneck of applications in the first six months of next year.

IPA chief executive, Andrew Conway used an address to last week's IPA National Congress to point to the level of disruption impacting the accounting profession and suggested it was time for members to think seriously about their future business models.

"With compliance work diminishing, whether it be through ATO automation or the ever moving technology disruption to the profession; along with the need to address the new financial services regime requirements next year; it is timely to take stock of what your future business will look like," he said.

"With ongoing disruption at various levels, I implore you to consider the impacts of disruption and how you may reshape your business mode," Conway said.

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