Accountants offered another AFSL option

Accountants do not want to ‘go back to school' to secure an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) to continue to provide advice to clients with self-managed superannuation funds, and are looking for alternative solutions ahead of the removal of the accountants' exemption, FPT Wealth believes.

Offering another option to securing their own AFSL, FPT Wealth director, Tony Bates, said the company would enable accountants to outsource the delivery of high-end financial advice to FPT WealthBox, without having to undergo RG 146 education.

"FPT WealthBox is a credible answer for accountants who do not wish to become licensed planners, but want to retain their key client relationships," he said.

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Bates said the appointment of former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia, and founding director of Smithink, David Smith, as chairman of the business, would boost uptake of the service.

"David has had a long and distinguished career working with the accounting industry, including a partner role at PKF (now BDO)," he said.

"As our limited licensing solution for accountants, FPT WealthBox, gains further traction, we believe David's extensive experience and leadership will assist greatly with our growth and continuing market penetration."

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The genie is out the bottle with this debate. ASIC don't have the capacity to supervise and monitor all the licensing options and AFSL holders. The AFSL holders cant make any money doing limited licensing unless product is cross sold and accountants simply want to use their exemptions and wannabe Dealers want the advice fee and referrals with no liability. The punchline is that the regulator will be tied up in Knots unless they extend the period and everyone goes back to the drawing board for a solution. The concept was well meaning but enforcement and supervision simply isn't up to the task.

I've got some sympathy for a 'restart' on this whole process and 'licensing' in general. Its clear ASIC don't have the man power or spread to compliance check all these licenses - they can't even catch the Big4 issues in time, how are they going to catch another 5000 or so Accountant licensees? Many accountants have decided to run the gauntlet i.e. keep on doing what they are and assume they won't be checked on - they've done this for many years prior. Subtle or correct file notes containing disclosures and the words general information will proliferate, the FOS of the world will be blocked up etc pure chaos.

Be careful accountants! If you want to advise on setting up an SMSF you will still need a license or an authority from a licensee. Thus doesn't solve your problem. Best way to keep your clients is to do the minimum RG146 and get licensed or authorised and do the advice yourself. Do you really want some else advising your clients?

I'd disagree. I'm currently in the process of seeking compensation from an accountant who assisted an individual to rollover their industry super fund to a SMSF late 2009. The trustee left there funds in cash for the last six years missing constant double digit returns for six years failing basic principles of a duty of care. It would be far better to form a relationship and work with a team of trusted other professionals. I'm seeing accountants now trying to do estate planning work to prevent there clients seeing a Solicitor. That's going to end in disaster.

Hi BBB, my point related to the article. If they want to set up SMSFs for their funds, they should control it. I am not talking about investment advice. This is about collaboration. If it's their advice and they want to retain control they should advise on setting it up and the outsource to people like yourself BBB to do investment advice and insurance product.

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