Accounting bodies unite on advice

1 November 2019

The major accounting bodies have grouped together to mount a campaign aimed at reducing regulatory complexity and therefore allowing their members to more easily deliver advice.

The three bodies – CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) – have announced they have joined forces to review the frameworks that regulate how financial and tax advice is provided in Australia.

The group approach comes at the same time as the Government reviews the future of the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) and they have declared they are looking for a harmonisation of licensing regimes, definitions and obligations.

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Commenting on the move, CA ANZ chief executive, Rick Ellis said the bodies were working together on a broader and more robust solution to the complexity of the current regulatory framework that would enable both businesses and Australians to not only access the advice they needed but to understand that advice.

“The failures that were revealed from the Banking Royal Commission brought to light the extreme complexity of the current frameworks in financial advice which are not in sync with each other,” he said.

CPA Australia chief executive, Andrew Hunter said accounting professionals needed the flexibility to talk and engage with their clients but this could prove problematic when that advice fell under multiple regulatory frameworks in the same conversation, or even the same sentence.

IPA Group chief executive, Andrew Conway said the shared goal was to reduce the regulatory burden on members so financial advisers could be retained in the industry.

“For the first time in the best part of two decades we are at a risk of creating an advice gap in the market,” he said. “This – coupled with the new education and professional standards under FASEA, the current review of the TPB and the implementation of the recommendations from the Banking Royal Commission – means there is a very real threat of added complexity.

“Given the impacts of an ageing population, forced retirement savings, and ongoing concerns around financial literacy, now more than ever Australians need access to affordable, quality advice.”

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Join the club.
But with no carve outs.

Here, here. Finally some commentary which is on the right track. Get together with AFA, FPA and ASFA and we might be able to cut the red tape and deliver affordable advice to more Australians.

Under FASEA & the FOFA regime, "cost affordable" advice simply does not exist. It's a pipe dream, fast becoming a nightmare for the guy on the street.

Not sure why accountants are worried about new regulations. They've been giving illegal financial advice for years under the old regulations, and no-one seems to care. How many Australians have been illegally advised by their accountant to acquire an SMSF and/or investment property?

Not sure if this is Accountants trying to get a carve out, and ultimately create some revenue for themselves (SMSF) or whether there is some benefit here about reducing red tape overall.

All accountants are very welcome to provide financial advice, let’s all seek to help Australians have a better and more prosperous life! It can’t be with a carve out, it has to be a level playing field.

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