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.
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.”