IPA advocates reinstituting accountant’s exemption

A key accounting body, the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) wants consideration to be given to reinstituting the so-called “accountants exemption”.

The IPA announced today it was seeking member feedback on advocating for a return of the ‘accountants’ exemption’ to provide financial advice related to self-managed superannuation.

Commenting on the move, IPA chief executive, Andrew Conway said that since the accountant’s exemption was removed on 1 July 2016, the IPA believed some Australians hade simply opted out of advice altogether which might ultimately place their financial future at risk.

“Simply, trusted accountants have been hamstrung, unable to respond to clients’ questions, particularly around superannuation,” he said. “The public rely on their annual interaction with their accountant to finalise their tax affairs and seek guidance on issues which unfortunately is now considered financial advice as part of this process.”

Conway said that without such guidance many will would receive no financial advice at all for important matters such as retirement planning, noting that before Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) became law less than 1 in 5 had any interaction with a financial planner.

“FoFA has failed to achieve its policy objective of making financial advice affordable and removing accountants from providing any assistance has made the situation worse,” he said. “As trusted advisers accountants can play an important role in helping clients manage their financial affairs and revisiting the accountant’s exemption is paramount to restoring access to basic financial advice.”




If we need to be part of the TPB you can be part of the adviser regime! This exemption assumes accountants dont even need training in the SMSF area, and can still give the same advice as we can. So then a 30 year old accounting degree is fine for an accountant giving financial advice on a SMSF but not someone that is actually a registered FP? No way Jose. Saying that people just wont get advice if they cant get the wink wink nudge nudge SMSF from the accountant at tax time is surely not a solid argument for this exemption. Why dont they just refer the clients onto a trusted financial planner to see if a SMSF actually suits the clients not the accountants cash flow? I have relationships with accountants, they work well for the client, as a matter of fact its mostly in the clients best interest to have two specialists working for them rather than just one that gives advice that is given under a exemption after they finished their annual tax return. Put the clients future at risk? maybe its been good for clients not to be told to open SMSFS to buy property over the past few years , a lot would be losing a lot of money now.

Oh how I wish a return to the good ol days. Would you like fries and trust deed with that tax return Mr Consumer. Consumer protection 0% accounting income up 75% from SMSF. Next we'll have the Bankers Associations calling for Bank Tellers to be allowed to have a Gun and Smoke whilst counting cash... with their 1970's style moes and slacks.

This is gold. Shock horror, the accountants don't want to go through the exercise of determining whether or not an SMSF is actually appropriate for their clients or to compare an SMSF against their existing superannuation arrangements. Never mind that the client may lose insurance cover by closing their existing superannuation arrangments. We all know that many SMSFs were only recommended by accountants so they could increase their fees, to the detriment of their clients, most of whom left their money invested 100% in cash and direct Australian shares.

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