Let us give ‘incidental advice’ say accountants

Accountants who give “incidental advice” should not have to be licensed, according to major accounting industry body, Chartered Accountants ANZ (CA ANZ).

However, the major accounting body has denied it is actually advocating for a return of the so-called “accountants’ exemption”.

In a submission addressing the future of the Tax Practitioners’ Board (TPB) which has been made public by the Federal Treasury, CA ANZ has canvassed whether financial advisers should be carved out of TPB jurisdiction with accountants being carved out of the financial advice regulatory regime.

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It said the TPB Review Panel should consider whether financial advisers “should now be carved out of regulation of the tax profession”.

“And vice versa [the Review Panel should], consider whether tax professionals, including all forms of professional tax and accounting advisers, should be carved out of the regulatory regime for financial advisers and be dealt with under a tax profession/industry regulatory regime,” the submission said.

“Specifically, should the tax advice incidental to financial advice now be regulated by the financial advice regulator? And should financial advice incidental to taxation advice, such as some SMSF / superannuation strategic advice now be regulated by the TPB under the tax services regulatory regime rather than by ASIC under the limited licensing regime?” the submission asked.

The CA ANZ submission said the organisation was not seeking a return of the accountants’ exemption but, rather, “a new way to allow accountants who maintain their CPD and practice under a strict Code of Ethics to provide additional areas of strategic advice to their clients”.

“The outcome of a new way to provide strategic advice in superannuation may well further enhance the basic value propositions of FASEA as well as that of Commissioner Hayne.” it said.

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What's the point of changing anything, everyone is very aware that accountants continue to give unlicensed financial advice regardless of what the laws are. It seems the only people unaware of this is ASIC who is, as usual, asleep at the wheel.

Id be happy to do the tax returns for my clients at review time, its not hard work. But then there would be no need for accountants. Even now with xero and my tax so forth, accountants may not actually be around for much longer. Yes our bretheren bean counters are trying everything to stay relevant. Skill up to FASEA level, then you are welcome to come and play in our sandpit.

why dont' you incorporate tax into your practice. it's not hard. in fact, financial planners should be doing all credit advice and tax advice. we know more information -have a deeper emotional connection than anyone else- about the client than either an accountant or mortgage broker or lawyer or their GP.

it's easy to do and if you get the process right (hard to do) it can become a seamless part of your overall offering, doesn't require much more study.

call xero, reckon or any other software provider, and tell them you want to extend beyond your core and capture this adjacent space. it's hell of a lot better than sending newsletters and a great engagement tool.

your clients will thank you. Go for it. we are the client's CFO's we should oversee every aspect of their finances.


Friendly FP

“a new way to allow accountants who maintain their CPD and practice"
Let's be clear, doing Accounting CPD does not qualify you to do Financial Planning. Likewise, FP CPD doesn't mean I can do Tax. They are different fields, different knowledge sets. You want to be a FP, study to be a FP. Want to be a tax agent, study to be a tax agent.

yeah but studying to be a tax agent is easy, it only requires a measly diploma. not even an advanced one. so a masters qualified fp like me could be an fp and be a tax agent if i wanted to.

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