New push to reinstate Accountant’s Exemption

17 September 2019

A new push has emerged for the reinstatement of the Accountants’ Exemption with some people suggesting accountants are being let down by the major accounting groups.

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has made clear its backing for accountants to be enabled to deliver advice for a new and extended Accountants’ Exemption, while accounting advocate and managing director of BGL Solutions, Ron Lesh has made a clear-cut call for reinstatement of the exemption.

Lesh has criticised major accounting groups CA ANZ and CPA Australia for failing to use a response to a Treasury paper to support reinstatement of the exemption and suggested that both organisations are therefore out of touch with their memberships.

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In a statement released on social media, Lesh said the Accountants Exemption “gives accountants the ability to talk about SMSFs - establishment, contributions, pensions and windups - without an AFSL or Limited AFSL”.

“In response to a Treasury paper which provides an option for the Accountants Exemption, your organisations have told Treasury they do not support the proposal. How OUT OF TOUCH are these organisations?” Lesh asked

“The IPA and Tax Institute have both come out as strong supporters of this option. Again CAANZ and CPA Australia have forgotten whom they represent. Well let me remind them – IT’S THE MEMBERS,” Lesh said.

A formal statement issued by the IPA claimed the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) legislation had failed to deliver affordable financial advice, denying many people access to appropriate advice leading into their retirement.

“To fill this void, the  believes that all Australians should be able to get limited financial advice and support from their trusted adviser, the accountant,” the IPA said.

“The Productivity Commission observed that 48% of Australian adults indicated having unmet financial advice needs.  So, obviously there is an advice gap in Australia which needs to be addressed,” IPA chief executive, Andrew Conway said.  “The IPA has developed a revised financial services licensing regime for accountants, which recognises their existing qualifications and experience.

“Our members are answerable to high levels of professional and ethical standards, subject to ongoing quality assurance evaluations, and must maintain currency of knowledge through committed and continuous professional development and training,” he said. “It, therefore, makes perfect sense for public accountants to fill the financial advice void; unshackling them to have genuine discussions with their clients.

“We believe it is the right time to introduce a new, extended Accountants Exemption,” Conway said.

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Yep. Great idea. Id also like to be a dentist but dont have the training, insurance or an organisation to back me up to make sure im compliant. I do have teeth though so i know what im doing. Can we make an exemption for me to become a dentist cos ill be able to bundle my services and make it more affordable for my clients.

If this gets up Im ditching my Financial Adviser Registration and becoming an Accountant. Whilst part of me wants to remain as a Financial Planner the cost to serve and ridiculous compliance regime means I am unable to help the vast moajority of australians.

This is a no brainer. The cost of a limited license and FASEA requirements to continue are completely unrealistic. Bring back the accountants exemption asap.

Haha how out of touch is this Conway guy? The barrier to entry to become a registered accountant is lower than passing a Kaplan exam - knock out a Cert IV and you can be on the streets in a few weeks. Yep that’s who I want delivering affordable advice - a numpty on $40k a year at a stand in a shopping centre. Spare me.

Great idea. Reinstate the exemption as soon as possible. Tax effective agricultural investments and self managed superannuation funds for everybody. No worries about the investment returns, you got the tax deduction didn't you? What do you mean you don't understand your responsibilities as a Trustee? Yippee! Cowboys ride again......

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