CPA Australia pricing licensing with caveats

The accountants licensing pricing model being pursued by CPA Australia Advice appears to be geared towards encouraging the take-up of its comprehensive adviser option.

That is the analysis of competitor groups who have examined the CPA Australia Advice pricing model which starts at $695 a month for a basic adviser package, growing to $1,250 a month for a so-called level 2 "Strategic Adviser" package and topping out at $1,760 for the Comprehensive Adviser package.

However a number of dealer group heads noted that CPA Australia Advice was promoting its pricing at the same time as acknowledging that the business still remained to be fully licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

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The pricing structure announced by CPA Australia Advice appears less than competitive when weighed against the offerings of some financial planning dealer groups at the entry levels but highly competitive at the upper level because it is inclusive of xplan software licensing.

Commenting on the CPA Australia Advice licensing offer, Premium Wealth Management chief executive, Paul Harding-Davis said it represented an interesting approach but that accountants would have to make some key assessments.

"Beyond that, CPA Australia Advice has taken on an interesting challenge in recruiting to its offering without necessarily holding a license," he said.

The CPA Australia Advice web-site detailing the pricing offer notes that CPA Australia Advice has applied for an AFSL and an ACL and "the services described and the materials on this website may change in the event that ASIC grants the licences to CPA Australia Advice. There is therefore no warranty as to their currency. CPA Australia Advice will not process applications from any prospective Authorised Representative unless ASIC grants the AFSL and ACL licences".

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From my experience in running an AFSL and assisting planning practices move between licensees, the challenge for the CPA licence will be running an AFSL at full throttle ( taking on board new work practices, training on policies and procedures, implementing compliance processes handling fees and brokerage ) while migrating data. It doesn't take long to figure out the physical impossibility of data migration within Xplan when multiple practices are moving. Given the CPA don't have an operating model yet this is a massive issue. Overall success implies a slow steady growth pattern would be best for governance and best practice but it appears the froth and excitement says growth will be massive. Interesting dilemma - how to make a dramatic entrance without mistakes when experience is nil. hmmm

wow, is it even legal to offer to accept Authorised rep applications without an AFSL?

If I was an accountant looking at this model, I would have very significant reservations.
CPA has never run a license and is offering a solution that will need to apply to multiple business models. The potential brand damage would be the alarm bell that every accountant should be ringing.
The pricing including IRESS will backfire on them and there will be a great deal of frustration for the advisers who sign up to this as a solution.
Peter Kell should ultimately be responsible for the Compliance issues which will eventually surface with this model as he personally endorsed it - another indication that he has no idea on the complexities of running a license.

Pretty confident the base price does not include iress or software. They intend providing a 'suite' of SOA templates that the accountant can adjust etc. I agree, no oversight at the auth rep level - how is CPA going to do a few thousand advice audits? Raises more questions.

If I was using Xplan I would be going to Xplan and asking for a discount now. The retail rate on xplan is at least 50% of that cost. Sounds like, smells like a conflict. Hey no commissions & fee for service... but we'll make up the gap on your membership fees., discounted software etc etc.

Good luck with your PI premiums!

Some great comments above, if anybody else started promoting an advisory business and name without and AFSL and ACL I am sure you will be getting a gentle tap on the shoulder to cease and not misrepresent. The big differential pricing of Xplan between dealer groups has to start worrying some of the smaller groups uysing Xplan. I am not even sure whether the people heading it up and ever run a dealer group. Running a dealer group with AFSL and ACL very different than being the planner. Alot more to consider. Ten weeks to go - no AFSL no ACL and plenty of work to take on 1000 CPA Practioners not all that have worked in Financial Planning. No extension no exemption Mr ASIC

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