CPA Australia appears to have significantly altered the landscape for accountants providing financial advice, by including the provision of financial planning and advice under the definition of a Public Accounting Service.
The definitional change was announced in an update to CPA Australia by-laws following a board meeting in late April and took effect from the beginning of May and has caused consternation in some areas.
The inclusion of the provision of financial planning and advice under the Public Accounting Service came at the same time as CPA Australia sought to get its financial planning business, CPA Australia Advice off the ground.
By designating the provision of financial planning and advice as a Public Accounting Service, CPA Australia had effectively raised the bar by requiring the principles and partners of businesses providing the service to hold a Public Practice Certificate, which required them to complete the organisation's Public Practice Program.
CPA Australia told members that it had made the changes following advice from the Public Practice Advisory Committee and CPA Australia management.
It said the key change was the definition of a Public Accounting Service, "which now means any accounting, auditing and assurance, bookkeeping, consumer and commercial credit services, financial planning/advice, financial report; forensic accounting, insolvency and corporate reconstruction, management accounting, management consulting, taxation, transactional accounting and valuation services".