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Accountants’ exemption revival lobby in the works

Accounting software boss, BGL’s Ron Lesh, is readying to lobby the government to reinstate the accountants’ exemption for SMSF advice services.

Business Katarina Taurian 06 August 2018
— 1 minute read

Mr Lesh is in talks with practitioners who are in favour of replicating the conditions of the accountants' exemption, which permitted accountants to provide basic SMSF services without requiring an AFSL.


The accountants' exemption, which was phased out in 2015, made way for the unpopular limited licence option. It permits accountants to provide limited advice services, including SMSF advice, but continues to fall flat and create unworkable situations with SMSF clients.

“This is just about making it work. What we have now is simply not working, and it won’t work. We always knew it wouldn’t, it’s not how this space works,” Mr Lesh told sister publication SMSF Adviser.

Mr Lesh plans to approach Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer, much like he did when the ATO’s portals were going through a period of extreme instability last year.

This is not the first time scrapping the limited licensing regime has been raised. For one, Mayflower Consulting director Sarah Penn said there’s a clear business case for ASIC to bin the limited licence, given the take-up has been well below projections.

“I do wonder whether ASIC in the next five years or so will actually remove the limited licence altogether because the take-up has been marginal and there’s been so many implementation issues with it in terms of how you operate under a limited licence,” Ms Penn said last year.

“This would be fine if it was an industry-wide thing and everyone had this new licence [because] ASIC and industry would then have to figure out how to make it work, but there’s only a few hundred licences out there,” she added.

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Accountants’ exemption revival lobby in the works
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