The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) released a legislative instrument for consultation which covers, in detail, what further education existing advisers will need to complete to comply with the incoming education standards.
You can access this guidance, and assess your situation, in full here.
Essentially, the guidance released yesterday reiterates a model FASEA has been working towards: if you operate under an AFSL and don’t have a financial planning degree – which is the vast majority of the industry – further study will be required by 2024.
In effect, this means accountants providing even limited financial advice – like basic SMSF set-ups – would need to do three or so bridging courses at a tertiary level to remain compliant.
As it stands, accountants operating under a limited licence will be required to complete education they cannot use in practice.
“It’s a terribly bureaucratic model. It seems to support study for study’s sake,” said head of policy and corporate affairs at CPA Australia Paul Drum.
“It’s basically sending everyone back to school. Nobody will be removed from further study,” said Mr Drum.
In better news, it’s clearer now for the accounting community what legwork they’ll need to do to comply with the new standards, said Greg Hayes, director at Hayes Knight.
“It’s unrealistic at this point for every single person to have absolute clarity, but the greater number of people should be able to sit down and assess their position,” Mr Hayes said.
Still, it’s almost certain accountants will have what FASEA calls a “related degree,” meaning they will need to complete further study, regardless of their prior qualifications or experience.
The new education requirements fully come into effect in 2024. To qualify for transitional concessions, advisers need to have been on ASIC’s financial adviser register between 2016 and 2018, making December this year the final deadline.
You can read more about how the new standards impact you here.