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End to accountants' exemption slammed

A small-practice accountant has used a submission to parliament to attack the decision to remove the accountants’ exemption.

News Michael Masterman 11 September 2014
— 1 minute read

In a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, Keith Compton said accountants should be allowed to continue providing the advice around SMSFs they always have. He said accountants are in a far better position to advise on the tax implications and other benefits of investment than any financial planner.

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“Under the new rules it is a requirement that a person have a financial planning qualification in order to recommend the setting up or closing down of a self-managed superannuation fund. This makes no sense at all,” Mr Compton wrote.

“A financial planner does not have to understand the accounting rules or the accounting standards applicable to financial reports for superannuation funds,” he argued.

“Most financial planners would not even have to prepare a tax return for a superannuation fund, let alone wind up a fund. Even fewer would know how to attend to the day-to-day management of a superannuation fund."

Mr Compton submitted that accountants should be able to retain their ability to provide common sense advice as to setting up, running and the organisation of an SMSF.

“After all we have been doing it for a long time,” he wrote.

Accountants already have the sufficient checks and balances in place, imposed by the professional bodies, and have appropriate professional indemnity insurance to continue to operate in the advice space, Mr Compton’s submission argued.

“When it comes to more complex investments such as derivatives and foreign investments and the like, then greater qualification is needed to provide appropriate advice.”

“I have yet to find a current financial planner who can advise on such investments yet these current planners are already permitted to do this,” Mr Compton wrote.

End to accountants' exemption slammed
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