Accountants Daily asked 132 accountants 'Is your professional accounting body doing enough to help you prepare for the end of the accountants' exemption?' to which 101 replied "no".
In response to the poll, Hugh Elvy, head of financial advisory services at CAANZ, said he understands the removal of accountants’ exemption is a significant change and big challenge for accountants in public practice. However, Mr Elvy said CAANZ is doing all it can to help members through the change.
“We have provided members with a range of well received support materials to assist them and have extensively conducted both face-to-face member briefings and webinars,” he said.
Mr Elvy said there was still more for the industry body to do in the lead-up to July 2016 and said CAANZ would be stepping up its efforts next year.
“Whilst we have engaged with many members over the last 12-18 months, there are still many we need to engage with," he said.
“In 2015, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand will continue to communicate with members and provide members with the guidance and resources to assist them in considering their options.”
Vicki Stylianou, the IPA's executive general manager, said she is constantly talking to members to help them prepare their businesses for the new licensing regime.
“I talk to members almost daily about what to do in their particular situation, and what their options are," she said. "Then I send them our information that we have with our partners, encourage them to do their own research and come back to us.”
Despite this support, accountants still feel more could be done. Accountants have widely questioned why the industry bodies don’t obtain their own AFSL and allow members to be their authorised representatives.
Ms Stylianou ruled this possibility out, saying it wasn’t practical for the industry bodies.
“We have been asked that a lot, even by non-member accountants. We did consider it early on, but there is a lot of risk and a lot of costs to take on a licence or even to become a corporate authorised rep, and it’s not our core business,” said Ms Stylianou.
CPA Australia was contacted for comment but declined.
Are you thinking of expanding your offering into SMSFs to grow your client base? Become a pro at SMSF fundamentals and make your clients bulletproof with the SMSF Foundations course. Learn directly from Aaron Dunn from Smarter SMSF as he deep-dives into the fundamentals you need to know to successfully undertake your work as an SMSF practitioner. Earn up to 21 CPD hours! Learn more