Chief executive of Licensing for Accountants Kath Bowler said that since individual accountants want different outcomes from licensing, there is a raft of options available rather than a standard one-size-fits-all solution.
“With so many options, accountants are struggling to work out which solution is right for them,” said Ms Bowler.
Since licensees are legally responsible for setting RG146 requirements, Ms Bowler said it is the licensee’s interpretation of the training that is then passed on to accountants.
“Not only do individual licensees have diverse solutions for accountants, many have different interpretations of RG146, which is why there is little consistency in the specific areas accountants should be training in,” she said.
Ms Bowler said that more than 100 accountants have completed using the licensing diagnostic tool, with the results indicating 91 per cent want to be licensed for SMSF establishment advice and contributions advice and 71 per cent want to provide assistance with rollovers.
The results also showed 66 per cent want to be able to advise on limited recourse borrowing arrangements, 56 per cent want to advise on preparing investment strategies for SMSFs while 36 per cent would like to provide insurance needs analysis advice.
The results indicate that many accountants will need to complete more than just one or two units of study, said Ms Bowler, and that not all limited authority options for accountants will cover these four areas.
”Rather than embark on a training course that won’t meet their advice needs, accountants can use these tools to work out the training requirements appropriate to the advice areas, and understand if they are likely to need 1, 2, 3 or 4 units of study,” she said.
She urged accountants to base their licensing decision on their business needs but said it was important accountants also understood the costs of licensing.
“I’ve seen licensing costs quoted as anything between $3,000 and $130,000; hopefully our tool provides more realistic figures based on the support and training we think they might need,” she said.
“The tool allows you to compare the costs of different licensing options, including self-licensing and becoming an authorised representative.”