The corporate regulator said that accountants who do not lodge applications by 1 March 2016 will risk having their application not assessed by the deadline.
"Accountants who do not lodge applications which meet ASIC’s requirements by 1 March 2016 run a significant risk their application will not be assessed before 30 June 2016," the regulator said in a statement.
“ASIC strongly encourages accountants to start preparing their applications and start any required training now, should they wish to continue to provide such services after 30 June 2016."
Speaking to AccountantsDaily, Vicki Stylianou, IPA executive general manager, said this is the first time she has heard ASIC mention the 1 March soft deadline.
"I haven't seen anything coming out of ASIC... there's no ruling around it or anything," Ms Stylianou said.
"I think it gives people a good idea of the length of time it will take to process all of those last-minute applications that they're expecting."
When asked if an extension to the deadline was an option, Ms Stylianou was sceptical, but would not rule out the possibility.
“I think people are taking bets on this," she said. "There is precedent in the past to say that extensions are granted but I think it’s unlikely that there will be a grant or an extension. I think it’s unlikely but I wouldn’t necessarily rule it out.
“If there was an extension, it would not be announced until the very last second. It would be announced so late in the piece, and I think it would be only if ASIC really has serious problems in trying to deal with applications."
Andrew Conway, IPA chief executive officer, added that “Public Accountants hold the prestigious mantle of trusted adviser and are in the best position to capitalise on the new financial services regime so we are hopeful of a greater and quick response to the regulator."