Despite the ASIC deadline looming, 72 per cent of accountants have not pursued their options for offering SMSF advice to clients after the 1 July 2016 accountants' exemption cut-off, according to the recent survey of accountants.
The findings of the survey mirror the most recent figures provided by ASIC for the total number of applications received – a mere 204 as of November 2015.
Dermot Lindsay, national manager for alliance partners at Perpetual Private, urged accountants to choose their licensing path before 2015 draws to a close, or risk running into serious business hurdles in the New Year.
“In order to meet this deadline, you really need to start planning now,” Mr Lindsay said.
“Preparation for the change, no matter which path you choose, can take several months. It’s important to recognise if you don’t get the wheels in motion by the end of the year, you’re going to face serious challenges in 2016,” he added.
Perpetual’s warning comes after ASIC indicated that licence applications not received by 1 March 2016 would possibly not be assessed before the exemption end date.
In response to the staggering number of rejected licensing applications (101 as of November), Mr Lindsay reiterated the importance of thorough preparation.
“Accountants should be clear about the authorisations they require and have completed the right RG146 training. It’s also important to check the adequacy of your professional indemnity insurance,” Mr Lindsay said.
“Ideally, all compliance procedures should be in place before you apply for your licence, or they certainly need to be by the time your licence is issued."