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Accountants 'caught short' with licensing

Those accountants still undecided on licensing have already had their decision made for them since it is now essentially too late for them to be licensed by deadline, according to one industry consultant.

News Miranda Brownlee 04 January 2016
— 1 minute read

Speaking to AccountantsDaily's sister publication SMSF Adviser, Mayflower Consulting director Sarah Penn said if accountants haven’t done anything towards either obtaining a limited licence or becoming an authorised representative by this point “they’re going to struggle to get it done by 30 June”.

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“I think fence-sitting up to this point has actually made the decision for you if you’re an accountant,” warned Ms Penn.

“By now if you haven’t signed up your choices are going to become limited.”

Ms Penn said even the large dealer groups who are chasing licensees still have compliance requirements to meet.

“You can’t license someone if they don’t have the skills and expertise to be able to do it,” she said.

“So what's in place now is basically going to continue. Therefore, the ones who haven’t done anything are the ones who are going to be in trouble. They’re going to be the ones who get stuck.”

She also has concerns that accountants who haven’t done anything in regards to the licensing regime will simply continue giving the same kind of advice to clients even if though they legally can’t provide it.

“I’ve heard all kind of interesting things about what accountants are going to do, some of which are somewhat concerning; the concerning one being: ‘I will continue to do what I’ve always done because that’s what I’ve always done and I want to do the right thing by my clients’,” she said.

“They might get away with it for a while, but ASIC is on the warpath and eventually they’ll get caught,” she said.

RISE Standards managing director Guy Thompson, on the other hand, said there is still time for accountants to become authorised under a licence.

He noted, however, the time required for this process will vary among different licensees.

“Different licensees have different models, and different types of support structures, so the less support they provide, the more qualifications accountants generally need to do,” he said.

Accountants 'caught short' with licensing
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