Under FOFA regulations, accountants will no longer be exempt from licensing restrictions around providing SMSF advice after the 2016 deadline.
William Buck said that while Treasury estimates up to 10,000 accountants will apply for a limited licence before the exemption expires, only 65 have done so to date.
Fausto Pastro, a director of the firm, said accountants need to start having a conversation about their licensing options now or risk losing the ability to provide SMSF advice altogether.
“Over half a million Australians hold an SMSF and much of the advice they are currently obtaining is from their accountants.”
“If accountants choose not to obtain the licence they will only be able to offer clients tax and compliance advice,” Mr Pastro said.
“In my experience clients are seeking total control of their financial position and are expecting direction across all facets of their finances. Stand-alone financial planning and accounting models offer limited advice,” he added.
Mr Pastro told AccountantsDaily William Buck offers no AFS licensing consulting, or an authorised representative model, and has entered the licensing conversation out of concern for the industry as a whole.
“I’m concerned that other accountants, particularly the smaller firms, aren’t panicking enough about this area and I’m concerned by what’s going to happen to their ability to continue providing advice to their clients.”
“Their ability to offer well-rounded financial advice will be compromised, and with it their potential to best service their clients,” Mr Pastro said.