Although it is “very early days”, the general expectation was that more accountants would be licensed under some form of AFSL at this stage, Hayes Knight founder Greg Hayes told AccountantsDaily.
“It still appears that there is a reasonable group that need to do something and haven’t done it,” he said.
“And there is a greater risk for those who have done nothing – they’re so used to responding to clients and giving opinions [on SMSFs], they might get caught in providing an opinion on something and run foul of the regulated environment,” he said.
Mr Hayes believes a significant trigger for accountants to sort their licensing arrangements will be the passage of the new superannuation laws, with the bulk of the major changes set to come into effect from 1 July next year.
“There’s about 54 per cent of super members between 55 and 74, and that represents over 500,000 SMSF members in that demographic. Those people are most likely to be affected by changes put in place and that is going to cause a significant increase in questions from clients – like 'Should I take advantage of non-concessional caps prior to 30 June?', 'What do the changes mean for the strategies I have in place?', etc,” he said.
“Data shows the first stopping point going to be an accountant for those clients. Accountants who aren’t authorised won’t be able to answer those questions. That client push is going to cause a number of these accountants to crystallise their thinking.”