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Big 4, mid-tier execs hit out over 'heavy handed' regulation


Executives from a boutique, mid-tier and big four, who are frustrated over the amount of regulation stifling the accounting industry and hindering client access, are calling on government for overdue changes. 

By Lara Bullock 12 minute read

Accordius executive director Geoff Greetham told Accountants Daily that he feels Australia has become very “heavy handed” in regulation.

“It's always going to be that fine line between regulation and access and I think the changes in the last couple of years have been quite dramatic,” he said.

“So you've still got to have a certain light touch to it to enable the industry to function effectively, because all it does at the end of the day it puts more impost back on the operator and in turn the client.”


Mr Greetham said reforms should be sought to reduce costs and improve accessibility for clients.

“The ultimate goal is access to individuals at the end of the day,” he said.

“The whole emphasis of the reforms is hopefully they make it more cost effective for clients to access advice and be confident in the advice that they're getting.”

Bentleys SA managing partner Michael Ruggiero also agrees that there is too much red tape, particularly with the changes to superannuation regulation.

“It is an absolute minefield but it means that work we were able to do freely and quickly is now bogged down in having to provide statements of advice, having to collect fact finders, and the compliance behind our licence,” Mr Ruggiero told Accountants Daily.

“All those sorts of things just slow everything down, and that's been very difficult and very challenging.”

Mr Ruggerio said tax is another area that is too complex and overshadows the positive business boosting work accountants could be doing.

“Tax is another one where regulation and complexity doesn't do anything to help the client and in fact it makes our services more expensive because in order to help the client just comply is a formidable task,” he said.

“Most firms have clients who are in desperate need of advice and yet you've got these roadblocks and these walls that you keep hitting your head against.”

KPMG Enterprise national managing partner Rob Bazzani added that it’s not only accountants calling for red tape cuts, but the clients too.

“Clients want less regulation, they want a clearer view in terms of how they do their BAS statements, what happens with GST, they want to have access to world-class payment systems,” Mr Bazzani said.

“We’re really seeing those are the wider needs of companies today.”

Lara Bullock


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