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$1.6m measure tests scope of advice

06-Nov-2017 Krystine Lumanta, Self Managed Super

Accountants getting the scope of advice right, particularly in relation to the specific issue of the choices around a $1.6 million transfer balance cap excess, has become a key area of inquiry, according to two industry executives.

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ATO eases position on second SMSF strategies

02-Nov-2017 Miranda Brownlee, SMSF Adviser

Recent remarks from the ATO suggest that establishing a second SMSF to separate pension and accumulation assets may actually be allowed, according to a technical expert.
SuperConcepts general manager of technical services and education Peter Burgess said one of the strategies that has been on the ATO’s watchlist is setting up a second SMSF.

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Accountants name SOA as top struggle

01-Nov-2017 Krystine Lumanta, Self Managed Super

Accountants authorised to provide financial advice to the SMSF market have revealed producing statements of advice (SOA) was their biggest challenge, according to industry research.
The “2017 Vanguard/Investment Trends Self-Managed Super Fund Reports” surveyed both licensed and unlicensed accountants, revealing their biggest challenges in servicing the SMSF market.

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Critical steps flagged with pension commutations

01-Nov-2017 Miranda Brownlee, SMSF Adviser

An industry consultant has highlighted some critical aspects to framing the scope of advice correctly when advising clients to commute amounts above the pension minimum.
Speaking in a webinar, Licensing for Accountants chief executive Kath Bowler said the way practitioners frame advice to clients around commuting pension payments above the pension minimum is very important.

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SOA mismatches leading to compliance issues

31-Oct-2017 Miranda Brownlee, SMSF Adviser

SMSF practitioners need to ensure the objectives of their advice align with their recommendations, as discrepancies between the two may attract ASIC’s attention, according to a consultant.
Speaking in a webinar, Licensing for Accountants chief executive Kath Bowler said SMSF practitioners operating under a licence need to ensure that when they’re providing advice that the recommendations match what the client wanted to achieve.

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ASIC continues unlicensed advice blitz

30-Oct-2017 Miranda Brownlee, SMSF Adviser

Further accounting firms have been questioned by ASIC about their services in the past month as the regulator continues to ramp up its surveillance activities into unlicensed advice, warns an advice group. Merit Wealth accountants services director David Moss said in the past month he has continued to hear from accounting firms that have been called by ASIC in relation to advice services it suspects they may be providing.

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Delays with disputes handling causing PI claims issues

27-Oct-2017 Miranda Brownlee, SMSF Adviser

Some practitioners are taking too long to escalate client disputes to their licensing provider which is causing professional indemnity insurance claims to be denied in some cases, warns an industry lawyer.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Maurice Blackburn principal, superannuation and insurance, Josh Mennen said while financial advisers must follow an internal dispute resolution process and also be a member of a dispute resolution body, issues can arise where a client makes a formal complaint to an adviser, but the adviser doesn’t escalate it to their licensee within certain time frames.

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FASEA adopts education council’s degree framework

27-Oct-2017 Simon Hoyle, Professional Planner

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) will expedite its approval of degree-level education requirements for financial planners by initially adopting a framework already developed by the Financial Planning Education Council.


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Reforms fortify accountants’ role

18-Oct-2017 Krystine Lumanta, Self Managed Super

Accountants have been told to step up to the challenge of servicing their SMSF clients as their role has only been reinforced by the new super reforms, along with the added requirements around the ATO’s transfer balance account report (TBAR) regime. “I think the super reforms are a positive for the industry,” Class chief executive Kevin Bungard told the Accountants’ Technology Showcase Australia 2017 Conference in Sydney yesterday.

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Advisers ‘failing’ clients by not investigating health

16-Oct-2017 Staff Reporter, IFA

Understanding the mental and physical health of clients is critical to provide effective and relevant planning, an ANZ-aligned practice has said. In a statement, the Sydney-based firm Leading Advice said advisers need to know the state of their clients’ health “almost as intimately as their doctor” to develop relevant financial strategies.

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