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Advisers should ‘take market share’ from accountants

14-Jan-2018 Killian Plastow, Accountants Daily

Financial advisers are “significantly better placed” to advise SMSF trustees than accountants, according to the FPA.

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New education requirements expected to include accountants

10-Jan-2018 Miranda Brownlee, Accountants Daily

Educational changes currently sweeping through the financial advice industry are likely to include accountants with an AFSL, according to a compliance lawyer.

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Don’t unnecessarily punish degree holders says FPA

20-Dec-2017 Mike Taylor, Money Management

Financial planners with degree qualifications and who are Certified Financial Planners should not be needlessly penalised under the new arrangements being pursued by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), according to the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

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Licensee in hot water over super switching advice

19-Dec-2017 Miranda Brownlee, SMSF Adviser

ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking from an AFS licensee after ASIC surveillance found its advisers had provided inappropriate advice on switching superannuation funds.

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Flimsy property valuations exposing SMSFs to risks

19-Dec-2017 Miranda Brownlee, SMSF Adviser

Many SMSFs with property assets have not sought formal valuations of where they’re applying the CGT relief, which could see the fund attract further scrutiny from the ATO, says an SMSF auditor.

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Consultancy firm highlights further issues with tax advice guidance

13-Dec-2017 Miranda Brownlee, SMSF Adviser

A consultancy firm has called on ASIC to further review its interpretation of regulation 7.1.29(4), with licensed accountants still missing out on many of the exemptions available to unlicensed accountants. In a paper written in conjunction with law firm Holley Nethercote, Licensing for Accountants chief executive Kath Bowler said ASIC has only provided guidance on one of the two taxation advice exemptions in Information Sheet 216, and it remains unclear how the potentially broader exemption in S766(B)(5)(c) applies.

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When planners get double the punishment of unlicensed operators

12-Dec-2017 Mike Taylor, Money Management

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) should focus its increased powers and ability to impose harsher penalties on those seeking to provide unlicensed advice, rather than licensed planners guilty of no more than unintentional mistakes, according to the Financial Planning Association (FPA). In a submission responding to ASIC Enforcement Taskforce position paper on Strengthening Penalties for Corporate and Financial Sector Misconduct, the FPA makes clear that it wants the regulator to move away from a regime based on the harsh imposition of compliance around disclosure while overlooking the greater threat posed by those providing unlicensed advice.

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Wholesale client tests cause havoc for SMSF firms

07-Dec-2017 Miranda Brownlee, SMSF Adviser

The application of the wholesale client eligibility rules for SMSFs is confusing and causing frustration for accounting firms with high-net-worth clients, according to a consultancy firm. Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Licensing for Accountants chief executive Kath Bowler said there is no simple definition under the legislation of what a wholesale and retail client are in relation to superannuation.

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ASIC funding model ‘unfair for limited licences’

04-Dec-2017 Miranda Brownlee, SMSF Adviser

The structure of ASIC’s funding model disadvantages accountants under limited licences and should include metrics around the level of usage, according to a consultancy firm. A joint paper compiled by consultancy firm Licensing for Accountants and law firm Holley Nethercote stated that the ASIC funding model is based on the number of people included in the financial adviser register, which assumes that each person requires a similar amount of regulation.

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Accountants and planners resisting merge

04-Dec-2017 Malavika Santhebennur, Self Managed Super

The opportunities and the commercial/client benefits arising from the converging of financial planning and accounting practices are too significant to ignore but many are reluctant to embrace this shift, according to Australian Wealth Solutions (AWS). Founder and principal and Institute of Public Accountants Victorian vice-president Sam Zervides said the reluctance remained despite the complementary nature of financial planning advice services for accounting firms.

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