Licensing for Accountants today launched a series of interactive tools to clarify RG146 training requirements, as well as a licensing costs calculator. The free tools provide much needed guidance for accountants who are considering Australian Financial Services Licensing (AFSL).
CEO, Kath Bowler said that accountants should understand that individual accountants want different outcomes from licensing - so there are a raft of options available, rather than a standard, one-size fits all solution. “With so many options, accountants are struggling to work out which solution is right for them.”
The tools were developed with input from key stakeholders in this space – including the SMSF Association, licensing consultants, education providers and licensees, with the aim of providing some much needed clarity and consistency.
Ms Bowler stated that the licensee is legally responsible for setting RG146 requirements, so it’s their own interpretation of the training that is then passed on to accountants. “Not only do individual licensees have diverse solutions for accountants, many have different interpretations of RG146, which is why there is little consistency in the specific areas accountants should be training in.”
Over 100 accountants have completed the Licensing Diagnostic tool developed by Licensing for Accountants. From this, the top areas they want to provide advice on were analysed. The results show that many plan to provide advice on more than just the basics:
- 91% want to be licensed for SMSF establishment advice and contributions advice
- 71% would like to provide assistance with rollovers
- 66% would like to advise on Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements
- 56% would like to advise on preparing investment strategies for SMSFs
- 36% would like to provide insurance needs analysis advice.
Based on these results, Ms Bowler said that many accountants will need to do more than just one or two units of study and that not all limited authority options for accountants will cover these last four areas.
”Rather than embark on a training course that won’t meet their advice needs, accountants can use these tools to work out the training requirements appropriate to the advice areas, and understand if they are likely to need 1, 2, 3 or 4 units of study.”
Ms Bowler said that while we strongly encourage accountants to base their licensing decision on their business needs, it’s important to understand the costs of licensing.
“Information regarding the costs varies significantly, so this was a driver to develop a costs calculator. I’ve seen licensing costs quoted as anything between $3,000 and $130,000. Hopefully our tool provides more realistic figures based on the support and training we think they might need. The tool allows you to compare the costs of different licensing options, including self-licensing and becoming an authorised representative.”
The licensing tools
The free tools are provided in a downloadable excel spreadsheet. The series includes:
- 1.Checklist of advice areas
- 2.RG146 training matrix
- 3.The real costs of licensing calculator
A fourth tool for Limited Licence options is also under development and will be released shortly.
The tools can be downloaded here.