With the Federal Government’s announcement that it will remove the exemption that allowed accountants to advise clients on setting up a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), licensing becomes a critical issue for accountants.
AMP’s Head of SMSF Advice Kath Bowler said Saturday’s announcement of a Limited Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) for accountants strikes a balance between extending the advice accountants can offer, while keeping the licensing solution relatively simple and attainable.
“The move represents an opportunity for accountants to provide a more comprehensive service to their clients and will allow their practices to thrive in the future,” Ms Bowler said.
“This is also an opportunity for our existing aligned financial planners to explore and grow their relationships with accountants not looking to take on the responsibilities of licensing.
“It’s important for accountants to be able to offer the support and expertise their clients are demanding which is why AMP’s Financial Advice Network established SMSF Advice in late 2011 to focus solely on the licensing needs of accountants and SMSF specialists.
“We have developed a range of licensing and support options to enable accountants to customise the advice and services they provide to their clients.
SMSF Advice offers three licensing options; basic, strategy and comprehensive. The Basic Option is a simple licensing option for accountants who want to continue to recommend SMSFs as well as provide basic superannuation advice to their clients.
SMSF Advice’s Strategy Option is for accountants wanting to offer complex strategic advice in relation to SMSFs and non-super strategic advice. The Comprehensive Option is a more traditional form of licensing that allows accountants to provide broad financial advice.
Ms Bowler said SMSF Advice will review its licensing options in light of the Government’s announcement.
“We are now in a position to build the final part of the SMSF Advice offer to support accountants wanting to obtain their own licence but needing support to do that.
“At this early stage, we believe our existing range of licensing options, together with the new limited AFSL and referral opportunities with our aligned financial planners, provides accountants with choice to begin or progress down the path of their journey into financial planning,” Ms Bowler said.