Limited licence tipped to become ‘redundant’

Written by Katarina Taurian Monday, 07 March 2016

One training provider has tipped that ASIC will eventually take an “all or nothing” approach to licensing, saying the current system “shackles” accountants.

Speaking to SMSF Adviser, the chief executive of Adelaide-based firm Finance Wise, James Barger-Bos, said the licensing system “shackles accountants and is inefficient for the client”.

“The system at the moment is destined for change because of the complexity to the client,” Mr Barger-Bos said.

He suggested the limited licence in particular is restrictive for accountants, who will be forced to refer their clients to potentially a range of other professionals where, for example, insurances are involved.

“The process is time consuming, very expensive and confusing, both for accountants and for the clients,” he said.

“I think eventually ASIC will say ‘it’s all or nothing’,” Mr Barger-Bos said.

“[Accountants have] made a decision not to obtain a limited licence and they’re speaking with their feet, aren’t they?”

Speaking to SMSF Adviser last week, ASIC revealed that as at 22 February, it has received 323 applications for a limited licence. So far, 95 applications have been approved.

The number of applications received since 28 January this year has increased by 47, and the number of applications it has approved has increased by seven.

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+1 #1 eSMSFadvice.com.au 2016-03-07 17:12
James, You may be correct. I agree to then complexity to accountants from an operational perspective is a real negative without a technologically efficient solution.

What I strongly disagree with is the concept of accountants being fully licensed. Firstly most want to have nothing to do with investments and those that do will probably be quite poor at it. This is NOT a criticism of them, it is simply a reality, I strongly believe there is too much to both professions to be really good at both.

I used to be a good engineer, I'm now a good planner, if I did my studies I'm sure I could be a good accountant. I just don't think anyone can look their client in the eye and say I'm doing the best possible for you for your accounting needs and the same individual can also supply best as is possible planning, investment and insurance needs.

That's why people specialise, to be really good at a narrow field and do great work for their clients.
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