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Accountants to hold back on limited AFSL

Accountants are likely to hold back for as long as they can in applying for a limited Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) to provide advice on self-managed super funds (SMSFs), it has been claimed.

SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) director of education and professional standards Graeme Colley told ifa the limited AFSL would take longer to take off than many people were expecting.

It may be “one minute midnight” before the 1 July 2016 phase-out of the accountants’ licensing exemption ends before those affected look to take up the new licence, he said.

Asked if there was any concern over predictions from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission that the number of registered auditors in the SMSF space may drop by almost half when new auditor requirements come in, Colley said it was more likely to be a positive.

“You’d hope that the people who drop out are the ones that are really marginal anyway in that space,” he said.

Colley said he wasn’t expecting the changes to result in a drought in SMSF auditors.

“I think there will be consolidation and there certainly is critical mass for technical skills. If that is what it does then I think it will be a great improvement,” he said.


One thing that will be of ongoing concern to SMSF advisers and trustees will be on the investment side because of the technical complexities there, he added.