Industry bodies forge major alliance

The National Tax and Accountants’ Association (NTAA) has entered into a strategic alliance with the Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals (AIOFP) to collaborate on a range of business services.

The two associations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) formalising what AIOFP executive director Peter Johnston has described as both a “commercial and political alliance”.

Addressing the AIOFP offshore conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Monday, NTAA Advice member advocate Phil Osborne said his organisation is seeking access to trusted relationships with financial advisers ahead of the removal of the accountant's exemption slated for July 2016.

“With the NTAA mission to serve its members, and the removal of the accountant’s exemption requiring accountants to look for options for the provision of SMSF advice, these changes have seen the NTAA add another element to our current member services – NTAA Advice,” Mr Osborne said

The NTAA is finalising an AFSL that will allow appropriately accredited members to become authorised representatives, and to provide advice restricted to SMSFs.

Feedback from NTAA members indicates that many wish to continue providing advice restricted to SMSFs, with more than 90 per cent intending only to continue providing advice on the fund structure.

“This results in the need for trusted referral partners to provide advice relating to investments and insurance in the SMSF,” Mr Osborne said.

Mr Osborne, himself a Certified Financial Planner, spoke of synergies between the two organisations making the MoU feasible, describing the bodies as a “good cultural fit”.

“One of the things of importance to the NTAA is not having any institutional ownership and not having any biases in terms of product or quota requirements, so the AIOFP fits perfectly with our philosophy in that respect,” Mr Osborne said.

The specific terms of the MoU are yet to be finalised between the two organisations, with a number of options on the table including educational seminars, tax support services and Tax Agent Services Act (TASA) compliance collaboration as well as more traditional business-to-business referral arrangements to be filtered between the two groups.

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