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AMP debunks self-licensing 'myths'

AMP’s ‘SMSF Advice’ business has issued a statement advising accountants that the costs of becoming self-licensed for financial advice exceed the costs of joining a dealer group.

Research conducted by AMP suggests accountants are underestimating the costs of establishing and maintaining their own licence in the lead-up to the removal of the accountant’s exemption, slated for July 2016.

“Accountants can expect to pay from $20,000 to $34,000 for self-licensing, compared to $15,000 to $20,000 for becoming an authorised representative, according to AMP SMSF Advice research conducted as accountants consider their licensing options,” a statement said.

“Most accountants view the $1,485 ASIC application fee as their only up-front licensing cost, but in reality, licensing set-up can cost accountants about $11,500, more than eight times what most accountants expect.”

AMP’s head of SMSF Advice, Stuart Abley, said that while cost is an important factor in the decision facing accountants, there are other issues to take into account, such as the long-term implications for a business.

AMP SMSF Advice has prepared a report to assist accountants in making the decision regarding licensing post-2016.