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Accountants drop ball on limited licence

Financial advisers are set to benefit from the slow progress of the accounting sector to take up the limited licensing regime, argues the Institute of Public Accountants.

Speaking to ifa, IPA executive general manager for leadership Vicki Stylianou said that to her knowledge, fewer than 50 ‘limited licences’ have so far been approved by ASIC.

The new regime – which will replace the so-called ‘accountants' exemption’ – is set to commence on 1 July 2016, but many in the accounting community have left the application process too late, according to Ms Stylianou.

“More than 90 accountants have applied, but ASIC has rejected a lot of them because their applications aren’t complete,” she said.

While there could be a flood of successful applications as the 1 July 2016 deadline approaches, Ms Stylianou said it is looking more likely accountants will be forced to refer their SMSF work to financial planners.

“There are going to be a lot who are going to be relying on a referral system whether they like it or not,” she said.

The IPA has a referral arrangement in place with AXA/AMP, BT dealer group Securitor, independently-owned licensee Capstone Financial Planning and IOOF-owned Shadforth.