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ASIC knocks back limited AFSL applications

Less than 50 per cent of applications for a limited licence from accountants have been successful, the corporate regulator has revealed.

An ASIC spokesperson has confirmed to ifa sister title SMSF Adviser that 121 applications have been received so far, accounting for roughly one per cent of the 10,000 accountants eligible for the licence.

Of the 121 applications, the corporate regulator has only approved 50 due to problems or deficiencies in the proposals received, the regulator said.

“The number of applications which have been withdrawn by the applicant or which were administratively returned to the applicant because they were incomplete, defective, inadequate or incapable of assessment by ASIC is 59,” the spokesperson said.

This follows comments by ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell at the SMSF Association conference that with less than 18 months to go until the accountant’s exemption is phased out, accountants “need to get their skates on”.

Mr Kell also urged accountants to ensure their documentation clearly sets out that they have adequate professional indemnity insurance, that they understand how to handle their clients’ finances and that they have the relevant qualifications.

“The longer you leave it, and especially with those sorts of things, the more challenging it’s going to be, so be early and accurate,” he said.