Melbourne boutique opens doors to accountants

Non-aligned practice Royston Capital is offering small accounting practices the option to join its AFSL as an alternative to joining an institution to provide SMSF advice.

In a statement issued by the advice business, Royston Capital said its decision to offer accounting firms the option comes in response to the FOFA reforms which will require accountants who intend to provide SMSF advice to be licensed from 1 July 2016.

“What we are doing is presenting accountants with another choice, targeting those wanting to provide quality advice free from conflict of interest,” Royston Capital proprietor Chris Boag said.

“In essence, businesses looking for a solution that will set them apart from the crowd but without the burdens of their own limited AFSL or being beholden to large scale institutions,” he said.

Mr Boag said the offering is also designed to ensure practitioners are able to “seamlessly transition” to the new legislative environment.

“We are well aware that accountants will be overwhelmed by the new obligations that govern the provision of advice – even where it involves the simplest limited advice,” he said.

“Rather than simply providing our licensees with ‘the tools’ to help themselves, our approach is to create a close working relationship with them, helping them every step of the way – from that initial discussion with their clients right through to implementation of that advice.”

Mr Boag also cautioned accountants who are looking for a licensing provider to ensure they undertake thorough investigations before choosing one.

“Ask questions such as: What will I get from my licensing provider? What can they do for me versus what tools can they provide to get me going?” he said.

“[They should also ask:] What are the additional costs associated with the provision of advice and client management, such as drafting statements of advice, software, reporting tools, training and conferences? Will I pass these costs on to my client or wear them?”

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