Accountants slow to apply for limited AFSL

At the current rate at which accounting practices are applying for a limited AFSL, fewer than one per cent of firms will have successfully applied and gained a licence by the closing date, says FPT Wealth.

According to FPT Wealth director Tony Bates, statistics have shown that in the past 20 business days, ASIC has received 16 applications requesting a limited AFSL, has added four new licences, and sent back nine applications.

"There are [fewer than] 25 business days left before Christmas, and then only 40 [days] before 1 March when ASIC has said they are closing their books on clean licence applications," Mr Bates said.

"At this rate, less than one per cent of accounting firms will have successfully applied for and gained a limited licence by the closing date.

"After this date, accountants will not get another chance until 2019," he said.

Mr Bates said his firm is currently surveying accountants regarding their application process, adding that many are frustrated and disappointed.

"Most have given up on applying for a licence and many are also giving up on the RG146 training requirements," he said.

"We are just not seeing the anticipated rush of late applications. The limited licence option was always the least appealing option – too much effort, too much risk and too much distraction for almost no new reward.

"On Tuesday 1 March 2016, the risk doesn't go away; it's just that a firm's decision tree becomes narrower and tighter," Mr Bates added.

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