Dave Smith, founder of Smithink, a business advisory firm and the 2003 President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia urges accountants not to wait any longer to obtain their new license.
Mr Smith warns accountants are quickly running out of time to integrate the right processes necessary for delivering compliant advice from July 1st next year.
Where Are We At With This Accountant Licensing Situation?
Mr Smith says that while numerous accounting professionals are already dispensing the sort of advice they would be providing anyway under their new limited license in 2016, many are not considering the whole picture.
A lot of these professionals are not acknowledging the additional processes which will need to be included from mid-next year into the advice they’re currently dishing out.
“What a lot of accountants are not thinking through is what they actually have to do from a process perspective come 1st July. All of a sudden they’ll need to have different processes because they’re actually going to need to generate statements of advice and engage with a client to ensure they’re gathering all the information they need to provide the advice,” said Mr Smith.
According to Mr Smith, the snowballing problem is that many accountants are running out of time to prepare adequately for introducing these necessary processes into their day-to-day work.
“Anyone who isn’t currently licensed won’t be following the processes they need to follow come 1st July. A lot of firms will get the licensing piece right because that’s what people have been telling them to do, to go out and get the training and the right licence, but I think many of them haven’t thought about this processes piece,” warned Mr Smith.
“Come 1st July next year, a good accountant will be able to have a broad-based discussion with their client about everything to do with their business and financial affairs. It will be very hard for an accountant without a licence to have that discussion without discussing things like superannuation, which is getting into the realm of needing a licence,” he said.
Mr Smith also points to concern regarding the cost of certain processes. He believes such things as licensees requiring lengthy & pricey statements of advice will make payment difficult to recoup from clients due to the extra expense.