Australian accounting professionals who intend to leave applying for their new license until the last minute had better get in-gear and lodge their application pronto.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) warns any applications received after Tuesday, March 1st next week may not be approved in time.
“ASIC has flagged that they can’t guarantee if an application has reached them after March 1st they may in fact get it [the new licence] in time for the July 1 deadline,” stated Liz Ward, Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF) Association head of education.
Accounting professionals operating under the accountants’ exemption up until it expires on June 30th, risk only being legally certified to offer SMSF clients tax advice if their Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) hasn’t been greenlighted in time.
If lodgement is left to lapse and approval isn’t granted by the July 1st cut-off date, then professionals might have to wait another 3 years, until July 2019, to gain their license.
1. Seek approval for a full, or limited AFS license, or
2. Organise a referral arrangement, or joint venture with a party that has an appropriate Australian AFSL
According to Liz Ward, “It’s not an automatic must to get a licence… Accountants and financial planners… need to think about what they’re offering to their clients. They need to look at their business and how many SMSF clients they have and whether the size of their clients means to what extent they need the licence. They need to make a judgment on their business as to what is the right decision for them.”