With less than a year to go before the accounting licensing exemption becomes null and void, only a few hundred accounting professionals to date have obtained authorisation, or licensing. With so many conflicting messages from different sources causing confusion amongst accountants, it’s no surprise why many are hesitant to begin the licensing/authorisation journey.
Luckily, there is now an online service run by Licensing for Accountants, an independent accounting firm headed by Kath Bowler, designed to support and transition accounting professionals into licensing and authorisation.
Licensing for Accountants offers licensing guidance information and online tools to help accountants make sense of the licensing changes, their obligations and the actual process of application.
Kath Bowler says the main goal of Licensing for Accountants is not simply getting accountants licensed, but ensure accountants and accounting firms consider their business model, future needs & expansion opportunities when choosing which license is right for them.
"… It's essential that their business model drives their licensing decision and not the other way around. We're encouraging accountants to think about where they want their business to be in 3 to 5 years' time. Licensing for Accountants was developed to fill this gap. We have the knowledge and the structure to help them find the right licensing solution”, believes Ms Bowler.
You’ll find some great online tools and guidance including an Australian first: a web diagnostic tool which analyses information and data about you and/or your firm. The diagnostic tool then produces a report detailing the licensing solution which would be optimum for your particular circumstance.
Other free tools include:
“I’ve seen licensing costs quoted as anything between $3,000 and $130,000. Hopefully our [licensing calculator] tool provides more realistic figures based on the support and training we think they might need. The tool allows you to compare the costs of different licensing options, including self-licensing and becoming an authorised representative”, says Ms Bowler.
There is also a very handy information hub for everything accountants need concerning licensing such as:
So if you’re an Australian accountant confused about what licensing or authorisation you need and are asking yourself any of these questions:
1. Do I really need licensing?
2. I don’t know what training I need?
3. Do I need to be self-licensed or authorised?
Then Licensing for Accountants can help.
"Up to half of accountants impacted still don't know what they plan to do about licensing. They're not in a position to make an informed decision. Every accountant and practice is unique and there are a range of options available, adding to the confusion”, observes Ms Bowler.