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Accountants Exemption post 1 July 2016 SMSF's

What kind of things would members actually want CPA Australia to focus on vs what are they actually doing
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perthcpa
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:03 pm

Accountants Exemption post 1 July 2016 SMSF's

Post by perthcpa » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:50 pm

My first post – I was put onto this site by a CPA friend of mine. I am a CPA, in public practice. I can think of a whole range of issues where CPA Australia seems to have lost its way and as a result is becoming ever more irrelevant to its members. One example, where I think CPA Australia have really shown just how arrogant and out of touch they are, is the removal of the accountant’s exemption. We all know that CPA Australia have set up a loss making financial planning arm. Some two years ago, I have all my emails and letters to prove it, I began writing to CPA Australia telling them that most small suburban accountants do not want a limited AFSL (direct or authorised rep). The main reason for this is obvious. PI Insurance, unwanted CPD, training and the fact that most suburban firms have relatively few SMSF events each year where an AFSL is needed. A possible solution is online SOA’s.

Refer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QhQwI2PCzw

To see what I am getting at.

CPA Australia totally fobbed me off. All I was doing was sending them letters and emails highlighting possible legal and other reasons, ASIC, ETA references etc, as to why online SOA’s might be possible and asking them to please have a look. They never even responded and when they did after some 4 or 5 letters it was an arrogant jib about how busy they were. Too busy flushing member’s funds down the toilet running that that financial planning arm it now seems.

What does it take, what can we do to reform Australia CPA and make it into the organisation that is cutting edge and member driven?

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The Nude CPA
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Re: Accountants Exemption post 1 July 2016 SMSF's

Post by The Nude CPA » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:56 pm

This does not at all surprise me.

They, the board and executive, have simply been looking for ways to increase their remuneration rather than do right by members.

JWheldon
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Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 6:43 pm

Re: Accountants Exemption post 1 July 2016 SMSF's

Post by JWheldon » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:46 pm

Hello PerthCPA.

Your concerns about the whole process and costs are right for small public practice, but the problem is that CPA argued that they did try to get the best deal concerning the limited licence and the changes from 1 July 2016. Unfortunately the cost and the whole regime basically means that accountants have to become financial planners and comply with ASIC requirements or associate with a financial planner and have them do the work.

Other members have also raised that the cost to comply for small practice, basically this does not make it worth it and you are better off having a business relationship with a financial planner, who can then provide the right compliance advice, unless the small practitioner wants to go through the whole process. CPA was told by members that their costing structure concerning CPA Australia Advice was too high. Just look at NTAA Advice, which provided a different process, which members have advised they rather do and was cheaper.

The board of CPA Australia Advice and the management team (Alex Malley), strategy seems to be questionable and lost towards how much they can get themselves, then trying to run a professional financial planning business, with strategy and budgets, and staff to meet the appropriate demand. Even the expert advise, they appear to be getting from Suzanne Haddan, appears very questionable. One may even question whether they even really want to this venture to continue, given what they have done, or just to say to the members, well they gave it a try and due to the lack of interest from the members they had to close it down and write-off of the $20million. Great management and great accountability....NOT.

Even Graeme Wade the Chairman of CPA Advice did his compliance, not with CPA Australia, but with Kaplan and is associated with Count Financial Limited. So if the Chairman of CPA Australia Advice, did not do his RG146 course with CPA Australia and is not registered with CPA Australia Advice, then what does that say about CPA Australia Advice and the whole process? Graeme Wade should pay back all the directors fees that he was paid from CPA Australia Advice and immediately resign from CPA Australia and CPA Australia Advice for his bad leadership and bad strategy.

NAME OF THE FINANCIAL ADVISER AS IT APPEARS ON ASIC'S FINANCIAL ADVISERS REGISTER

GRAEME WADE
AN IDENTIFYING NUMBER ALLOCATED TO THE FINANCIAL ADVISER 001240464
ROLE OF THE FINANCIAL ADVISER Financial Adviser
THE STATUS OF THE ROLE THE FINANCIAL ADVISER HAS BEEN APPOINTED Current
THE YEAR THE FINANCIAL ADVISER FIRST PROVIDED ADVICE 2016
NAME OF THE LICENCE HOLDER AS IT APPEARS ON ASIC'S FINANCIAL SERVICES LICENSEE REGISTER COUNT FINANCIAL LIMITED
AN IDENTIFYING NUMBER ALLOCATED TO THE LICENCE HOLDER 000227232
THE LICENSEE'S AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS NUMBER (ABN) 19001974625
THE COMPANY(IES) OR PEOPLE WHO CONTROL THE LICENSEE'S BUSINESS. THEY CAN SOMETIMES BE A MAJORITY SHAREHOLDER OR ABLE TO CONTROL VOTES AT MEETINGS OR BOARD COMPOSITION. COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA
THE DATE THE FINANCIAL ADVISER COMMENCED THE APPOINTMENT 22/03/16
NAME OF THE AUTHORISED REPRESENTATIVE AS IT APPEARS ON ASIC'S FINANCIAL SERVICES REPRESENTATIVE REGISTER THAT MADE THE APPOINTMENT COUNT FINANCIAL LIMITED
PROVIDES DETAILS ON THE QUALIFICATIONS OR TRAINING COURSES THE ADVISER HAS COMPLETED THAT ARE RELEVANT TO PROVIDING FINANCIAL SERVICES. Bachelor of Business - Footscray Institute of Technology ~ Diploma of Financial Planning - Kaplan
PROVIDES DETAILS OF MEMBERSHIPS OF PROFESSIONAL BODIES OR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS RELEVANT TO PROVIDING FINANCIAL SERVICES. CPA Australia (CPA)
PROVIDES DETAILS ON AREAS THE FINANCIAL ADVISER IS RESTRICTED FROM GIVING ADVICE ON. Not authorised to provide personal advice on Managed Investments, Retirement Savings, Securities, Standard Margin Lending

CPA Australia argued that they listened to the members about the need for this licensing option, but the cost and the benefit to small public practitioners is not worth the investment. CPA argued that they had hundreds of accountants who were interested in this option, which may have been true, but the cost to become compliant and then the cost to register and the monthly costs and PI insurance etc, just made many think twice. Many looked at other options.

CPA Australia argued that they represented the members and argued years before 1 July 2016 to enable accountants to get this limited license option, but others would argue that CPA board and individuals in authority got a bad deal, which really let the members down.

perthcpa
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Re: Accountants Exemption post 1 July 2016 SMSF's

Post by perthcpa » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:00 pm

I appreciate that analysis and what you write all makes sense. What frustrates me, as a 'small firm' and a CPA is that Australia CPA seems to have been unable to think through the possibilities of alternative models. Would it have been that hard to allocate resources to 'find out' why 90% of accountants had not registered for an AFSL or limited AFSL etc by 30 June 2016? Had they done that they would have easily worked out what many of us clearly knew and what I was writing in and telling them. To me that failure is clear proof of the short comings of Australia CPA and why it needs a major reform. I ended up solving the problem and now use online SOA's, with a group who also saw the problem and created a platform to deliver them. I, however, am not a credible source so very few CPA's are going to accept or run with a solution I now have. That is only to be expected, what CPA's needed was a researched and documented solution backed by a 'credible' organisation - such as Australia CPA. In that, Australia CPA totally failed and as a result a whole lot of CPA do not realise there is a solution to the licencing problem for small firms. This issue is just one of many that Australia CPA have failed their membership on.

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The Nude CPA
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Re: Accountants Exemption post 1 July 2016 SMSF's

Post by The Nude CPA » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:56 am

perthcpa wrote:
Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:00 pm
I ended up solving the problem and now use online SOA's, with a group who also saw the problem and created a platform to deliver them.
I find this very interesting... can you share who the group is?

perthcpa
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:03 pm

Re: Accountants Exemption post 1 July 2016 SMSF's

Post by perthcpa » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:48 pm


User avatar
The Nude CPA
Posts: 254
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Re: Accountants Exemption post 1 July 2016 SMSF's

Post by The Nude CPA » Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:15 pm

perthcpa wrote:
Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:48 pm
https://asap-advice.com.au/
Cheers.

That seems like a very practical solution, on the face of it.

CPAA's decision to ignore it underpins their (failed) desire to increase revenues and top-level remuneration off the back of that.

They've now put the association in serious jeopardy as a consequence of their arrogance.

JWheldon
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 6:43 pm

Re: Accountants Exemption post 1 July 2016 SMSF's

Post by JWheldon » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:14 pm

Have attached information re how it works at ASAP Advice.

Now why didn't CPA Australia think of this?

Maybe because the advice they got about running a financial planning business, was poor advice or unable to think of this type of business model or just couldn't do this type of business model.

ASAP info below

Our 'safe use' guide shows how accountants, who don't have an AFSL, can keep helping SMSF clients...
On 1 July 2016 the ‘accountants exemption’ was repealed from ASIC’s licensing regime. The Accountants Scaled Advice Platform (A.S.A.P.) is the easiest way to fill the gap that this created.



We provide financial product advice online, signed by our advisers – letting you continue to provide the tax advice and admin services, without an AFSL.



A Statement of Advice, from $250+GST is delivered digitally, ensuring you keep control of the client relationship. Fully compliant. Australian based. Run by an Actuary. Ask for our Safe Use guide for full details.



Patent Pending

In early 2016 it became clear that accountants were not happy with the licensing options being presented to them when the ‘accountants exemption’ was repealed on 1 July 2016. A.S.A.P. was founded in response to accountants’ requests for a streamlined, outsourced way for their SMSF clients to get financial product advice when mandated, without having to refer their clients to a holistic financial planning service.

A.S.A.P.’s offering was confirmed in June 2016 when BDO Hobart endorsed the idea and agreed to refer SMSF clients to the platform. It has been further endorsed by hundreds of conversations and demonstrations with SMSF accountants and other SMSF service providers across Australia. In January 2017 Topdocs integrated with A.S.A.P. – giving A.S.A.P. users the option to also automate the implementation of our advice.

A.S.A.P. have received assistance from the ASIC Innovation Hub since September 2016, and we have continued to work with Mills Oakley for sign-off of our ‘safe-use’ guides.

Users of A.S.A.P. are supported by a dedicated team and every advice order goes through a quality control process to ensure we deliver quality and flexibility for more complex scenarios that may arise.
Australian Financial Services License

ASAP Advice Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR Number 1248127) of Interprac Financial Planning Pty Ltd (AFSL Number 246638)

Statements of Advice from A.S.A.P. are provided under this AFSL. A.S.A.P. and Interprac sub-authorise the advisers providing the advice. For more information, refer to our Financial Service Guide.

A.S.A.P. chose to work with Interprac because of their dedication to support professional advisers driven by the highest standards in ethics, client service and business process. Interprac are an independently owned, non-aligned licensee who are endorsed by the NTAA. Being independently owned, Interprac are not under the influence of any fund manager, bank or life insurer and can therefore construct their own Approved Product Lists with no ownership constraints.

Peace of mind

Armed with an understanding of the rules and carefully chosen referral partners such as A.S.A.P., accountants who decided not to get an AFSL can still service their SMSF clients – without jeopardising the client relationship.

A.S.A.P.’s online system is designed to be used in every client meeting, every time.
Support

We offer support to accountants to help know exactly what you can and can’t say to a client without a license, and when your client needs a Statement of Advice (SOA). This help comes in the form of our written Guides as well as phone support and an interactive tool to help you prepare for each SMSF client meeting.

Our ‘rule of thumb’ is if you’re involved in implementing a client’s transaction into or out of an SMSF, then you really should ensure a SOA from a licensed adviser is on file. For just $250+GST, ordering a SOA from A.S.A.P. is an easy business decision to make – to get the peace of mind that you’re meeting the rules.

Just helping with the admin to implement a client’s transaction can be seen as a form of endorsement – which requires a financial services license. There is a strong likelihood clients would disavow pure disclaimers if anything went wrong or if the regulator came knocking. Without a written SOA it is very difficult to prove that the client did not seek advice from you – especially if you help to implemented the client’s product transactions. Not to mention the complex ‘dealing’ laws that can apply (see ASIC RG 36.36)
What we offer

A core feature of A.S.A.P. is our simple to use ‘drag-and-drop’ tool, designed to be used in every SMSF client meeting. The tool is free to use and lets the client direct what advice they require, with built in rules to protect both the client and accountant. After this process, a written scope document is generated automatically for the client to e-Sign.

This becomes an invaluable compliance tool which not only validates whether the client is suited to receive limited advice, but also creates a permanent record of what advice the client requested and exactly who will take responsibility for each decision.

Where the client desires rapid, inexpensive advice (i.e. limited in scope) this can be ordered quickly and easily online while the client is still in the accountants office. After the client completes a brief ‘fact find’ questionnaire A.S.A.P.’s SOA typically arrives a day or two after we receive all the information needed.
Areas of advice from A.S.A.P.

A.S.A.P. concentrate on the transactions accountants tend to get involved with the most. It’s not just investment selections that require a license to advice on but most transactions between a member and their SMSF, including:

Establishing a SMSF
Rollovers into a SMSF
Making additional contributions (concessional or non-concessional)
Starting and stopping an account based pension
Starting and stopping a transition to retirement pension
Lump sum withdrawals
Winding up an SMSF

When a SOA is ordered from A.S.A.P., the scope of our advice covers:

For clients who are considering a new SMSF: a recommendation on whether an SMSF is a suitable superannuation product to meet the client’s objectives. This includes advice on whether to roll over existing superannuation funds the client may have, taking into account an analysis of the fees and identifying whether there is insurance in place that would impact the decision to transfer. We contact each fund and give a specific recommendation for each rollover.

For clients who already have an SMSF: a recommendation on using the SMSF to start, change or commute an account based pension, transition to retirement pension, take a lump sum withdrawal or even wind up an SMSF. Our SoAs can also confirm the suitability of using the SMSF for concessional or non-concessional contributions.

If required, we work closely with a specialist insurance adviser who can analyse the client’s insurance contracts and recommend an SMSF insurance strategy.
Want to find out more?

For our free, interactive tool guide on what you can and can’t say to your next client, and whether they’ll need an SOA, click here;
Contact us to request our detailed Guide or to discuss your next client meeting; or
Book a personal screen share demonstration using our online booking system.

Or, if you are an accountant with self directed clients and you don’t have an AFSL, register here and start using the platform today.
Attachments
ASAP-How-It-Works-Slides-updated-20-April-2017.pdf
(1.51 MiB) Downloaded 53 times

perthcpa
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:03 pm

Re: Accountants Exemption post 1 July 2016 SMSF's

Post by perthcpa » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:55 pm

Just a follow up on A.S.A.P - they are a provider; I think they are great and I like them because they went out and did something. As a forum for CPA's who want to discuss issues, however, I think it is not about A.S.A.P or me - its all about Australia CPA. Refer link to a letter I sent to Australia CPA on this topic.

https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/df3 ... 9bf745004f

I sent this several times and could not even get a response. As a member of over 25 years standing that was pretty frustrating - especially as I now know how much money they were wasting on their dead beat solution. All I was doing was requesting Australia CPA to look into what was clearly a 'big issue' for accountants.

Australia CPA, unlike me, had both the expertise and resources to explore this issue and guide their members on possible best practice. They did nothing and as far as I know have still done nothing. I do not expect Australia CPA to comment on or endorse anyone like A.S.A.P but I sure do think they should be putting out best practice guidelines surrounding online SOA's and their use.

I think this is going all on the time and that if you could survey members you would see a lot of frustrated CPA's fed up with the way Australia CPA operates.

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