Thursday, February 11, 2016

Accountants need to get RG 146-compliant now

Brett Walker, Managing Director of SMART Compliance

We are now only a month away from ASIC’s soft deadline (1 March 2016) for accountants to apply for their “limited AFS licence”. Those who don’t take action risk being (i) unable to operate their SMSF establishment business or (ii) forced to work under someone else’s banner from July when the “accountant’s exemption” ceases. You can read more about limited AFS licences on Cleardocs’ Limited AFS Licence Application page.
RG 146 compliance is the key
Accountants must complete an approved course in superannuation as a product class, plus have their generic skills assessed.
Critically, even if an accountant opts to work under someone else’s banner, they will still need to be RG 146- compliant in whatever financial product class they discuss with clients or they’ll be breaking the law.
Most accountants simply need to complete a course that covers (i) generic and (ii) superannuation product competence. This will permit them to provide general and personal advice about superannuation, including setting up SMSFs and arranging rollovers into them.
Optionally, if an accountant wishes to be authorised to also talk to clients about the various classes of financial products they can hold in an SMSF, the accountant should complete additional RG 146 training in:
  •          Securities
  •          Managed investments
  •          Deposit products
  •          Life insurance
  •          General insurance
Given the fast-approaching March deadline to lodge a limited AFS licence application, I would suggest that accountants focus on completing the necessary training in generic and superannuation product competence, and complete training in the additional product areas if they feel they cannot refer this type of additional product advice out to a specialist.
RG 146 compliance training providers
By googling “RG 146 courses”, accountants will quickly discover the key players in the training sector for financial advisers (which now includes accountants).
Accountants should consider looking for online options that enable them to self-pace.
What is the deadline?
ASIC has repeatedly said that it will not extend the 30 June 2016 deadline when the “accountant’s exemption” ends, so accountants should assume that ASIC is serious when it says applications lodged after 1 March 2016 will probably not make it over the line by then.
Accountants can still apply after 1 March 2016, but they may not receive their licence in time for 1 July.
It’s time to get serious – and get RG 146-compliant.
Completing the ASIC application
The Cleardocs Limited AFS Licence Application package simplifies the process of applying for a limited AFS licence. Accountants receive the essential documents that ASIC requires, tailored to their practice, plus documentation of compliance policies and procedures and step-by-step guidance on completing the application process.

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