Partner with an SMSF service provider to avoid legislative hurdles

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Partner with Aquila to overcome SMSF limited licence hurdles

Changes to the legislation around accountants’ advice to SMSFs are coming on July 1, 2016. By partnering with an SMSF service provider, this won’t be an issue.

At the present moment, accountants have the freedom to provide advice to SMSF clients about the running or even establishment of their fund. This can be an important and lucrative part of the industry for accounting firms.

However, significant changes are coming to the legal rules surrounding SMSF advice and accountants. From July 1 2016, accountants will only be able to provide such assistance if they hold a ‘limited’ Australian financial services (AFS) licence, gained by completing a specialist training course and meeting several other requirements set by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The change will affect many accounting businesses, who may end up losing clients if they aren’t able to obtain this new qualification.

However, this needn’t become a problem. If you partner with a SMSF accounting solutions provider who holds this licence, it could be possible for you to avoid this legislative change, retain your clients and suffer no setback in your business performance.

Saving time and money

In order for a firm to attain a limited licence, all principles within the firm need to gain RG146 and RG105 certification. The course that is required to be taken is broken up into five 12-week units and costs $1,655 per person. Depending on how many SMSF clients you service, the time and cost simply may not be worth it.

Rather than paying this, it may make more sense to outsource your work with an SMSF service provider who can provide the kind of advice you legally won’t be able to. It also means if you do any other accounting work for them, there’s less risk of losing the client completely.

Protecting yourself from staff turnover

Partnering with a licensed SMSF service provider won’t just save you the money you need to obtain the licence in the first place. It can also save you money in case your business experiences staff turnover in the future.

Imagine spending the money and effort to gain the licence, only to see key personnel leave a year or even a few months down the line, leaving you unable to service SMSF clients anyway. You’re left with a sunk cost that you can’t undo.

By hiring out the service of an SMSF professional, however, you can prevent this scenario from taking place. The SMSF service provider will always be there, acting as your in-house advisor for SMSFs, and unlike your staff, you’ll have the certainty you won’t lose them.

 If you foresee any of these issues affecting your accounting practice, call the team at Aquila Super and find out how we may help you.