Self-managed super fund accountant jobs in Australia

Can an accountant set up an SMSF?

Self-managed super fund accountant jobs in Australia: The accountants’ exemption, which previously allowed recognised accountants without an AFS license to give financial product advice about acquiring or disposing of an SMSF.

 This means that an accountant without an AFS license can no longer recommend that a client establish an SMSF, acquire an interest in an SMSF or wind up an SMSF.

Since the removal of the accountants’ exemption and the introduction of the limited Australian Financial Services (AFS) license, accountants who provide self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) services have taken a range of steps to adapt to the changes.

Moreover, although unlicensed accountants generally cannot provide advice about a client’s SMSF investment strategy, they can still provide broad asset allocation advice.

This means that they can provide advice about what proportion of funds should be allocated across broad categories such as shares, debentures, managed investment products, etcetera.

read similar articles:

SMSF account Australia

AFS licensing requirements for accountants who provide SMSF services

The Corporations Act 2001 regulates people who provide financial services – that is, certain types of services or activities that relate to a ‘financial product’.

Financial products include an interest in an SMSF and many of the investments that are typically held by an SMSF, such as securities and interests in managed investment schemes.

Other common types of financial products are:

  • general and life insurance
  • debentures
  • superannuation products.

See this >>SMSF association in Australia

While real property is not itself a financial product, an interest in an SMSF is a financial product.

 Providing a recommendation or a statement of opinion on using an SMSF as a vehicle to invest in real property is

financial product advice, and requires an AFS license with an appropriate authorization.

The financial services typically provided by an accountant might include:

dealing in a financial product – including acquiring, applying for, varying or disposing of a financial product on behalf

of a client, or arranging for someone else to do any of these things.

providing financial product advice – providing a recommendation or statement of opinion, or a report of either of

those things, with the intention of influencing a person’s decision on a financial product.

One former exemption, which allowed recognised accountants (i.e. certain accountants who are members of CPA

Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand,

 or the Institute of Public Accountants) to give financial product advice about acquiring or disposing of an interest in

an SMSF.

This exemption was in regulation 7.1.29A of the Corporations Regulations 2001 (Corporations Regulations).

The repeal of regulation 7.1.29A reflects the Australian Government’s policy decision that financial product advice about acquiring or disposing of an interest in an SMSF should be within the scope of the AFS licensing regime, regardless of who provides that advice.

When does a licensed accountant offer financial product advice about an SMSF?

Licensed accountants who are authorized to provide financial product advice about SMSFs are able to have much

broader discussions with their clients about SMSFs under their license.

We expect that, in most cases, a client who approaches a licensed accountant for SMSF establishment services will be

receiving financial product advice.

Financial product advice about an SMSF includes any statement of opinion or recommendation that is intended to,

influence a client to make a decision relating to an SMSF.

For example, giving advice about who should be the members of an SMSF would constitute financial product advice.

On the rare occasions where a licensed accountant can assist a client to establish an SMSF without providing financial

product advice, the accountant should make it very clear that they are not providing financial product advice.

A licensed accountant should also keep good records of the discussions they have with clients when providing SMSF services.

See this>>SMSF auditor obligations

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.