Date posted: 01/11/2019

The accounting profession calls for efficient regulatory frameworks

The three major professional accounting bodies have joined forces to review the frameworks that regulate how financial and tax advice is provided in Australia

The three major professional accounting bodies – Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) – have joined forces to review the frameworks that regulate how financial and tax advice is provided in Australia.

CA ANZ, CPA Australia and IPA have released a video in which the CEOs of the three bodies call for more efficient regulatory frameworks for advisory services and pledge to work together in advocating for change.

CEO of CA ANZ Rick Ellis said "the bodies were working together on a broader and more robust solution to the complexity of the current regulatory framework that will enable both businesses and Australians to not only access the advice they need but understand that advice."

"The failures that were revealed from the Banking Royal Commission brought to light the extreme complexity of the current frameworks in financial advice which are not in sync with each other," Mr Ellis said.

CEO of CPA Australia Andrew Hunter said, "accounting professionals need the flexibility to talk and engage with their clients – but this is often problematic when that advice falls under multiple regulatory frameworks in the same conversation, or even the same sentence."

IPA Group CEO Andrew Conway said, "Our shared goal is to reduce the regulatory burden on our members, so we retain financial advisers in the industry. For the first time in the best part of two decades we are at a risk of creating an advice gap in the market."

This – coupled with the new education and professional standards under FASEA, the current review of the Tax Practitioners' Board and the implementation of the recommendations from the Banking Royal Commission – means there is a very real threat of added complexity.

Given the impacts of an ageing population, forced retirement savings, and ongoing concerns around financial literacy, now more than ever Australians need access to affordable, quality advice. The three bodies have a clear focus to revisit definitions, licensing regimes and to harmonise obligations where members operate under multiple regulatory frameworks to provide the advisory services to their clients.

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