Date posted: 14/01/2020

FASEA - what CAs need to know

As at 14 January 2020, CA ANZ continues to await a response from FASEA on its submission to have financial planning studies recognised in conjunction with our CA qualification for a further FASEA education credit.

In brief

  • Advisers who have completed coursework to attain the Chartered Accountant designation since 1972 have been awarded one credit for recognition of prior learning
  • On 5 December, the Government introduced into Parliament legislation to extend the time available for advisers to meet FASEA’s exam and education requirements
  • Compliance with FASEA’s Code of Ethics is required by law from 1 January 2020

Update on compliance with the FASEA Code of Ethics - 14 January 2020

FASEA’s Code of Ethics came into effect on January 1, 2020. From this date, licensees are required to take reasonable steps to ensure their advisers comply with the Code and advisers must adhere to The Code from this date.

What do licensees/advisers need to do?

Financial advisers will still be required to comply with the code from 1 January 2020 and AFS licensees will still be required to take reasonable steps to ensure that their financial advisers comply with the code. 

The reasonable steps that ASIC expects AFS licensees to take to ensure that their financial advisers comply with the code include the following systems and processes:

  • ensuring advisers are aware that they need to comply with the code from 1 January 2020 onwards
  • providing training/guidance to their advisers on the types of conduct that is consistent/inconsistent with the code
  • facilitating individual advisers’ ability to raise concerns with the AFS licensee about how the licensee’s systems and controls may be hindering their ability to comply with the code, and acting on those concerns where appropriate
  • considering whether advisers are complying with the code as part of their regular, ongoing monitoring of adviser conduct.

FASEA update - 14 January 2020

On 20 December 2019, FASEA released its preliminary response to submissions made on the Code of Ethics Guidance it had released in October.

Chartered Accountants ANZ participated in the consultation briefings and has subsequently made a submission to provide feedback to FASEA on the practical implementation of the Guidance and the concerns raised by members.

Some consistent themes emerged from the feedback provided by stakeholders including the follow concerns and requests for clarification:

  • Implementation timeframe for full compliance by 1 January 2020
  • Clarification of FASEA’s expectations of licensees and advisers in the period leading up to the formation of the single disciplinary body
  • Clarifying the operation of Standard 3 and the Code more broadly to assist advisers in assessing actual conflicts of interest
  • Greater clarity requested on what fees are banned
  • Clarifying the ability to provide scaled/scoped and/or intra fund advice
  • Clarifying perceived inconsistencies between the Code legislative instrument, explanatory statement and the guidance (particularly in relation to conflicts of interest)
  • Clarification or feedback on specific examples contained in the guidance and requests for additional examples providing positive case studies to demonstrate behaviour that would satisfy the Code requirements
  • Requests for a Glossary of Definitions for specific key terms to be added to the guidance/Code

FASEA have indicated they will provide further guidance in 2020.

Education pathways

After months of deliberation, the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) announced on 18 July 2019 that the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s (CA ANZ) CA qualification will be partially recognised as prior learning under the new reforms.

Following numerous member consultations, industry forums, meetings, submissions and discussions with FASEA over the past eighteen months, we are pleased they have recognised the CA Program since 1972 when it became a requirement for CAs to complete a degree plus post graduate studies.

We have continually advocated that Chartered Accountants have a long history of understanding the need for high education standards, ongoing CPD as well as strict adherence to our Code of Ethics.

Advisers who have completed coursework to attain the Chartered Accountant designation in or after 1972 have been awarded one credit for recognition of prior learning.

We are now seeking a further credit for studies in either financial advice or related member specialisations and recently lodged a submission with FASEA requesting further clarification of information required.

As at 14 January 2020, CA ANZ continues to await a response from FASEA on its submission to have financial planning studies recognised in conjunction with our CA qualification for a further FASEA education credit. We will communicate with members as soon as further information becomes available.

In the interim, we are also working to identify education providers to course studies to our members.

FASEA Exam update

All members who were on the Financial Adviser Register (FAR) as at 31st December 2018 and wish to provide personal advice to retail clients post 31 December 2021 are required to complete FASEA’s exam (assuming extensions are legislated). In early January 2020, FASEA updated its exam guidance to include a further practice question.

Dates and venues for the April and June sittings of the exam have also been finalised by FASEA and registrations are now open.

Help with exam preparation

CA ANZ has partnered with Cram 4 Exam to assist members with preparation for the FASEA exam. This quality 3-step program consists of webinars and a one-day, intensive, face-to-face workshop delivered by experienced and well-respected industry experts.

The program has been accredited by the FPA  for 8.5 FASEA CPD hours and a discount is available for members.   

Foreign Qualifications (FQs)

Following FASEA’s announcement on 18 July 2019, CA ANZ is making further enquiries about how FASEA will now consider the foreign qualifications of our members. We will advise members as more information becomes available.

Assessment of FASEA CPD hours

We are working with CA ANZ’s Education team to implement FASEA CPD hour guidelines to be added to relevant CA ANZ CPD activities. In addition, we have been in contact with FASEA to see how we can assist those members with their own AFSL to assess hours as this is now a FASEA requirement. 

Next steps

  • CA ANZ will continue to work hard with, and alongside FASEA to lift standards, and the next step is to continue to engage with them to clarify what studies will count for further credits.
  • CA ANZ is working to to identify education providers to provide quality bridging course studies to our members. We will advise members of our recommendations via this webpage and via our e-mail alerts in due course. 

Review of limited licensing

The CA ANZ financial advice advocacy team is currently working on a review of limited licensing to develop an effective and permanent model for the provision of limited financial advice by accountants.

Learn more

Submissions

Download and view all the submissions that Chartered Accountants ANZ have lodged with FASEA during the consultation period.

View full submissions

Join the Financial Advisory group on my CA

Join the discussion and stay up to date with what you need to know and what action you need to take on the FASEA developments.

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