FASEA - what CAs need to know

As at 14 November 2019, 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 30 August 2019, the Government has announced that it will extend the time for existing advisers to meet FASEA’s exam and education requirements. Legislative amendments must pass both houses of the Parliament before the extension becomes law
  • ASIC has made legislation to provide relief from financial adviser code monitoring/compliance scheme obligations and associated notification requirements

Update on code monitoring/compliance schemes for the FASEA Code of Ethics – 14 November 2019

On 11 October, the Government announced that it will accelerate the establishment of a new, single disciplinary body for financial advisers as recommended by the Hayne Royal Commission. This disciplinary body will have responsibility for monitoring and enforcing the Financial Planners and Advisers Code of Ethics legislated by FASEA (FASEA’s Code of Ethics).

The Government will work towards establishing the new body in early 2021, subject to the passage of legislation which will be introduced to Parliament next year.

Subsequent to this announcement, an application to ASIC for approval of a code monitoring scheme by a group of professional associations (which CA ANZ had elected not to be part of) was withdrawn. This meant that financial advisers would be unable to register with an ASIC-approved code monitoring scheme by 1 January 2020, as was originally required.

To address this issue and provide certainty to licensees, ASIC announced it would provide relief to AFS licensees from these obligations and to effect this has now made a legislative instrument. The instrument exempts all licensees from the obligation to ensure their financial advisers are covered by a code monitoring/compliance scheme and the associated notification requirements. 

What do licensees/advisers need to do?
  • AFS licensees are still required to take reasonable steps to ensure that their financial advisers comply with FASEA’s Code of Ethics from 1 January 2020.
  • Financial advisers are also still required to comply with the code from 1 January 2020.
  • No action is required by licensees to obtain the exemption. ASIC will also make a further public announcement when this legislative instrument takes effect.

FASEA update – 14 November 2019

As at 14 November 2019, 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.

On August 30, the Federal Government announced it will extend the time available for financial advisers to complete the mandatory adviser exam by one year and the education requirements by two years. The extensions apply to those considered as existing advisers at the end of 2018 and who were registered with ASIC on 1 January 2019.

The new timetable was announced by the Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology Jane Hume who said the government would legislate to provide additional time for existing advisers to meet new qualification and examination requirements set by FASEA. Under the new requirements, existing advisers must complete the FASEA-approved exam by the new date of 1 January 2022, instead of 1 January 2021, and meet FASEA’s qualification requirements by 1 January 2026, instead of 1 January 2024.

Legislative amendments must pass both houses of the Parliament before the extension becomes law.

Having met with Senator Hume and advocating for additional time for financial advisers to meet FASEA’s requirements, CA ANZ is pleased with the Government’s announcement to extend the education and exam deadlines. As we work towards a common goal to improve trust and confidence in the community, we will continue to engage with the Government and FASEA to gain maximum recognition for Chartered Accountants to retain them as trusted advisers in the marketplace.  To that end, CA ANZ has recently made a further submission to FASEA to clarify what financial planning studies will count for further credits in conjunction with the CA qualification.

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.

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

Exam

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). FASEA has published practice exam questions that can be found on their website.

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. 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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