How FASEA will impact CAs

Stay up to date with the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) reforms as they are released.

In brief

  • FASEA recently released several Legislative Instruments that are about to become law
  • These will affect all CAs acting under an AFSL – limited or full
  • CA ANZ has applied to FASEA to have the CA Program approved as study towards a professional designation. If approved, CAs will be required to do only one bridging subject

Last updated: 27/02/2019

Advocacy - our response to FASEA standards

As chartered accountants, we have consistently been calling for recognition of that which we already stand for, with the following messaging being woven into as many submissions, press releases, industry and media interviews as possible:

Chartered Accountants ANZ supports raising the standards of financial advice to better serve and protect consumers.

Throughout all our submissions, Chartered Accountants ANZ has strongly urged FASEA to recognise the long hours of rigorous study required to gain and maintain CA membership. Chartered accountants have a strong foundation, including an Australian or New Zealand approved degree at AQF7, a TEQSA approved AQF8 post-graduate qualification, financial planning studies enabling registration on ASIC's Financial Adviser Register, significant continuing professional development obligations, completion of 3 years mentored training and strict adherence to our Code of Ethics, backed by robust disciplinary processes.

Our CA Program is highly aligned with FASEA's integrated model approach to raise education, training and ethical standards of financial advisers to improve trust and confidence. We are therefore continuing to encourage FASEA to recognise us as a group of professionals who are well-placed to serve the interests of mums and dads, and the small-business communities across Australia. Any exodus of CAs is likely to significantly reduce the overall level of training and expertise in the industry and be contrary to the overall objectives of the new legislation. We will, however, continue to advocate over the ensuing weeks to have the CA Program recognised via FASEA’s curriculum mapping process available for professional associations.

View the legislation

Chartered Accountants ANZ’s position:

Education standard

  1. CA ANZ has applied to FASEA for recognition of the CA Program as a professional designation. If approved, members will need to complete one bridging course, being ‘FASEA’s Code of Ethics and Code Monitoring Bodies’.
  2. Chartered Accountants ANZ members are advised to not take any action in relation to course enrolments until the outcome is received and we have communicated the results to them.
  3. We were pleased to see FASEA change the approach of assessing ‘relevant’ degrees from a holistic degree approach to a subject level approach. All who have entered the CA Program since 1972 have already been assessed at a subject level and, as such, we believe this screening process has left members in good stead to be in line with FASEA’s required subjects.
  4. No recognition of prior learning will be provided for the FASEA’s Code of Ethics and Code Monitoring Bodies subject, so all CAs practising in advice will be required to complete this subject by 1 January 2024.

Other standards – what you need to know:

1. Exam

The exam is enshrined in law, so it is applicable to our members who practice in personal financial advice under an AFSL – limited or full. It will be 3.5 hours in duration, including 15 minutes reading time.

CA ANZ called for the provision of detailed course notes and practice exam papers for the purposes of exam preparation. FASEA has now announced it will publish on its website a recommended reading list and practice questions. Chartered Accountants ANZ will investigate how it can support members in preparing for the exam.

Existing advisers must complete the exam by 1 January 2021.

2. Foreign qualifications

Foreign qualification assessed by CA ANZ will be accepted by FASEA but as we understand, will also have to be assessed by FASEA. To enable FASEA to assess the foreign qualification individuals will need to complete FASEA Foreign Qualification Assessment Application Form together with a certified copy of the foreign qualification and a copy of the assessment from a DET approved body. CA ANZ is working on how to assist members with this.

3. CPD

CA ANZ called for FASEA to adopt a far less prescriptive approach to CPD than that which has become law, effective 1 January 2019. Advisers are required to complete 40 hours (not points) of CPD each year of which 70% will need to be approved by the licensee (including a maximum 4 hours of professional reading). The minimum hours for CPD categories are:

  • technical – 5 hours
  • client care and practice – 5 hours
  • regulatory compliance and consumer protection – 5 hours 
  • professionalism and ethics – 9 hours.

These requirements are quite onerous, particularly when coupled with the CPD required to satisfy CA ANZ’s triennial CPD standards. We therefore need to work together on this to see how we might reduce what appears to be an overwhelming number of CPD hours required.

4. FASEA Code of Ethics

On February 11, FASEA released the final legislative instrument for its Code of Ethics. It addresses the values of trustworthiness, competence, honesty, fairness and diligence. We are currently reviewing the legislation and accompanying explanatory statement and will, in due course, provide members with guidance on the practical application of the Code.

Submissions

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

View full submissions

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