In 2019 CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) joined together on behalf of the accounting profession and in the public interest to review the frameworks that regulate how financial and tax advice is provided in Australia.
The accounting bodies' shared goal is to advocate for reform that reduces complexity, improves efficiency and drives harmonisation to better enable the provision of affordable, accessible and quality advice to business and consumers.
Following years of reform and constant legislative change, increasing regulation and compliance requirements have become the norm for professional accountants providing advisory services.
This has increased both the cost and time burden associated with providing high-quality services to clients. These rising costs and complex regulations are driving many professional accountants to question which advisory services they can continue to provide to their clients.
The failures that were revealed through the Banking Royal Commission have further highlighted the extreme complexity of the current regulatory frameworks in financial advice, which are not in sync with each other.
It is time to draw a line in the sand, and re-examine the complex regulatory frameworks that govern how advisory services are provided in Australia.
The shared objective
Presenting a united front, the accounting profession will work together to advocate for a regulatory framework that encourages and enables the provision of affordable, accessible and quality advice by professionals and seeks to engage and inform – and not overwhelm – the consumer.
The key goals of this work are to:
- reduce complexity
- improve efficiency, and
- drive harmonisation across different regulatory frameworks.
Given the impacts of an ageing population, compulsory retirement savings and ongoing concerns around financial literacy, Australians need greater access to affordable, quality advice. Yet, for the first time in the best part of two decades, there is a very real risk of an advice gap in the market.
One of the first areas the three professional bodies will focus on is how to support and encourage professional accountants who practice under a limited or full Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) to continue providing financial planning advisory services.
With the education and professional standards reforms under Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), the recommendations of the Banking Royal Commission progressively being implemented, and the current review of the Tax Practitioners' Board, now more than ever the focus must be on how to untangle the regulatory complexity of this sector.
We're seeking your input
Throughout this process, we are inviting member input to bring these issues to life and inform us as we build a roadmap to reform.
Please email us at [email protected] to share your experiences in dealing with regulatory complexity.
Together we'll build a broader and more robust solution that will enable businesses and Australians to not only access the advice they need, but to fully understand that advice.
Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CA ANZ)
Institute of Public Accountants
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