Accounting body calls for members to launch financial advice onslaught

by |

Accountants are in the best position to deliver trusted low-cost financial advice because they don’t have to sell a product, claims a major accounting body. Are you under threat?

Financial planners might see more of their clients getting advice from accountants under the new limited AFSL.

Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) Senior Tax Adviser Tony Greco believes there will be a strong uptake of the limited AFSL amongst accountants, and it will be easy for them to gain the licence.

“Practising accountants are already qualified to give this kind of advice,” he said.

“Back in 2002 this was taken away from [them].”

Greco said licenced accountants will be able to talk in general terms about what is best for the client – which in some instances might be to do nothing at all.

“The potential is there to provide truly independent advice… because they don’t have to sell a product,” he said.

Greco said FoFA reforms might result in planners only dealing with high net worth clients. This would leave a gap in the market for clients that are in need of low-cost advice.

According to the IPA, potential financial advice clients that accountants will be able to target include more than 70% of working Australians that visit their accountant at least once a year, and 95% of businesses.

The growth of accountants into the financial services arena will “place them in the best position to deliver low-cost, broad non-product specific advice,” said IPA CEO Andrew Conway.

“The new limited AFSL will mean that our members will be able to legally provide a broad range of financial advice to their clients when the Future of Financial Advice reforms come to fruition on 1 July 2013.”

Conway believes accountants are already clients’ trusted advisers for basic financial advice and the reform will only build this relationship.

Do you feel under threat from accountants? Have your say below.

More stories: