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07 May 1010 On the different treatment of accountants and financial planners

MEMBER 135 writes:

"Isn't it great, I think I will cancel my tax agent registration and toss in my accounting affiliations to become a financial planner. After all, then I will not be subject to the new tax agent rules, will be able to give tax advice, will be able to set up SMSFs, will be able to audit SMSFs and have no worries.

What is it with the professional accounting bodies, they seem to lack any power or influence whilst the financial planners win every time?

I think the problem is that the CPA and CA bodies got it confused with the terms “sticking up” for their members as opposed to “sticking it up” their members. Why should accountants be banned from auditing SMSFs just because they complete a tax return, especially if there is no financial/investment advice given? After all we have done the hard yards at Uni. We do our CPD hours. We understand the client’s business. What is the big deal with a simple SMSF audit? Where is the problem? Is it that the CPA and CA bodies believe their members are untrustworthy?"

MEMBER 136 writes:

"The Government appears to acknowledge that ‘Many financial planners cannot help but give tax advice in the course of their work.’ Somehow they do not appear to have recognised the reverse, that is, that many Tax Agents and Accountants cannot help but give financial advice in the course of their work. Where was the carve out for Tax Agents and Accountants when the Financial Services legislation was introduced a few years ago? Makes me think that the financial planners have greater pull in Canberra that Tax Agents and Accountants have."

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