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Financial advice from your accountant

069FinancialAdviceFromYourAccountantAre you in the market for some general financial advice about superannuation or simple managed investment schemes? Well, you don’t necessarily have to see a financial adviser. Depending on the circumstances, your accountant could help you with what you need in addition to taking care of your tax queries.

Accountants who are limited AFS licensees or representatives of limited licensees can give certain financial advice to their clients. This means you could potentially save time and money by getting your tax, accounting and financial advice in the same place.

Specifically, the financial services that could be given by a limited AFS licensee include:

  • advice for specific superannuation products, in relation to your existing holding for the purposes of making a recommendation to establish a self-managed super fund (SMSF), or to provide advice about contributions or pensions under superannuation products;
  • class of product advice in relation to superannuation products, securities, general insurance, life risk insurance, basic deposit products, and simple managed investment schemes;
  • arranging for another person to deal in interests in SMSFs including applying for, acquiring, varying, issuing or disposing of interests on behalf of another.

The class of product advice a limited AFS licensee or their representative may be able to provide does not include a recommendation for a specific financial product. Therefore, whilst a limited licensee may not be able to recommend you put your money into a term deposit with ABC bank, for example, they may be able to recommend you put your money into a term deposit in general.

Limited AFS licensees or representatives of licensees may be limited in who they can provide advice to. Some may only be authorised to advise retail clients, while others can offer advice to wholesale clients, and some may be authorised to provide advice to both types. In relation to retail clients, a limited licensee must prepare and give a Financial Services Guide (FSG) as well as a Statement of Advice (SOA).

Crucially, the FSG will contain information to enable you to decide whether to obtain services from the limited licensee, such as your accountant. The SOA is there to help you understand and decide whether to rely on the advice that has been given by the limited licensee.

Limited AFS licensees have ongoing licensing obligations and are regulated by ASIC just like financial advisers with full AFS licenses. Similarly, limited licensees also have certain obligations to you as a client including: acting in your best interests; providing appropriate advice; giving warning where advice is based on incomplete or inaccurate information; and giving priority to your interests.

Do you like what you’ve seen?

If you think the range of advice provided by a limited AFS licensee may be for you, contact us today to find out whether we hold a licence. You could soon be getting advice from a familiar face that you trust with the added benefit of not having to start from scratch in explaining your financial situation.