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ASIC reveals common application errors

With the deadline for the accountants’ exemption drawing near ASIC has revealed a number of the common errors being made in limited licence applications.

ASIC reveals common application errors
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According to Warren Day, senior executive leader of assessment and intelligence at ASIC, there has been a raft of recurring issues identified by the regulatory body which accountants should be aware of before applying themselves.

“Accountants are failing to submit the required documents as part of the application process,” Mr Day said.

“The compulsory training that is required to be eligible for a licence has not been undertaken or completed.”

In addition, applications are “providing supporting documents relating to related parties of the applicant rather than the applicant itself (eg. financial statements, membership of external dispute resolution schemes and professional indemnity insurance),” according to Mr Day.

ASIC has also identified those applicants that are “Failing to appreciate that a limited licence does not enable a licensee to provide personal advice in relation to making recommendations about specific financial products (eg. BHP shares).”

Kath Bowler, CEO of Licensing for Accountants, an independent firm which supports and transitions accountants into licensing said the high rate of rejection seen to date is down to the fact that many accountants simply don’t understand what’s involved in getting a licence.

“They don’t understand that it wasn’t an automatic process, and they don’t understand that they have to do their initial training before they apply.”

Consulting ASIC for the most updated figures on applications unveils a frightening reality: of a paltry 188 applications received to date, 92 have been withdrawn or rejected from lodgement. For a profession with an eye for the minutia, this is certainly a staggering and alarming figure.

As ASIC noted, “Applicants continue to submit applications that do not meet the requirements that enable ASIC to adequately assess them".

The regulator noted that when an application is rejected because it is deficient in some way, applicants are encouraged to make contact with their industry association, and access the guidance that ASIC has made available.

For more on this issue read the Finding your way feature from the December/January issue of Public Accountant.

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