Frequently Asked Questions
Note: Accountant licensing is a complex area. Please also refer to our detailed ‘Safe Use Guides’ which set out how an unlicensed accountant can comply with the tighter licensing environment since 1 July 2016 in a safe yet cost effective manner. To request a copy of the Safe Use Guides please contact us.
Does A.S.A.P. have its own Australian Financial Services License?
Statements of Advice from A.S.A.P. are provided under this AFSL. A.S.A.P. and Interprac sub-authorise the advisers providing the advice. For more information, refer to our Financial Service Guide.
Would our accounting firm be a licensee of A.S.A.P? Or is our role purely introducing the client to A.S.A.P. to request a Statement of Advice?
Once our Statement of Advice (SoA) is issued, the accountant is then able to help the client implement those recommendations.
Do we require any of the usual compliance information such as FSG documents, dispute resolution procedures etc or is this all included with your SoA being a direct service to the client?
In relation to advertising, are we able to advertise we offer SMSF advice if using your service, or is there any branding etc we can use on our website from your firm to show potential clients we have this service available?
Are A.S.A.P. covered for public indemnity in relation to all advice issued under the SoA and where do we sit within that cover in the event of an error or dispute arising?
Can I answer specific questions the client asks?
Could I use A.S.A.P. even though I have my own license?
Could I use A.S.A.P. with a client who is not present in the room with me (e.g. by telephone)?
The client will receive our confirmation of scope letter to sign and confirm these decisions once they have had a chance to re-read what was agreed and ensure they are comfortable with who will take responsibility for each decision.
Clients also need to complete the A.S.A.P. Client Questionnaire (‘fact find’) and will receive a copy of our Statement of Advice by email.
Once a client has received a Statement of Advice from A.S.A.P., am I able to help them to implement the transaction?
Yes. Once the client has received an SOA the accountant can assist the client with implementing those recommendations under (advised) client instruction. E.g. completing a rollover form or paperwork to start a pension. The accountant can also explain the information in the forms.
Accountants can supply a trust deed prepared by lawyers and arrange to set up the SMSF but they should not be drafting the documents themselves unless legally qualified.
If an accountant is merely completing forms on the instruction of the client then the accountant will not be ‘dealing by arranging’ . An exemption in regulation 7.1.29(3)(f) provides that conduct in relation to interests in an SMSF that would otherwise amount to ‘dealing by arranging’ is exempt from licensing if certain conditions are met. These are:
- The person receiving the service is, or is likely to become, the trustee (or director of a corporate trustee); and
- Other than for the purpose of compliance with the SIS Act, the accountant does not give any advice on acquiring or disposing of a superannuation product, investments, rollovers or contribution levels.
This exemption does not apply to financial products other than SMSFs, such as rollovers,
This SMSF exemption does not apply to rolling over an existing superannuation fund as that would constitute the disposal of a financial product that is not an SMSF.
There is a fine line between merely providing administrative assistance and ‘arranging to deal’. ASIC considers a person to be ’arranging to deal’ if their involvement is of sufficient importance that without them, the transaction would not have taken place. If the client communicates with you as a key person to acquire an investment or arrange a superannuation rollover beyond just completing and sending forms, you are more likely to be ‘arranging to deal’ and require a license authorisation.
Passing on money or forms will not amount to ‘arranging to deal’, unless the accountant is being paid a commission or benefit if the client enters into the product. ASIC considers that, whilst accountants can receive a fee from the client for their time, receipt of benefits that relate to whether a transaction proceeds suggests a more active involvement in the transaction.
Additional question: How do the laws on ‘arranging’ apply to accountants who refer their clients to planners, particularly digital advisers?
- Referral to a financial planner
Providing that an unlicensed accountant stays within the rules in terms of their conversation with the client, they are able to introduce the client to A.S.A.P. as a referral to an independent financial adviser.
They can also assist the client in deciding the scope of advice required.
Accountants are able to provide a service of passing on advice as per Corporations Act regulation 7.1.31. However they must make it clear A.S.A.P. is giving the advice and they themselves are separate to that advice and cannot provide any recommendations or endorsements of the client’s decisions.
Accountants can assist the client in understanding any factual terms and information requested in forms/questionnaires. However they cannot make any statements about what the ultimate advice will be nor influence the client’s answers.
- Implementing the advice
Once the client has received an SOA the accountant can assist the client with implementing those recommendations under (advised) client instruction. Refer to the previous FAQ above.
Who can use A.S.A.P?
Does it cost to register?
How do I invite employees to join my A.S.A.P. account?
What payment methods does A.S.A.P. offer?
Please note that we do not accept cheques or standard bank transfers. We do allow bank transfers via POLi payments, a subsidiary of Australia Post and Australia’s leading real-time online debit payment system
How long do I have to pay?
What is the cost of an s390 certificate?
How long until I receive my certificate?
Can I amend a certificate if details change? Does this cost?
Can I cancel a certificate application?
Can I order an actuarial certificate for part of a financial year?
Defined Benefit Adequacy Reports
What is the cost of a defined benefit adequacy report?
How long after submission will I receive my report?
Does A.S.A.P. accept financial reports as a form of application?
- the fund and member/s names,
- the opening balances of each account,
- the dates and amounts of the pension payments, contribution and withdrawals,
- the dates and amounts of any pension commenced or rolled back during the year,
- the 30 June market value of the fund (before tax), and
- a copy of the most recent defined benefit report completed for your fund.
Does A.S.A.P. accept competitor's application forms?
What types of advice does A.S.A.P. offer?
- Starting or winding up of an SMSF,
- Rollovers into an SMSF,
- Additional contributions (concessional or non-concessional),
- Starting or commuting a pension, and
- Limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs).
What does a Statement of Advice cost?
|Statement of Advice||+ Rollovers (additional fee)|
|SMSF Establishment||$250+GST||+$100 per rollover+GST|
Our fixed fee pricing model is simple and covers most transactional statements of advice. Should more complex advice be required we will discuss your clients needs with you. E.g. More than two members in a fund.
John and Sue request advice on whether to establish an SMSF – including whether to roll their existing superannuation accounts into the SMSF.
John and Sue each have 1 existing industry super account.
*Statements of Advice are normally prepared for a household. In this case, John and Sue will be covered under the same Statement of Advice.
In this scenario, the pricing will be as follows:
Statement of Advice: $250
Rollover for John: $100
Rollover for Sue: $100
Total advice cost: $450+GST
How long until I receive my Statement of Advice?
What client information do I need to provide A.S.A.P?
SETTING UP A CLIENT
- Information on the client objectives,
- Personal information (Eg. health status, financial dependents),
- Client financial position (Eg. employment status),
- Existing super fund details, and
- Superannuation preferences and decisions
Can I cancel an SoA order?
Can I have my clients sign 'execution only' disclaimers instead of receiving financial product advice?
Pros and Cons of SMSFs
If you have any queries or require more information, please call the A.S.A.P. support team on 03 6240 1575.