ASIC’s guidance to accountants. Is no news good news? Part 3

Prepared by Peter Hagias

ASIC issued INFO Sheet 16-425 late last year which provides unlicensed accountants and accountants operating under a limited AFSL with guidance on providing SMSF advice. However, sometimes what ASIC doesn’t say in its guidance is more interesting than what it does, and can be indicative of its policy indecisiveness.  Over three short information pieces we look at what ASIC didn’t discuss in its guidance. The final topic is Fact-find:

Reports are that the fact-finding process is taking too long, which is leading to inefficiencies in preparing SOAs. Some accounting practices are using fact-finds that are typically used by a financial planner, who can obviously provide much broader financial advice.

The test is that the adviser must consider the client’s circumstances that are relevant to the scope of advice that is being provided. You do not have to consider everything where it is not necessary. If you feel that some information in a fact-find is irrelevant to what you need to give appropriate advice, it probably is.