FASEA: Comparing apples with apples?



Not all advisers have the same ‘qualifications’ so why make accountants study for study’s sake?


2nd November 2018

In the months before and since the consultations on FASEA’s proposed reforms closed, Founder of AccountantsIQ, qualified Chartered Accountant, Certified Financial Planner and Bachelor of Education, Bronny Speed has devoted a considerable amount of time listening to practitioners from many facets of the industry – accounting, financial planning and education.

Her findings have been consistent – there is confusion in the marketplace as to what education counts, what details will be released in relation to the exam, how CPD might be consistently accredited across all professional member bodies, whether credit will be given for ethics subjects that have already been examined and how the highly respected CA mentoring program might be used to help all advice practitioners across the industry. 

Accountants are well positioned as far as FASEA’s standards are concerned, and members of CA ANZ and CPA Australia don’t believe a major overhaul of their requirements to gain and retain their professional designations will result in a big improvement to the industry. In fact, it may be of detriment to the industry, as many accountants plan to exit should the proposed reforms be implemented as they currently stand.

The below diagram illustrates how closely accountants are already aligned with FASEA’s requirements:

Why study for study’s sake?

Ask your GP or ask your lawyer: “Should you have to do further study just because others in your industry have done the wrong thing by clients?”

The answer will be: “No.”

So, why off the back of numerous ASIC enquiries and a Royal Commission should those practitioners who have a degree, postgraduate studies, have been through a 3 year mentoring program, operate under strict code of ethics and have 120 hours of CPD per triennium be subjected to such a proposition?

AccountantsIQ strongly believes that professional advisers who have fulfilled these requirements, and have not been under any form of ASIC disciplinary action, should be able to continue to practise in their chosen field without further study. This thought is further strengthened by the fact that all financial advisers have to successfully complete an exam by 1st January 2021, simply to be able to advise beyond that date.

So, why should ‘study for study’s sake’ even be considered? What’s the point of further bridging courses, when the abovementioned exam will contain much of the same subject matter?

Maybe those advisers in practice who do not have equivalent standards of education, mentoring, code of ethics requirements and ongoing CPD should have to raise their standards before accountants are required to do anything further whatsoever?

We understand the exam is compulsorily enshrined in law.  But surely, that’s enough?