The accountant’s exemption which allowed accountants to provide advice on the establishment and wind up of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF), without the need for an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) ceased on 1 July 2016.

This means that in addition to your accountant being a qualified Chartered Accountant or Certified Practicing Accountant, they now need to operate under an (AFSL) in order to provide advice regarding SMSFs, including:

  • establishing and cessation of a SMSF
  • comparing SMSF’s with other superannuation structures
  • superannuation contribution advice
  • recommending the commencement of a pension and pension amounts

When providing personal advice with regards to SMSF’s, accountants are required to provide their advice in writing in the form of a Statement of Advice (SOA) and provide a Financial Services Guide (FSG). This is a significant practical change.

What hasn’t changed is that accountants are still able to assist with your annual SMSF compliance as well as provide you with factual information on superannuation without the need to provide you with a Statement of Advice.

Many of Grant Thornton’s accountants  have  been appointed  as authorised representatives of our Private Wealth  Division, Grant Thornton Wealth Advisory Services Pty Ltd (AFSL 234500). As such we can continue to provide you with relevant personal SMSF advice, and will call on our fully licenced specialist wealth advisors should you need more comprehensive financial planning advice.

If you have any queries please contact your usual Grant Thornton advisor, or

Jon Black
Private Client Advisor
T +61 3 8320 2241