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Report a win for consumers

CPA Australia believes a new Parliamentary report on the Financial Services Reform Bill (CLERP6), moves the industry, practitioners and consumers a step closer to more certainty about financial planning advice.

A measure in the report, by a Joint Parliamentary Committee, recommends that accountants, who belong to professional bodies such as CPA Australia, be allowed to provide general financial planning advice to their clients.

The measure specifically recommends professional bodies be allowed to ‘co-regulate’ the provision of financial advice.

CPAs financial planning industry adviser Kathy Streeter said the report recognised the important role accountants already play in providing general financial planning advice. It also signals a major step forward to address changing consumers needs.

“Consumers naturally rely on their accountant for broader advice these days. The profession of accounting has been evolving for many years and these days practitioners commonly offer advice on a range of financial issues.

“Accountants are also usually in a position of independence and unlikely to be flogging one particular product.”

The new report is a move forward for the profession and CPAs who have lobbied extensively to ensure recognition of services that have long been provided to the community by qualified practitioners.

Overall, the report will benefit consumers, by ensuring high quality advice and clear and consistent materials for consumers.

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