July 1, 2016
Non-aligned financial planning group GPS Wealth has authorised 60 accountant practices to provide financial advice as the exemption for accountants doing so expired last week.
GPS Wealth, co-founder, Greg Holman said regional accounting practices had ‘flocked’ to the group during the past financial year, with GPS Wealth expanding its presence in regional Queensland and regional and coastal New South Wales.
Holman said the removal of the accountants’ exemption on providing advice on Self-Managed Super Funds from 1 July 2016 meant that many accountants were forced to become licensed or authorised for the first time in order to continue providing advice on their establishment and winding up.
“Only a handful of accountants who have approached GPS Wealth in the last year have previously been authorised before so the overwhelming majority needed considerable support. Our job has been to walk them through the process, help them meet the necessary education and training requirements, and put the right processes, systems and in some cases, people in place,” Holman said.
GPS Wealth said it has licensed a five partner practice in Ballina and Byron Bay in New South Wales – Collins Hume – via an existing relationship it held with a GPS Wealth financial planner.
Shane Bartrim, partner at Collins Hume, said a quarter of the accountancy practice’s business was SMSF related and the business had looked at a number of licensees prior to the ending of the exemption.
“We ruled out all institutionally-aligned licensees from the beginning because we wanted an independently-owned group that we could trust not to flog product but who was committed to helping us deliver quality advice in the client’s best interest,” Bartrim said, with the majority of partners at Collins Hume now holding a limited authority from GPS Wealth.