Accountants hit back at financial planning body

The National Tax and Accountants Association has hit back at a financial planning body that dismissed its attempt to gain a bigger foothold in offering financial advice to businesses.


As reported by StartupSmart yesterday, the NTAA has set up a financial planners association to allow its tax agent and accountant members offer clients advice on self-managed superannuation funds.


The NTAA claims that many accountants are hampered by rules limiting the amount of advice they can give start-up companies, forcing them to use financial planners tied to large institutions.


In the Sydney Morning Herald today, Mark Rantall, head of the Financial Planning Association of Australia, dismissed the new rival body, saying that “it doesn’t concern me at all.”


He added: “There’s a big difference between a professional association and an industry association… We’re a professional association.”


The NTAA hit back today at Rantall’s comments, with Andrew Gardiner, senior taxation manager at the association, saying: “It’s not surprising that the FPA are dismissive of a new financial planners association. They have dominated the market for too long, and have become used to dictating to people wishing to establish self-managed superannuation funds.”


“The NTAA believes that the public perception of financial planners is exceptionally poor, and that they are in the pockets of large financial institutions.”


“By contrast, accountants and tax agents are the trusted advisers to their clients, who know they can rely on their advice as being totally focused on their clients’ financial needs.”


“The FPA claim that they are a professional association. To me, that seems strange, coming from a body that merely oversees financial planners, more than 80% of whom are tied to large financial institutions.”


“The NTAA represents a profession which is clearly perceived as honest – we are not planners tied to large institutions, who are the financial equivalent of used car dealers.”


“And that is why accountants and tax agents will be able to step into this space, offering their clients highly ethical financial planning services with honesty and integrity”.


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