An authority on superannuation says two major accounting bodies are the only source for accountants to get objective information.

“I have been watching the commentary from various parties about how they think accountants will need to operate in the new world of limited licensing and their conclusions on a range of issues,” Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand superannuation leader Liz Westover said.

“Some of the commentary has simply been wrong and clearly designed to mislead and direct accountants into a certain pathway — usually down the path that is most aligned with meeting the commentator's own objectives and vested interests.

She says her organisation’s website and CPA Australia are the best resources.

“Chartered Accountants ANZ together with CPA Australia have jointly put significant time and resources into assisting their respective members through the decision-making and actual processes to operate under the licensing framework,” Westover said.

“While we believe the majority of public practitioners will need to operate under the limited licensing framework, we don't believe there is a ‘best way to go' in terms of getting their own licence or becoming an authorised representative under someone else's licence.

“The right way will be different for each practitioner for a variety of reasons — some of which may include independence, cost, time, services offered, ownership of clients, required referrals, need for and provision of support and technical services.”

While she acknowledges that the number of ASIC licence applications is currently lower than expected, Westover argues that this is because many accountants are still on the way to attaining the required RG 146 training so that they can apply or join a licensee.

“It appears that the number of firms currently signed up with licensees is not significant either. These numbers should not influence the decisions accountants make, although they are being thrown around to influence which way accountants go,” she said.