What is included in the Cleardocs package?
The Cleardocs Statement of Advice (SoA) package includes:
- a Confidential Fact Find, setting out the client's needs, objectives and circumstances;
- a tailored Statement of Advice; and
- an Establishment Kit explaining what to do next.
What information do you need to create a Statement of Advice through Cleardocs?
Our checklist outlines all the information you require.
Who needs to prepare a Statement of Advice?
Since 1 July 2016, an SMSF is considered a financial product by law, so to give advice in this area, you need to be licensed.
Under the law, a person who provides financial product advice to retail clients must prepare and provide an SoA. The obligation applies to personal advice, but not to general advice.
The purpose of the SoA is to assist a retail client to understand the advice and decide whether to rely on it and proceed with your recommendations.
Information about the Fact Find
The Fact Find is an important document to help satisfy the best interests duty under your licence. It contains information about the client's needs, objectives and financial position and demonstrates you have an understanding of these to give your advice.
The Fact Find included in the Cleardocs package is very comprehensive. The more accurate you make the Fact Find, the easier it will be to prepare the Statement of Advice.
A quality Statement of Advice
Under the law, an SoA must contain certain information. This includes:
- a statement setting out the advice;
- the basis upon which the advice is given; and
- information about the remuneration, commission and other benefits to the adviser.
SoAs must be clear, concise and effective. The Cleardocs SoA is written in plain language which promotes a client's understanding of the advice provided and the underlying rationale.
You must provide Financial Services Guides (FSGs)
Under the law, a person who provides general or personal financial product advice to retail clients must prepare and provide two FSGs — one FSG from the AFSL entity and one FSG from the individual adviser.
An FSG must include certain information about the AFSL entity and the relevant adviser including amongst other matters:
- what they are licensed to do;
- the services they provide under that licence;
- how they are remunerated for their services;
- whether there are conflicts of interest or not; and
- their complaints handling procedure.
The purpose of the FSGs are to ensure retail clients are given sufficient information to allow them to decide whether to retain the financial services provider.
The Cleardocs documents package does not include FSGs. You will need to provide your own compliant FSGs or you may contact our free helpline on 1300 307 343 and we can refer you to AccountantsIQ for FSGs templates.
Can I amend my advice documents before I provide them to my client?
The documents we provide to you are complete and based on the answers you provided when using our service. If you review your documents and wish to make any changes to the answers you initially provided, you can do this for free.
Please call our helpline on 1300 307 343 so that we can grant you edit access to your order.
Links to relevant legislation and information
The conduct and disclosure obligations of financial product advisers is set out in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), in particular Part 7.7 and Division 2 of Part 7.7A.
ASIC has published regulatory guides to assist licensees with the obligations that apply to them as providers of financial services:
Seek professional advice
The SoA information here should be considered general in nature, and in no way interpreted as legal or financial advice.
You must always seek your own independent legal, accounting and financial advice about your particular situation. The summary on this page is for information purposes only.