What not to do when ASIC comes to the door

Alex Burke,  Senior Writer,  No More Practice Education

As the managing director of Integrity Compliance, Rhett Das has dealt with numerous advisers who've found themselves with a notice from ASIC.

Speaking recently at the FPA Congress in Melbourne, Das described some of their biggest mistakes by comparing them to motorcycle riding, his "other love".

"In riding," Das explained, "there’s this thing called upsiding, where you think you’re on a good line, following a fantastic line, then you hit the gas too hard and you skid out. Really good motorcycle riders can recover, but most of us don’t."

He continued: "That’s all too common with the people we work with – they’re running a successful business, making good income, but they’re not learning from the mistakes of other people."

As an example, Das referred to an advice group that visited him after they'd received a notice from ASIC regarding employee remuneration. "They had decided to go with a low-cost service provider who had said they should get an extension," he explained, "and then they'd ended up calling us at three o’clock on a Friday and it was due at 5pm."

"Because I knew these people," he said, "I felt nervous for them. They asked if I could 'work my magic,' so I rang the analyst from ASIC and left a message. They didn’t answer; the analyst was on holidays. We said to the client, 'You need to do everything we tell you to do.' I said that if they didn’t want to do what I say, I wouldn’t work with them. And then I doubled my fee."

Das said those advisers now look on that doubled fee as money they should have spent years ago. "Unfortunately," he said, "they were upsiding."


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