Self-employed tradespeople often make use of financial services for business advice and brokerage of insurance products - and this assistance is usually essential to the running of their enterprise.
So it may interest those currently employing an accountant or other financial advisor to hear about a recent action of the Australian Securities And Investments Commission (ASIC).
A former insurance broker has been banned by the ASIC from offering any financial services, after it was found that he had been in breach of laws governing the provision of these services.
Alan Charstone - of Croydon South in Victoria - was found by the ASIC to have failed to place adequate insurance cover for stakeholder investments, as well as misappropriated the funds of his clients.
ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell said: "It's important brokers in the insurance industry act with honesty and integrity as they are entrusted to help consumers and small businesses make important financial decisions. Having no insurance cover or inadequate insurance cover can have a devastating impact on consumers or small businesses if something goes wrong."
So far, $9,000 has been recovered from Mr Charstone - a further $12,489.51 will be paid to Insurance Advisernet Australia, partly as a contribution towards restitution owing.