SMSF Outsourcing, SMSF Accounting & SMSF Administration
"The market for outsourcing accounting and offshoring services has changed dramatically in recent years. In what was an emerging phenomenon with great potential is now a natural element of corporate services.
A well developed accounting outsourcing and shared service delivery model that is appropriate for your organisation can leverage capabilities, reduce cost and increase agility to deliver sustainable business value." Source: ICAA Business Briefing Series – 20 Issues on Accounting Outsourcing and Offshoring
We will assist you with core items such as software, procedures and operational systems which need to be in place and operational in order to ensure you receive the full benefits of outsourcing your accounting.
SMSF ACCOUNTING AND ADMINISTRATION
Due to growing costs and increasing workload, smaller accounting practices and financial planners might wish to outsource SMSF administration.
It is no longer viable or profitable for smaller accounting firms to undertake their own self-managed super fund (SMSF) accounting and compliance work because of increasing cost factors facing the industry.
At a glance, these factors include the associated costs of human resourcing and additional staffing requirements, the ever-increasing demand for qualified accounting staff, ongoing issues with staff retention (particularly with Generation Y's supposition to change employment every few years) and increasing labour costs.
The SMSF industry is constantly changing, and the necessity to keep abreast of these changes and have informed staff that can cater to clients' needs involves significant investment – both time and financial. Staff turnover can severely hamper that investment; when they leave, the knowledge usually leaves with them.
Most small practitioners are busy simply handling their day-to-day client work, and finding time to keep abreast of the practical application of changes to SMSF accounting is difficult.
One of the most prominent reasons to outsource SMSF work is that administrators are in a better position to process transactions throughout the year rather than after the end of the financial year in arrears, as most accountants tend to do.
This provides SMSF trustees with much easier access to information such as contributions and pensions figures in order to monitor and satisfy minimum/maximum pension withdrawals and ensure contribution limits are not breached.
It also enables clients to make use of web technology to assist them with running their SMSF.
There are also a number of risk factors involved in undertaking SMSF work and not being a specialist SMSF accountant. Some of these risk factors include death of a member, excess contributions, and a general lack of knowledge and information about SMSF compliance.
It is important for accountants to realise they are responsible for maintaining and ensuring the validity of Nomination of Beneficiary and other related documents, should a SMSF member die.
If there is no formal nomination in place, the accountant could face potential legal action imposed by the member's family, seeking claim of the death benefit payout.
This is only one example of compliance requirements for SMSFs, for which accountants may not even realise that they are responsible. It goes to show, to minimise risk - it's a better option to outsource your SMSF work.
There has also been an increasing demand from the Australian Taxation Office to implement independent auditing processes on accountants' own SMSF work.
There may be information that a practice is not aware of, and when it comes to auditing their own work, this inadvertently puts them at risk of signing off on incorrect accounts.
Another high area of risk surrounds excess contributions.
The demand for interim information will continue to be a priority as complexity with SMSF strategies develop.
Any accountant wishing to process SMSF accounts will need appropriate specialist SMSF software as it will be mandatory that rollovers to SMSFs from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority accounts happen electronically.
This seemingly simple change will have a significant effect on smaller firms who will be required to upgrade their software and staff expertise in order to establish and thereafter administer a SMSF.
In SMSF 'outsource' administration, the practitioner remains the sole point of contact with the client and continues to manage the client relationship – simply utilising the administrator essentially as an in-house junior staff member by scanning and sending the file through once a year for processing.
Other firms have pursued the 'white labelling' route, and have decided to provide their clients with a full administration service with online reporting, whilst maintaining their branding. This is starting to prove a more popular option – with clients and their accountants enjoying the benefit of up-to-date information.
The competitive rates now offered in this space mean most practitioners can continue to charge their standard SMSF fees to their clients. They can even choose to maintain the role of the independent auditor, should they wish.
It goes to show, to minimise risk - it's a better option to outsource your SMSF accounting to our experienced Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart or Gold Coast accountants.