Their existing direct to trustee business, Superfund Partners, had grown to a few hundred funds; a comfortable position but not where the management team envisaged.
Superfund Wholesale (“SFW”) was born of the understanding that financial advisers wanted to ‘own’ the client relationship, and for them to deliver on those relationships, they needed superb administrative support. With this new understanding and focus, SFW began to grow.
At first, SFW used a panel of SMSF Auditors. But it soon became clear that this introduced too many variables and process differences, and this lack of standardisation was inhibiting the growth of SFW. Each auditor had a different way of doing things, making it impossible to build in the efficiencies needed.
It was therefore, as Kris says, “a no brainer” to make ASF Audits the single audit partner. “We knew we would have to partner with an audit firm who could help with hundreds or thousands of funds. We looked for the biggest and the best – ASF Audits had already proven they could handle large volumes, and both firms had serious growth aspirations, making ASF Audits an ideal audit partner for us. And the simplification of the business model enabled us to grow.”
And indeed, SFW and ASF Audits both have a similar approach to business – technical excellence, good old-fashioned service, and the use of technology to improve outcomes for clients. In fact, SFW, now has 3 full time developers on staff continually improving the technology that the business users.
SFW now has more than 2,000 funds under administration. Which begs the question – why not offer in-house audit services? Surely this would be even more efficient and deliver increased income to the business?
For Kris, the answer is simple. “If you can’t deliver a specific service in a powerful way, then you shouldn’t be doing it”. SMSF audit requires a very specific skill base and set of processes, and for SFW, the best outcome for their clients is delivered by partnering with an expert audit provider.
He also points to the importance of independence – and the risk of losing it. While some firms might be comfortable managing the legal issues around this, Kris is clear that in the long term, in-house audit is not going to be acceptable.
As you would expect, the relationship between SFW and ASF Audits has deepened over time, and they are now an integral part of the SFW offering. Kris values highly the technical experience and industry best practice that ASF Audits bring to the table. And he says, it’s really lots of little things. Every small improvement adds up. Both firms have a strong focus on technology, and are now working on tighter technical integration to deliver an even better adviser and client experience.
Having said all that though, as Kris says “at the end of the day, it’s all about working collaboratively to get the best results for the clients. Good old-fashioned service, combined with the latest technology allows both our firms to deliver.”
To learn more about how ASF Audits can accelerate the growth of your SMSF practice, click here.