Superfund Wholesale has released the results of a recent survey of SMSF trustees, revealing that 97 per cent of respondents believe offshoring is not secure, with 70 per cent feeling uncomfortable with their personal financial records being processed and stored offshore.
Meanwhile, 93 per cent expressed a negative view toward the practice of accountants sending work to offshore suppliers.
“There has been a rise in Australian accounting and advice businesses outsourcing parts of their operations to offshore providers. Although outsourcing may be warranted for certain tasks, when it comes to SMSFs it is unnecessary,” Superfund Wholesale director Kris Kitto said.
“The ATO and the professional accounting bodies require accountants to inform clients when their work is being sent overseas. However, clients are often oblivious to this practice as disclosures are buried deep in the fine print of the engagement letter or agreement.”
Of those surveyed, 95 per cent said if they were advised their personal financial information was going to be sent offshore, they would reconsider the services offered.
Further, 84 per cent said they were extremely likely or very likely to switch accountants or advisers if they started sending their personal financial information offshore, and stated that they would rather keep their personal financial data in Australia than receive a fee discount and go offshore.
“The SMSF trustees we surveyed believe that as soon as their personal financial information goes overseas, they lose control and the security of their data is significantly diminished. The perception of clients is that outsourcing their accounting work offshore is not secure – and perception is king,” said Mr Kitto.
In contrast, The Outsourced Accountant CEO Nick Sinclair believes that a lot of perceptions around offshoring are simply misconceptions and that, if set up correctly, offshoring can be a successful process for both accountants and their clients.