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10 things to consider before taking on SMSFs

Super

 

With SMSFs currently holding around 25% of Australia’s super assets, many accountants are looking to expand their service offering to include SMSF administration. Here are 10 things to consider. 

Promoted by Super Concepts5 minute read

 Self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) currently hold approximately 25% of Australia’s entire superannuation assets.

Unsurprisingly, many practitioners are looking at how they can have a piece of the SMSF pie so, if you're one of them, here are 10 things to consider.

1. Software that makes it easy

The SMSF industry is complicated and heavily regulated. An administrator must be able to fulfil the accounting and compliance needs, as well as facilitate the additional requirements such as auditing. Specialised administration software, like SuperMate, will be your best friend by taking care of compliance obligations and sourcing third-party providers. 

TIP: Some software will have hidden charges around data feeds, SuperStream, or API access so, read the fine print and avoid where possible. 

2. Datafeeds

Increase efficiencies, minimise error and retrieve trade and holding information easily by establishing data feeds. 

Factor in time during the setup phase as some banks require wet signatures.

TIP: Document recognition and data extraction from bank statement PDFs can provide a great workaround for non-data-fed clients. 

3. ESA – SuperStream

Every SMSF is required to provide a SuperStream Electronic Service Address (ESA). This address is used to streamline the facilitation of rollovers and is provided to employers so that when they make contributions they can report electronically. 

Without specialist SMSF administration software, you will need to use an ESA provider to receive and respond to SuperStream messages. 

TIP: Costs for obtaining an ESA vary (a quick search shows fees at around $60 per/annum), but software providers typically include this charge in standard licensing fees.

4. Tax Agent

The Tax Agent is one of the most important components of an SMSF administration service.

To lodge SMSF Annual Returns on behalf of your clients, you will need to have a registered tax agent within your firm. 

TIP: To become a registered tax agent, an individual must satisfy extensive qualification and experience requirements. 

For more information on this see https://www.tpb.gov.au/qualifications-and-experience-tax-agents.

5. ASIC agent

A common SMSF structure is a corporate trustee. 

To establish and maintain these structures you may need to provide the services of an ASIC agent (either internally or externally). The ASIC agent, once registered, can lodge any required amendments and facilitate the annual review process with ASIC on behalf of the companies being managed, saving your clients time and effort.

TIP: As not all SMSFs require this additional work, it often forms part of a value-add pricing model.

6. SMSF Auditing

Every SMSF requires annual auditing by a registered SMSF auditor to examine the validity and accuracy of an SMSF’s financial records and make sure that a fund is compliant with superannuation rules. 

If you’re offering fund administration services, it will be important to establish a trusted relationship with an experienced SMSF auditor.  

Whilst some auditors operate off electronic or paper documentation, specialist auditors will often have advanced tools and integration with SMSF administration software.  

TIP: Reduce the price of audit services with integration and data-feed coverage for your clients.

7. Actuarial Provider

Not every SMSF will require the services of an actuarial certificate provider but, like auditors, they can form an important part of your supply chain.  

TIP: Save time by using a specialist SMSF software that offers a selection of well-integrated actuarial providers.

8. Establishment and Documentation Services

The setup and management of an SMSF requires a range of documentation and starting a few fund requires important establishment documentation such as a trust deed.

Throughout the lifecycle of an SMSF various other documents will also be required such as meeting minutes or resolutions.

TIP: Use an SMSF documentation specialist to help ensure that your clients have the latest legal provisions and protections, and don’t fall fowl of compliance requirements.

9. SMSF Technical Know-How

Your key staff should have the SMSF technical know-how to navigate the complexities of the heavily regulated industry. 

Key staff should consider an SMSF Association membership allowing them to attend regular training sessions and keep up to date with legislation and industry change.

TIP: Partner with a well-rounded SMSF service provider - SuperMate clients are backed by a team of technical experts and have access to free monthly training. 

10. Outsourced options

Whilst specialist SMSF software, like SuperMate, makes administration easier, there’s no escaping the above points if you’re looking to provide SMSF administration services. 

Partnering with a specialised SMSF administration provider, who can offer white label, wholesale or overflow services, can sometimes prove more lucrative and less arduous.

There are many options available to assist you including back office administration services, provision of documentation for SMSFs, assistance with processing in your software, and liaison with your clients or your practice – you choose!

Alternatively, simply engage a provider when you need an overflow service to assist your internal administration team in completing their funds and getting them lodged on time. This service is particularly useful for firms just starting out, or when close to lodgement deadlines and you’re needing extra surge capacity to get the job done.

TIP: SuperConcepts is Australia’s largest SMSF administration provider and, with over 35 years of experience, can provide any one of the above services.  

With just under 1.2 million members holding $840 billion in assets, SMSFs are a key part of Australia’s superannuation system.  

If you’re considering providing SMSF administration services yourself, contact the SuperMate team to see how you can get started with our powerful specialist software. 

If outsourcing your SMSF requirements seems more appropriate, contact the SuperConcepts team to learn more at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


 

10 things to consider before taking on SMSFs
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