Business News

Accountants get new cloud-based solution

Fintech firm eSMSF Advice has developed a cloud-based platform to enable accountants to continue to service SMSF clients without necessarily having to be licensed and help them better manage client advice relationships.

“This service is all about advice. There’s no financial product associated with it,” eSMSF Advice director David Lunn told selfmanagedsuper.

“It’s to provide a compliant framework and automatic statement of advice generation for situations such as starting or stopping a pension, starting or stopping an SMSF, making contributions, executing fund rollovers, and it’s really fairly and squarely aimed at the accountants.”

The service is multi-faceted, with the ability to perform a client fact find being one of them.

“The fact finder is split in two: you have the client fact find and what I call the adviser fact find. The technical components of the fund is the adviser fact find and the non-technical items such as name, address and date of birth are elements of the client fact find,” Lunn explained.

“The system allows the accountant to hit a button and email the client so they get the fact find online.

“The client receives a code via SMS and can then log in to the system and fill out all of their personal details. We’ll also be seeking to incorporate data feeds from Class Super, so if they are using that administration service, their basic details can be uploaded.”

He revealed the system had a unique feature, being an SMSF applicability tool – a questionnaire to determine the appropriateness of an SMSF for a client.

The fact-find process involves system-generated file notes relating to the client’s situation alerting accountants to information such as the client’s pension payment status, or if a full condition of release has been met, or the client’s desire to extinguish existing debt arrangements.

Statements of advice (SOA) are prepared automatically on the system based on the file notes, assisting the accountant with the compliance requirements needing to be satisfied under the new licensing system.

“Because the SOA is written form the file notes there are no discrepancies when it comes to audit,” Lunn said.

The platform also acts as a referral mechanism for accountants who still want to provide an SMSF service for clients, such as fund establishment, but do not want to become licensed.

This is achieved by having practitioners on the system known as SMSF qualified advisers (SQA), who are either fully licensed or RG 146 qualified. The SQA can be either an accountant or a financial planner.

“So the SQA can support a non-SQA – an accountant who wants to do tax and audit but does not want to have a licence,” Lunn said.

He explained the functionality of the system meant regardless of which practitioner performed the client fact find, a licensed adviser would end up with all of the relevant information to provide the appropriate advice and satisfy the compliance obligations.

“To my knowledge I haven’t seen anything out there that provides a service solution for an unlicensed accountant and a licensed accountant,” he said.

The service is scheduled to be made available from April.

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