Accountants can attract higher fees

Accountants have been told to focus on the upside of entering the SMSF space, with an increase in fees a key positive outcome.

Xpress Super and SuperGuardian chief executive Olivia Long said she suspected accountants would offload administration and daily online reporting services to specialist SMSF administrators where they could be delivered at a fraction of the cost and in a professional manner.

“In this scenario, accountants can attract higher fees for offering strategic advice and administrators can do the legwork at a competitive price,” Long pointed out.

She said she believed the removal of the accountants’ exemption should be viewed as a positive move for the accounting profession as it would make them rethink their value proposition.

“Accountants have to realise their future role in SMSFs is offering strategic advice that allows SMSF trustees to plan long term – it’s not just the day-to-day minutiae that can be competently handled by administrators,” she said.

Furthermore, suggestions new entry and licensing requirements for SMSF auditors and accountants from 1 July would result in many SMSF trustees winding up their funds because of rising costs were far-fetched, she said.

“Scale administration businesses can absorb licensing costs and additional workload,” she said.

“It may see a small increase in fees, but certainly nothing so drastic as to force trustees to wind up their funds.

“What I believe will happen is that accountants wanting to continue servicing SMSF trustees post 1 July will focus on only servicing a smaller number of clients, but in a more strategic way.”

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