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Practice Management

TBAR requires shift to software

Advisers and accountants reporting under the transfer balance account report (TBAR) regime for their pension SMSF clients must now be using up-to-date software in their practices rather than spreadsheets, an administrator has warned.

“We estimate that of all the SMSFs, about 90,000 to 100,000 are still doing it on spreadsheets,” BGL Corporate Solutions managing director Ron Lesh told the Accountants’ Technology Showcase Australia 2017 Conference in Sydney yesterday.

“I just don’t get how you can do work on spreadsheets, especially with the new changes, or how you can do pension work on spreadsheets – it just doesn’t make sense.”

Lesh said the new ATO reporting requirements affected all clients with a pension.

“You are going to be reporting more regularly to the ATO,” he warned.

“While you may not need to report every quarter because you may not have events that require reporting, because you will be reporting more often to the ATO, you will need software to do it.

“It’s going to be impossible [to do the TBAR] without having up-to-date client information.”

He said the estimated total number of SMSFs in 2017 is about 595,000.

“We saw about 27,500 funds added this year and with all the uncertainty around super due to the government’s changes, it’s not a bad result and we’ll probably get back to the standard growth patterns in the next couple of years,” he noted.

“But we are in an industry that continues to grow and move forward, so my question is how does this affect your business?”

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