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TBAR raises fee structure issues

Advisers and accountants will need to think about how they intend on charging clients when servicing them for the new transfer balance account reporting (TBAR) requirements, according to an SMSF expert.

During a Smarter SMSF webinar today, chief executive and founder Aaron Dunn said fulfilling TBAR requirements for SMSF trustees will be a labour-intensive process for advisers and accountants, while noting automation will play an increasing role in the future and potentially reduce the time it takes advisers to complete the work.

“In reality, across our SMSF events, there was an expectation that everyone would really be charging for this additional work,” Dunn said.

“There was the odd person who said, ‘in our business the way in which our model works we will absorb the reporting into our existing framework’.

“But by and large everyone said there is additional work and we therefore need to factor that in.”

A poll conducted during the webinar asked participants if they prefer time-cost based on how much time it would take them to complete the work, with advisers gradually moving to a standardised fee structure after measuring the work on an ongoing basis.

Dunn also provided the option of bundling fees, with advisers charging extra on the initial fees and incorporating that into the ongoing paperwork based on the specific event.

“For others, it may be that we’re going to separate that and make sure it remains separate because we don’t know when events are going to be occurring but we may be across it via documentation and TBAR,” he explained.

Out of the 270 poll participants, a third opted for a fixed fee, 30 per cent opted for time-cost, while 30 per cent said they have not yet contemplated on a fee structure.

Dunn warned advisers needed to think about fees in light of other obligations they have to fulfil, along with their associated costs on their businesses, including statements of advice, limited and full licensing arrangements and the work involved in TBAR reporting.

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