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Accounting, Administration

Accountants’ focus should not be admin

SMSF administration

Providing the SMSF administration function should no longer be a focus for accountants, a senior sector executive has said.

Accountants need to concentrate on providing clients with more meaningful solutions for their business activities and superannuation funds rather than make the SMSF administration function their main focus, a senior sector executive has said.

“Accounting firms have to get across all of the business sectors their clients participate in and try to help them with change management so they can remain competitive,” Seamless SMSF director Mike McHenry told selfmanagedsuper.

“We’ve had a black swan event with the bushfires and another one with the coronavirus, and there is a potential systemic impact on their clients from these events. The accountants have to try and make them bulletproof in this current environment and I think they have to devote time and energy to find simpler ways for their clients to do business.”

McHenry said with the aforementioned in mind, accountants should not distract themselves by offering a service, such as SMSF administration, other organisations can perform more efficiently.

“Our business, for example, is predominantly an offshore business. We can offer a full solution that is so cost competitive that it just doesn’t make sense for accountants to do it,” he said.

With regard to servicing clients who run their own super, he revealed accountants are currently finding related-party transactions a challenge.

“The queries we’re seeing from accountants are generally around related-party transactions involving limited recourse borrowings and related-party trusts. That’s where we see a lot of problems,” he noted.

“Some accountants get it wrong because they don’t have enough volume to generate the repetition around the SMSF piece so they look to us to give them a hand and that’s what we’re there for.”

While predominantly servicing accounting practices to date, Seamless SMSF is aiming to attract more financial planning practices to its client base in the immediate term.

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