5 Tips to Optimise your SMSF Services

Optimise your SMSF Services a group of SMSF professionals discussing their client's complex fund

Looking at opportunities to optimise your SMSF services can help your business thrive—even in the most demanding circumstances.

The world of SMSFs is ever-changing. Once again, SMSF specialists, accountants, and financial advisers find themselves navigating unchartered waters to continue providing efficient service. Implementing strategies to optimise your SMSF services has never been more critical, especially during this challenging time. 

According to the latest SMSF statistics released by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) there are almost 598,000 SMSFs as at June 2021. However, statistics also showed there are 40,200 with contravention reports (ACRs) sent to the ATO in 2020-21 FY. ATO accredited auditors lodged these contraventions for 13,900 SMSFs, with just 45% reported as rectified.

The world of SMSFs can be quite complex, with ever-changing laws and regulations that even experienced SMSF specialists may overlook. As SMSF’s recover from the pandemic and continue growing, the need to prevent funds from contraventions becomes even greater. SMSF services firms must now step up and optimise their processes to ensure their clients’ funds are in compliance.

But how can you optimise your SMSF services business? How do you strengthen your business to ensure you can maintain quality services while providing strategic advice?

Running SMSFs

SMSFs are becoming the preferred option to save up for retirement for many Australians—young and old. This is because SMSFs offer a secure future, and several advantages and benefits over other superannuation funds if administered and managed well.

However, there are also disadvantages and risks with clients managing their own retirement fund. Moreover, ever-changing SMSF laws and regulations can make managing SMSF even more complex. Hence, trustees are finding it harder to meet compliance requirements and, in some cases, end up getting penalties.

Most trustees prefer engaging with SMSF services firms to administer and manage their retirement savings. There are specialists who offer complete end-to-end SMSF services—from establishing to winding up the fund. These SMSF specialists ensure trustees invest the SMSF wisely while maintaining the fund’s compliance with super laws.

However, with the increasing interest in SMSFs also comes the need for better administration and management processes. If you are an SMSF professional or specialist firm, consider implementing these strategies to optimise your SMSF services:

Optimise your SMSF Services a businesswoman working on growing her business

How to optimise your SMSF services

1. Use the most advanced software available and maximise it

Using the right tools and technology can help SMSF services firms manage their clients’ funds cost-effectively. Most of the available SMSF software offers features that automate your processes for a more accurate and timely reporting. Thus, you can have more time focusing on your clients instead of ensuring the funds meet ATO reporting requirements.

Leveraging technology also allows for smoother transactions and real-time monitoring of transactions, contributions, pensions, etc. Hence, both you and your clients can receive up-to-date fund information anytime and anywhere.

Most SMSF software and technology also allow you to track member components, i.e., preservation benefits, taxable and tax free components. Thus, enabling you to identify when your clients will be able to access the benefits within the SMSF. Moreover, tracking member components helps your clients know how much tax they need to pay.

2. Practice regular reconciliation of cash movements

Make sure that you reconcile all transaction entries correctly to avoid any issues. Regular reconciliation of transactions also helps you check for missing technical receipts. Moreover, it helps ensure that payment reference numbers are correct or complete for every file, allowing you to rectify any incorrect or incomplete information and re-send it in a timely manner.

Regular reconciliation also helps you solve difficult entries more quickly, which can help you save time and avoid penalties. Moreover,, it helps you have a smoother billing process which your clients can budget for better.

SMSFs are becoming the preferred option to save up for retirement for many Australians—young and old.

3. Update books and documents for a smoother audit process

Ensure your clients have updated books and the right documents for every transaction. Keeping your clients’ books up to date can help you better manage your clients’ funds for every financial year. It also makes it easier for the fund auditor to check for issues and risks over your investments and transactions.

Organising your clients’ fund documents also helps you easily identify documents you have already reconciled and processed. Keeping their documents up to date helps make sure your clients comply with changes in SMSF laws and regulations. Thus, you can ensure your clients always meet SMSF compliance requirements come audit time and avoid penalties.

4. Keep up to date with changes in financial markets and SMSF laws

Changes in the fast-paced financial markets can also affect the value of an SMSF. Hence, keeping abreast of trends in financial markets can help ensure your clients’ fund assets are current and at market value. Moreover, it helps you provide supportable evidence of their SMSF assets valuation and meet all the market valuation requirements.

Being up to date on financial market changes also helps you consider the best financial interest of the fund’s members. Moreover, you can give your clients peace of mind that you are managing their SMSF according to their investment strategy. Further, it helps you prepare the fund’s assets and financial statements accurately and efficiently.

Similar to financial markets, SMSF laws are also always changing. Keeping up to date on SMSF rules and regulations can help you ensure your clients’ fund meet the compliance requirements. Moreover, it helps your clients meet their duties and responsibilities over the fund.

5. Outsource to highly trained and experienced SMSF accountants

Outsourcing SMSF administration enables SMSF services firms to increase their capacity without hurting their operational funds. It is a cost-effective way to building your own team of SMSF specialists who can handle volume and offer faster turnaround times. Most SMSF administrative support services firms also offer the use of advanced technology to streamline your processes.

Some SMSF services you can outsource are:

  • SMSF establishment
  • Contributions and pensions monitoring
  • SMSF Administration and compliance
  • Daily reconciliation
  • Year-end reporting
  • Preparation of annual return and financial statements
  • Liaising with independent external auditors

Outsourcing your core SMSF services ensures the paperwork is done in a cost-efficient and timely manner. In addition, outsourcing gives you more time to focus on your clients. Having outsourced staff doing the work for you enables you to give more valuable strategic advice. This in turn allows you to manage your clients’ funds better and offer solutions—either directly or through a licenced Adviser.

However, not all outsourcing firms have qualified SMSF specialists or experienced staff to administer and manage your clients’ SMSF for you. Hence, you might end up double checking for irregularities and spending more time reviewing.

Optimise your SMSF Services 2 female smsf accountants working on their client's fund

How can DBA help optimise your SMSF services?

DBA understands that every fund is unique and we tailor our processes to align with your clients’ needs. We also make sure our staff has the technical and administrative capabilities to handle even the most complex fund strategies.

Our SMSF Administrative Support team is composed of highly skilled and experienced SMSF accountants. We support accountants, financial advisers, and SMSF services providers and can do all the back-end processing seamlessly. Thus, you can have more time and energy to meet with your clients and help them achieve their SMSF goals.

Our team is equipped with the basic technical skills necessary to independently run all major SMSF software available in the market. We can produce quality reports in a timely manner, so your clients can make the best investment decision in no time. 

Our team can also automate the processes for all phases of the fund administration. Thus, we can meet documentation, technical, processing and reporting requirements to ensure your clients’ fund remains compliant with super laws.

Picture of Maann Sagun, MDC, DMP

Maann Sagun, MDC, DMP

Maann is a Communication Specialist and educator—masking as the Senior Content Writer of DBA. She is also a Digital Marketing Professional and specializes in SEO Audits. Maann has taken both her master’s degree in Development Communication, and bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of the Philippines.
Picture of Maann Sagun, MDC, DMP

Maann Sagun, MDC, DMP

Maann is a Communication Specialist and educator—masking as the Senior Content Writer of DBA. She is also a Digital Marketing Professional and specializes in SEO Audits. Maann has taken both her master’s degree in Development Communication, and bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of the Philippines.

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