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September 25, 2019

The DBA Advantage: How to Keep Your SMSF Compliant

keep your SMSF compliant

More people are looking at getting SMSFs to secure their retirement. But what is SMSF? How does it work? How do you keep your SMSF compliant? We’ve narrowed down some points that you need to know about SMSF, and how DBA can help with your fund’s compliance.

What is SMSF?

The Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) is a superannuation trust structure, or a way to save up for retirement, in Australia. SMSFs are regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and there are various administrative and compliance requirements you have to know to keep your SMSF compliant. 

Also, SMSF is a legal tax structure and has its own Tax File Number (TFN), Australian Business Number (ABN) and transactional bank account.

How does SMSF work?

SMSF provides its members financial benefits upon retirement, which extends to their dependants upon death. You can receive contributions and rollovers, make investments, and pay out lump sums and pensions through your SMSF.

Unique to other super funds, SMSF members are also the trustees of their fund. SMSFs are also called “do-it-yourself super,” because trustees have full control over how the fund should be managed. Hence, you are responsible not only for how the fund should be run, but also for ensuring it is compliant with super and tax laws.

There are two types of trustee structure for SMSF:

  • Individual trustees – have a minimum requirement of two trustees and a maximum of four, and each member must be a trustee. Single-member funds must have two trustees, with the fund member as one of the trustees; and
  • Corporate Trustees – a company acts as the trustee for the fund, with the fund member(s) as the director. The minimum requirement is one director and maximum is four, except for single-member funds where the maximum is two directors only. Each member of the fund must also be made a director.

What must an SMSF trustee do?

SMSFs are flexible funds which trustees can invest in various assets such as property, private company, and international assets. You are responsible for all the investment decisions made with the fund, even if another member makes the decision. In addition, you can customise the fund’s investments to suit your requirements, before and after retirement.

Trustees also have the option to engage a professional to help run the fund. However, you are still the decision maker of where the fund should be invested in.

Most importantly, trustees are responsible for ensuring that the compliance requirements for their SMSFs are met – for example, organising an independent audit. Therefore, you are required to appoint an approved SMSF Auditor to audit your fund.

What does an SMSF Auditor do to keep your SMSF compliant?

Only a registered SMSF Auditor can conduct an annual audit of an SMSF. The SMSF must be audited, regardless of whether you made contributions or payments, or not. 

In addition, all SMSFs need to lodge a SMSF annual return to report income tax, super regulatory information, and member contributions. The payment for the supervisory levy will also be included in your SMSF annual return.

Hence, trustees must appoint a SMSF Auditor at least 45 days before the lodgment of the SMSF annual return. The SMSF Auditor will review your fund’s operation, and complete a financial and compliance audit. The SMSF Auditor must complete the audit before the SMSF annual return can be lodged with the ATO.

Also, the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA), and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations Act 1994 (SISR) governs SMSFs. Therefore, the SMSF Auditor must also ensure that the fund is compliant with these laws, and all financial reports conform to accounting policies.

In addition, the SMSF Auditor will:

  • examine your fund’s financial statement;
  • provide an audit report;
  • advise you of any breaches to the rules; and
  • report contraventions to the ATO.

How to keep your SMSF compliant

The DBA SMSF Audit Division is comprised of highly trained and experienced SMSF auditors. We guarantee accurate and timely audit workpapers and faster turnaround times by utilising the latest in cloud technology.

Our ASIC-approved SMSF auditors ensure that our audit approach is compliant with existing Australian audit standards and ATO regulations. We also provide SMSF audit general advice for you to know what you should do for the fund to remain compliant.

We also offer evidence collation services for your convenience and ease of review, and final audit sign-off. Our SMSF Auditors collect all information contained in accounting records under financial statements, in audit procedures done, or other third-party sources. We inspect all documents submitted, to provide audit evidence on the reliability and relevance of the report.

Our team also conducts property verification to speed up the process of initiating title search for SMSF property investments. We can also lead inquiries for additional information, and evaluate responses from knowledgeable persons. Inquiries add effectiveness of control to the audit evidence.

Also, our SMSF Audit team provides workpaper preparation services, for you to have sufficient documentation to support findings and opinions. Moreover, our working papers are guaranteed to provide evidence and necessary information to support conclusions. Our workpapers also contain relevant audit documents and support for the required compliance.

What about SMSF Audit firms?

SMSF audit firms can also enjoy the value-added services our SMSF Audit team provides. We can develop and tailor processes to minimise disruption. The automated systems our team uses allow us to efficiently handle high volume work. We also retain trust deeds, so we don’t have to request them annually.

Our back-office audit support for ASIC-approved auditors guarantee timely and accurate audit workpapers. We provide on-time service, so you can schedule that important client meeting as soon as possible.

We also offer audit support services, so you and your staff can focus more on key audit issues. In addition, our most experienced ASIC-approved auditors can also provide general SMSF audit technical support at no extra charge.

Most importantly, we guarantee the highest level of data security and privacy, so your clients’ information is safe in our hands.

So, whether you are looking for someone to keep your SMSF compliant, or you want your business to evolve and get to a BAU status faster, you can trust our SMSF Audit Team to help you. What are you waiting for? Contact us, and start receiving the DBA Advantage.

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