Learn the how, why and what behind outsourcing your Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) compliance and audit offering.
In the fast moving world of accounting, outsourcing is no longer just a buzz word but a genuine reality. This is largely due to the increase in regulatory compliance and the need for accurate compliance at a greater frequency. With instalment taxes, summary reconciliation statements and similar reporting requirements the compliance burden on entities has increased significantly.
A larger portion of this compliance is straightforward information gathering or data reporting and can be done in a cost effective and efficient manner. This is where the outsourcing model excels.
With self-managed super funds, the outsourcing model seems to work better than any other part of accounting; even the cloud based bookkeeping.
The reasons behind this success is the structured nature of SMSF Accounting and compliance and the considerations of each fund getting prepared for an AUDIT. Due to the rigorous requirements of any audit process not just SMSF, the work papers and preparatory work is consistent and standardised in comparison to tax work or general accounting or bookkeeping.
There are many advantages to this outsourcing process and there are many providers. Some of the key considerations when outsourcing your SMSF compliance are as follows;
I would like to suggest that quality is the top consideration, working out the capabilities of the provider for software, from CLASS to BGL to SuperMate or Desktop super and working on the capabilities in terms of experienced staff who are able to handle a variety of funds and structures.
Getting testimonials from your provider to be able to confirm the quality of the process is important.
A good provider will give you a set price, this is called outcome based pricing. Getting a set fee per super fund provides you “the accounting practice” with certainty in terms of margin.
Great quality and great pricing but what about turnaround times? What if they lack the capacity to deliver funds back to you on a timely basis?
Capacity and the size of your outsourcing provider will be important. Can they or will they?
Another key consideration is the process, do they have the capacity to accept file uploads, the information technology and security to access your servers and to be able to work towards your working paper model (from an electronic referencing pdf model to an excel model)
If you have an audit software that needs to be catered to, does the provider have the capabilities to prepare working papers to suit that software?
So now we have validated quality, capacity/turn around time and process.
What about contact? Where are these providers? If you send a job and you have no contact or no local account management? Will that scare your staff or your clients? Does the provider have Local account management? Do they have staff in Australia? If the answer is yes, this will give you the sanity and the peace of mind to know that you have access to someone at all times. There may be added solutions such as WIP meetings on a weekly basis and online workflow systems that are setup of you. This will allow you to track progress and provide sanity to your team.
Finally, security, what does this mean? How does your provider ensure data security and privacy policies are compliant? Every serious provider will adhere to the Australian privacy act and have the necessary security protocols.
- Capacity/turn around times
- Local account management
- Security protocols