A well-known financial commentator recently suggested that the Trustees of a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) might be better off using a SMSF only ‘administrator’ rather than their accountant to administer their fund. Their argument was that it was cheaper and just as efficient. But is that necessarily the case? And is that the only important thing to consider when selecting an administrator?
We’ve put together what we consider to be a list of the main differences that we as accountants can provide when compared to a SMSF ‘administration’ only service:
- We’ve always believed in providing a holistic service to our clients – we don’t just enter transactions. We look at your big picture and endeavour to ensure that your entire circumstances are considered before providing any advice to you.
Many of our SMSF clients have other entities outside of the SMSF and we consider what is in the best interests of your entire family group – a SMSF-only administrator doesn’t necessarily have access to this information so any advice they provide may be limited.
- We believe that our clients should always have access to up-to-date information and advice. You can pick up the phone and have a conversation with someone you know and who also knows you and your current circumstances.
We also invest a lot of resources into our team to ensure that we are across all current legislation and requirements so that we can give the best possible service to our clients.
In fact, we noticed in June that one such SMSF ‘administrator’ simply provided generic templates regarding the recent changes to super (including the $1.6M change) to their trustees and advised them to determine their situation and document it themselves. If the trustee did not do this correctly, the penalties could be very costly!
- We are licensed to provide limited financial advice – this means that we can provide you with personal advice relating to all aspects of your SMSF, including contributions, pension limits and what you need to do to ensure you comply with ever-changing legislation.
- We don’t just process transactions – we also review such things as your current estate planning needs, structure, insurances etc. If we identify an opportunity we will advise you and be available to liaise with the relevant professional to ensure your needs are met.
- We don’t limit what type of investments you can hold within your SMSF. Many of our clients have ‘non-standard’ investments eg. Property trusts, unlisted shares etc. Not all ‘administrator’ services have the facilities to deal with these, and some even limit portfolios to ASX listed shares and a Macquarie bank account only.
- We don’t send any of our work off-shore – ensuring that your data always stays in Australia. Even the software provider we use is based in Brisbane.
So, yes, while some SMSF only administration providers might seem more cost effective on face-value, the ramifications of NOT considering your entire financial situation could prove even more costly to you and your family. And we know we might be biased, but we’d like to think that service and the right advice wins over cost every time.
If you have any questions regarding this, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.