Changes to accountancy rules has ‘upside’ for SMSFs

Olivia Long

Olivia Long

Suggestions that new entry and licensing requirements for SMSF auditors and accountants from 1 July would see many SMSF trustees wind up their funds because of rising costs are far-fetched, says Olivia Long, chief executive officer of the SMSF administrators Xpress Super and SuperGuardian.

“Scale administration businesses can absorb licencing costs and additional workload. It may see a small increase in fees, but certainly nothing so drastic as to force trustees to wind-up their funds.

“What I believe will happen is that accountants wanting to continue servicing SMSF trustees post 1 July will focus on only servicing a smaller number of clients, but in a more strategic way.

“For administration and daily online reporting, I suspect they will offload those services to specialist SMSF administrators where they can be delivered at a fraction of the cost – and in a professional way.

“In this scenario, accountants can attract higher fees for offering strategic advice and administrators can do the legwork at a competitive price.”

Long says the removal of the accountants’ exemption should be viewed as a “positive move” for the profession as it will make them re-think their value proposition.

“Accountants have to realise their future role in SMSFs is offering strategic advice that allows SMSF trustees to plan long-term; it’s not the day-to-day minutia that can be competently handled by administrators,” she says.

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