SMSF trustees uneasy with outsourcing of their SMSF accounting

According to the recent survey published in SMSFAdviser Magazine, July 2017, an overwhelming majority of SMSF trustees are uncomfortable with their personal financial records being outsourced and processed overseas without their consent or knowledge. While 93 per cent of respondents have a negative view of accountants sending work to offshore accounting suppliers, 97 per cent believe offshoring is not secure. With the ever growing presence and threat of personal data theft, the problem presents itself as acute.

SuperEasy® conducted its own survey of the SMSF service providers and was able to confirm majority of SMSF outfits are outsourcing the work to China, Vietnam, India and Philippines. This shift is clearly driven solely by the pricing strategy without consideration of the quality implications. Australian Superannuation legislation is complex and it is highly unlikely operators who don’t have Australian qualification will have the appropriate knowledge and skills essential for the quality processing.

This new situation in the market is interesting from the perspective of the regulatory bodies attempting to raise the bar in the SMSF industry by imposing stricter regulations and control, with the main aim of protecting the SMSF trustees' interests, while the industry is sliding into pricing wars and lowering of standards.

It has also become apparent that the same pattern of lowering the prices is evident and followed by the SMSF Audit community, to the point that in many cases Audits are not processed correctly or even worse, not conducted at all!

SMSF trustees are urged to do their homework and ask their providers whether the work for their SMSF is outsourced offshore. While the legislator requires accountants to inform clients when their work is being sent overseas, this is somehow overlooked or the information is buried in the fine print. The trustees should also be diligent about fully understanding their responsibilities which kick in a soon as the SMSF establishment documentation is signed and the fund is registered with the Australian Taxation Office. SMSF trustees have the ultimate responsibility for their SMSFs, this includes the annual administration conducted by the nominated accountant. Once trustees have signed the tax return, the implication is they have fully understood the paperwork, and any compliance, accounting or taxation issues will be their responsibility, not the responsibility of their tax agent.

SuperEasy® is also alarmed by the attitudes of some clients who transfer their Annual administration to us. In the majority of cases, the clients have been trained to fully rely on their previous accountants and don’t have the basic knowledge about their SMSFs and are being completley unaware of their responsibilities.

SuperEasy® outfit is based in Melbourne with a real rather than virtual office, and employs senior staff with masters and degree qualifications, all with Tax agent and/or Auditor credentials. SuperEasy® clients enjoy direct access to their tax agents and their queries or requests for advice are dealt with the same day.

With continuously adding new services to the existing portfolio of the SMSF services, SuperEasy® has strong commitment to its clients, with a solid business plan and investments that will secure its long term presence in the market while delivering comprehensive and high quality services. Some of the newly added services are: free preliminary SMSF investment property loans assessment, arranging Limited Recourse Borrowing Loans and SMSF Financial Planning advice. SuperEasy® maintains steady pricing structure, while continuously implementing improvements making the business compatible with the 21 century technology.

SuperEasy® is fully aware of the fact that the market dictates lowering of prices but we find this proposition unacceptable for our business model, because lowering of prices translates to lowering of standards.


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