For many of our clients, the 2011 year will be the first year we have completed your annual SMSF accounts. At Superfund Partners, we often do things a little different compared to your typical end of year style accountant. With that in mind, we would like to answer some common questions about the completion of your 2011 SMSF accounts.
Q: What documentation do I need to provide?
A: Existing clients of Superfund Partners generally do not need to provide a lot in the way of documentation to enable us to complete the end of year accounts because in most cases we should have been receiving your SMSF bank account and investment transactions throughout the year. This means you will only need to provide a copy of your 30 June bank statements for the auditors. Where your SMSF has invested in term deposits, we will require copies of all term deposit statements.
Where your SMSF has unlisted investments and other investments or accounts where we are unable to receive a direct electronic feed of the transactions (such as property, unlisted shares or unit trust investments, artwork etc) you will be required to provide all relevant statements.
If 2011 is the first year that Superfund Partners is looking after your accounts, you will need to provide all necessary documentation for the full year including all bank and investment statements.
If you require any guidance in regards to exactly what you need to provide to us, please contact us.
Q: Can I provide an Excel spreadsheet with my SMSFs transactions?
A: Yes, you are able to provide transactional information to us in excel, however copies of actual (official) bank statements are still required for audit purposes.
We have a number of excel templates available which you can use to input your bank transactions, and also share / investment trading transactions. If you would like a copy of the templates and instruction on how to use them, please contact us to discuss.
If you have provided us with all the requested authorities to enable us to download your SMSF bank transactions directly into our software, you shouldn’t need to use any excel spreadsheets or any other third party accounting / bookkeeping software (MYOB, Cashflow Manager, QuickBooks) etc as we will be able to reconcile your accounts on a monthly basis.
Q: Why are you asking for documentation that I haven’t been asked for in the past?
A: There are a couple of reasons why we may do this. Firstly, if it is the first year we are looking after your SMSF accounts, we need to ensure that all the information in our system is 100% accurate – this means we may need to ask you for additional information – it is part of our quality control procedures.
Secondly, Superfund Partners uses a panel of independent specialist SMSF auditors who are required to verify the investments and operations of your fund to ensure you are complying with all relevant super laws and regulations. Although in many cases Superfund Partners can prepare your SMSF accounts and annual return with information from a variety of sources (excel spreadsheets, written summaries, third party software etc), the original documentation is still required for audit purposes.
Thirdly, if your SMSF has been operating for a number of years, we may get you to sign copies of minutes and applications which you would have signed previously, but may have been lost or misplaced over the years. By undertaking this housekeeping we ensure that your SMSF remains up to date and compliant with all relevant super laws and regulations.
Q: Who completes the annual audit of my SMSF?
A: Superfund Partners has two independent auditors, one based in Brisbane and another based in Adelaide. Superfund Partners (or any associated businesses) do not complete the audits of our SMSF clients – they are completed independently as required by the professional standards of the various accounting bodies (CPA, Institute of Chartered Accountants etc).
Providing there are no major issues, your audit will be completed in about one week, however this time may be pushed out to two weeks during the busier periods. We have spent significant time with our auditors getting them up to speed on our systems, and they are now familiar with the way we do things.
The audit fees charged by our independent auditors are competitive, although they might be slightly higher than if your audit was previously completed by a non-independent auditor (i.e. a different partner within the same accounting firm).
Q: How long will it take for my annual SMSF accounts to be completed?
A: Superfund Partners aims to complete annual accounts within four weeks of receiving the work in cases where it is the first year we complete the accounts. Once we have completed the accounts, they will be sent to our independent auditors who will take an additional one to two weeks – meaning in most cases your SMSF accounts will be ready to sign in about six weeks.
We are currently completing the 2011 returns for a number of clients for the first time. Unfortunately we have not been able to meet the above self-imposed deadline for the completion your annual SMSF accounts.
There are a number of reasons why this has happened:
- We are extremely diligent the first year we take over a new client – we want to ensure we get everything correct and accurate for 2011 and future years
- We are utilising independent auditors, in some cases additional documentation is required which may take time to obtain which will delay the finalisation of your SMSF accounts
- There is a conversion time moving your SMSF accounts from older accounting systems onto our streamlined SMSF accounting platform
- One of our SMSF accountants left us during our busiest time and although this person has been replaced, we have lost a significant amount of capacity which has pushed some of the jobs back by up to six weeks
Regardless of the above reasons, we apologise and we are doing everything possible to get your SMSF accounts complete and out to you for signing.
If you have brought your work in and haven’t heard from us – we haven’t forgotten about you – it simply means we haven’t got to you yet! All jobs are completed on a first in / first out basis, so in many cases it is simply a matter of resources and hours in the day.
If you would like to check the status of your job; or if you need any urgent information such as Centrelink schedules for your SMSF pension – please do not hesitate to give us a call.
Q: What can I do to enable my SMSF accounts to be completed faster?
A: There are a number of simple things you can do to help us get your SMSF accounts done quickly and easily:
- Sign and return to us all relevant authority forms to enable us to receive your SMSF bank and investment transactions electronically. This is the most important thing you can do to help us complete your accounts (now and future years) in an efficient manner. These authorities simply enable us to receive your SMSF transactional information in electronic format – they do not provide us any login or access to transact on your accounts – it is the same information you provide us in paper form.
- Provide us with all information at once. The biggest thing that slows the completion of your accounts down is chasing you for additional information or statements. We understand that this can be frustrating when you are waiting on one or two annual tax statements, however you have all of your other SMSF records ready to go. Please be patient and provide us with all records at one time.
- Download transactions in addition to giving us paper statements. Most banks enable you to download your transactions into a CSV or Excel file which we can easily import into our system – speeding up the time it takes to process your accounts significantly. Using this option is especially important in the first year we complete your accounts as we generally can’t capture historical transactions from the third party authorities you provide (as per #1 above). If you are not tech savvy – drop in and see us and we can assist you to download the necessary transactions.
- Don’t waste time with summaries / excel spreadsheets. If you would like to summarise your SMSF transactions, or if you want to maintain a register for your own records, you can – but please ensure you ask us for an appropriate template, otherwise it may lead to an unnecessary duplication of effort by both us and you.
- Ask us for a list – if you are unsure what specific information and documentation you will need to provide, please contact us and we can provide you with a customised list of necessary information to complete your accounts. Please also be aware that what you have provided in previous years may be different to what you need to provide moving forward – especially when you have been using our system for over 12 months.
One of the main goals of Superfund Partners is to take the pain out of administering your SMSF. Help us help you by talking to us about the most efficient way of completing your SMSF accounts.
Q: My SMSF generally receives a refund of franking credits – can the refund go directly into my SMSF account?
A: Yes, by default we will organise for your SMSF refund to be deposited in to your primary SMSF bank account. If you would like your refund paid via cheque or put into a specific account, please let us know and we will ensure it happens.
Q: If you have a question or require additional advice – who do I speak to?
A: We understand that a SMSF doesn’t work in isolation from the rest of your personal and business taxation and financial planning affairs. This is why Superfund Partners provides access to your up to date SMSF information to your personal accountant and/or financial planner – giving them a complete picture and empowering them to give you the best possible advice.
You primary contact at Superfund Partners is me – Kris Kitto – so if you have any questions or feedback please contact me.
In addition, you can contact us in the following ways:
- Phone: 1300 889 282
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit our offices (South Brisbane/ West End, Eight Mile Plains, Southport)