In traditional terms accountants are recognized as typical finance professionals. The sole role of these professionals is assisting their clients in accounting, corporate regulation and law, compliance compulsions for taxes and reporting. Also, accountants are advisors in important decisions such as audit, investment decisions, and business advisory.
When it comes to Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs), these are the roles that accountants have traditionally played in regard of superannuation needs and retirement planning of their clients.
Traditionally, these roles involve services in:
2. Financial planning
3. Trustee based
4. Fund Taxation
5. Fund Administration
6. Fund Accounting Services
Audit Services – An approved auditor is defined in the Superannuation Industry Act 1993 and its corresponding regulations mentioned under Regulation 1.04(2)(a)
For any given SMSF, an approved auditor is either:
• a Registered Auditor (Div. 2 Part 9.2 of the Corporations Law); or
• a member of the CPA Australia; or
• a member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia; or
• a member of the National Institute of Accountants; or
• a member or fellow of the Association of Taxation and Management Accountants; or
• a fellow of the National Tax and Accountants Association Ltd; or
• The Auditor-General of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory.
Accounting Services – These typically involve the groundwork for super’s financial statements. This is done primarily by some proprietary accounting software such as Supervisor or BGL.
Trustee Services – Normally an accountant does not perform the role of a trustee till the fund becomes an SAF (Small APRA Superannuation Fund). If a fund in not an SAF, then the accountant becomes a member of the fund. An accountant is traditionally not paid for whatever trustee services it offers.
Administration Services – Although an accountant is typically not an administrator of the fund but they certainly play an important assist between fund’s trustees and them.
Financial Advisory Services – As a financial advisor, an accountant may advise his/her trustees on the operations of the SMSF, make valuable recommendations, draft Investment strategies for the fund and prepare investment documentation.