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SMSF: What Advice Can Your Get from Your Accountant?

It’s challenging to be an SMSF trustee. If you need to get assistance and guidance, you need to make sure that you are getting it from a licensed accountant who is qualified to give you advice.


You need to be sure that your fund is compliant, so you should only consult your accountant on superannuation advice that they are licensed to assist on:


Are There Advice Rules for Accountants?


Yes. You need to be aware that SMSF advice rules apply to your accountant. When you are looking for a qualified adviser to help you with your fund, you need to ensure that they have the right qualifications to give you advice.


You will hear a lot about the term “SMSF auditor.” But how does an accountant work as an SMSF auditor? What does that mean for you? And do you need a qualified SMSF auditor?


To understand how an accountant will be able to help you with your fund, you need to know that there are two different types of SMSF auditors.


SMSF auditors are qualified to work on two different types of SMSF audits:

  • SMSF Fundamental Audits

  • SMSF Transition Audits

Please note that when you are looking for an accountant, it’s important that they be able to perform both of these audits.


What Matters Can an Accountant Help You With?


The critical thing to note is that you are allowed to work with your accountant on the following matters, provided that they are a licensed accountant who has passed their SMSF auditor exams:

  • Superannuation contributions

  • Investments

  • Loans

  • Retiree medical insurance

  • Annuity payments

  • Superannuation death benefits

  • Managing your super


An SMSF auditor can handle audits, but is there anything else you can do with an accountant?


Yes. Accountants can help you with a lot of other matters related to your SMSF. Here are examples:

  • Planning for retirement

  • Planning for retirement Investing in your fund

  • Planning for death benefits

  • Planning for retirement age

  • Getting tax advice

  • Retirement planning

  • Planning for the future of your fund

What Services Can an Accountant Without AFSL Offer?


According to the Australian Taxation Office, accountants without an AFSL are able to offer the following services to your SMSF:

  • Preparing financial statements

  • Preparing taxation return documents

  • Preparing financial reports

Preparing financial statements Preparing taxation return documents Preparing financial reports Acting as an auditor to prepare tax returns


And that’s it. If you are looking for an accountant to provide SMSF advice on any other matters, you need to find one with a current license to offer these services.


What This Means for Your SMSF


If you need to get help with an audit or with any other matter, you need to find an accountant who is licensed to work on your fund. You need to make sure that they are also qualified to do an audit, not just planning your fund.


Be sure to ask your accountant what they are qualified to do before you start working with them.


The last thing you want is to find out later that they are not the right qualified person to work on your fund.


Conclusion


If you are a fund trustee, you need to make sure that you follow the SMSF rules to the letter. This means that you need to find an accountant who will be able to provide the right kind of advice to help you with your fund.


Your SMSF has to comply with the rules. Your accountant has to comply with the rules. Any accountant that you are looking to work with needs to be qualified to work on your fund and provide you with superannuation advice. If they aren’t, you need to find another accountant.


Swell Financial Planning offers financial planning services in Queensland. You can consult our experts for all your finance-related concerns. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!



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