Accountants who leave paperwork to the last minute and backdate documents to meet deadlines may be caught out under the events-based reporting regime, an adviser cautions.
Speaking to Accountants Daily, Verante Financial Planning director and SMSF Association chair for NSW Liam Shorte said he works with accountants on a daily basis, revealing certain habits that may be detrimental when the new reporting regime kicks in.
Last week, the ATO announced that from 1 July 2018, SMSFs that have members with total superannuation account balances of $1 million or more will be required to report events impacting members’ transfer balances within 28 days after the end of the quarter in which the event occurs.
Mr Shorte said, in his experience, accountants needed to be more proactive moving forward to avoid habits such as leaving paperwork to the last minute and backdating documents to meet deadlines, potentially catching them out under the new regime.
“They may have conversations with clients over the phone about setting up pension during the year but the paperwork is left to the end of the year to do and it’s just not going to be good practice going forward with the new reporting regime,” said Mr Shorte.
“Accountants and financial planners need to get into the habit of catching up with their trustees at least once every quarter for the reporting and possibly more if their clients are taking ad hoc payments from their super funds because they’ll have to report for funds over $1 million moving forward from 1 July 2018.
“I think it’s just a case of bringing things up to meet the new standards and getting rid of old practices and adapting to the new world.”
Added Value Consulting founder Thea Foster sees an opportunity for accountants in the changes, believing it provides more opportunity for face-to-face catch-ups as the “trusted adviser”.
“It’s down to the accountant to establish a relationship for advice,” said Ms Foster.
“If you don’t keep in touch with your client from time to time and certainly more than once a year, [then you risk them approaching others for advice].”
By Jotham Lian
16 November 2017