• New Wave Accountants

How to reduce your 2019 SMSF Accounting Fees

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

SMSF accounting fees, how are they calculated and how you can save money on the preparation of your end of year SMSF Tax Returns and Financial Statements?

Preparing the end of year administration and tax compliance obligations for a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) should be relatively straight forward right? Not quite. Although SMSF’s do not require tax planning or strategy and should have every transaction verified with a corresponding receipt, statement or some type of substantiation, why it is that Accountants are charging higher fees?

We, at New Wave Accounting, prepare SMSF administration and tax returns all throughout the year and want to give you an insight on why you may be paying too much for your current SMSF accounting or administration service. Below are the reasons why you may be paying too much and how you can minimise these fees with our top tips.

5 Reasons Why You’re a Higher Accounting Fee:

1. Size & Complexity of the fund – Not all SMSF’s are created equal. As you may be aware, an SMSF can invest in property, shares, managed funds and these days even cryptocurrency. Depending on the size and complexity of your SMSF, it could take 5 hours to prepare or 25 hours. This will have a major impact on your yearly fee.

2. Pension Phase – If you are at the ages of being able to obtain a pension, this requires additional time to prepare certain calculations and documentation to ensure that your SMSF is compliant with the ATO. It also involves the accountant obtaining a third party actuarial certificate which is required by law.

3. Being Disorganised – The fees of a traditional accountant are generally based on the time spent on preparing your work. If you are missing statements, receipts or have everything in an unorderly manner then the accountant will be spending more time to rectify the issue and will usually charge you for back and forth communication.

4. Changes in your SMSF – Generally, when there is a significant change in your SMSF, for example, a property or assets were sold, or a change of members, then there are additional adjustments and reporting that is required to be made. Again, the time spent will increase the cost of your SMSF

5. You’re being charged too much – Unlike businesses, the accounting fees for SMSF generally relate specifically to administration costs of preparation. This means that there shouldn’t be any strategy or advice provided. You will find that businesses sometimes result in higher fees due to the complex advice and strategies.

5 Ways To Reduce Your SMSF Accounting Fees:

1. Be Organised & Disciplined – To do this we recommend keeping all of your documents and receipts in one place. It’s worth investing in a cloud software solution such as Google Drive or Receipt bank to keep all of your receipts. Receipt Bank is our recommended solution, allowing you to take pictures of your documents and save them directly in a designated file. We can set this up for you and also give you our discounted rate (25% off). Remember every document relating to every transaction is essential for your SMSF preparation. You can also download our END OF FINANCIAL YEAR CHECKLIST HERE.

2. Organise Your Documents Regularly – We recommend not leaving your documents until the end of the year. Make it a habit to collate all of your information.

3. Request a fixed fee – An accountant should be able to estimate the size and complexity of the job after they have sighted your documentation. Always request a fixed fee including what it would cost for the compulsory third party Audit (generally around $440) and the actuarial report if required (generally around $220 per pension member). If you’re looking for a second opinion please feel free to email clientservices@new-wave.com.au.

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