We all know about responsibility. We also know that one of the most common barriers to entry into the world of SMSF’s is the perceived burden of taking on the trusteeship of a large, and incredibly important asset. For some, having to organise annual administration, audit and investment review can be too much and passing these responsibilities onto a large Fund Manager is a more attractive option.
This is where the right team of advisors is crucial. Unless you have been bitten by a legislative spider or been exposed to stray SMSF radiation, you will need help. Tapping into the pool of knowledge held by your accountant and financial advisor can be the difference between a successful retirement plan and one that is simply limping along year to year with no real improvement. These advisors are there to help. The facets of your SMSF that seem impossibly boring and incomprehensively banal to you, are probably the things that keep your accountant awake at night.
Keeping a regular dialogue with your accountant and ensuring that they have a relationship with your financial advisor encourages the flow of information that will help you stay on top of your SMSF. Far too often we see the 18 month lag between event and administration. Things that may have happened in your SMSF in July 2013 may not be discussed and reviewed by your accountant until they are preparing the annual accounts in December 2014, inhibiting your ability to implement effective tax or investment strategies.
However, all is not lost. Your Friendly-Neighbourhood-Accountants are helping many trustees to have up to date information about their retirement savings in their hands quarterly or even monthly. With online data feeds and cloud based technology, we are able to process the activity of a Fund almost day to day. When you combine this with the capacity to log in to our SMSF software from your smart phone, checking up on your Fund will be almost as easy as checking your bank account or credit card balance.
Spiderman references aside, things are moving fast in the Superannuation team here at CNS Partners. It has now been 12 months since the launch of CNS Financial Solutions, and we have found that having a Fund’s financial advisor and administrator in same building can be exceptionally beneficial for all parties. We are trialling the technologies mentioned above as we speak and we hope that they will help to increase the involvement and interest of clients in the day to day running of their Fund. It is unlikely that anyone will ever be as thrilled about SMSF’s as us, but we are accountants after all and we are resigned to our fate.