FAQ | SMSF Engine
SMSF Solutions for Accountants and Financial Planners

General

Why would I consider outsourcing?

Some of the benefits of outsourcing are:

  • Access experienced SMSF administration and audit resources as required
  • Save on the cost of administering funds
  • Increase your margin on SMSF work
  • Spend more time managing your clients
  • Utilise staff time on high margin work
  • Add to your SMSF business without the staff worries

Why SMSF Engine?

Personal service. You are dealing with a personable organisation one where your account manager will always be available to assist you through the process and will understand you and your business. Backing this personal service is a best of breed team of SMSF Professionals chosen for their specialist knowledge. Our economies of scale mean that we can provide these services to you at a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself.

How many funds can I outsource?

We can assist you whether you send us one fund or a thousand. As there is no lock in contracts, you are free to use us as you need. Many new clients send us a small number of funds to ‘test the waters’, once they are comfortable they use us more and more.

About the Work

How do I provide my client files?

Simply log on to SMSF Engine and when you create a service request the interactive process will guide you through uploading the documents. We have a number of guides that can assist explain the process, of course we’d also like to help over the phone if you get stuck (Freecall 1800 700 666).

What is turnaround time once all the information is provided?

Maximum turnaround (excluding time waiting on trustee information) is 15 days. (5 days for initial processing and to request further information, 5 days to raise any additional queries and 5 days to complete the fund). The average turnaround is 8 days and we can work with you to discuss turnarounds and priorities and try to meet these where required. Audit turnaround is typically an additional 5-6 days.

Do you provide workpapers?

Yes. You will receive and “Audit File” with all fund documents (financial statements, Annual SMSF Return, investment and member reports etc) In addition we have a specialised process where the financial statements and Annual Return documents are hyperlinked to the source documents and workpapers.

We also have a number of tools on our website that may assist in providing information to us in a suitable form.

Do you also prepare required minutes?

We prepare the standard minutes and can assist with preparation of minutes for pensions or other specific events.

What procedures are in place to ensure the quality of work is of high standards & require minimal review?

All accounts and workpapers are thoroughly reviewed prior to completion. In addition we prepare a reasonableness check to ensure tax figures match the return, investment market movements are within a reasonable range, we compare line items in the financial statements to prior year figures to identify any large variances, etc.

We recognise that you have more information on your client than we do hence it is prudent that you review the file prior to delivery to the trustee.

Will you have direct contact with my clients?

Generally no. You will be the liaison between ourselves and your clients. Only in exceptional cases, and with your explicit permission would we contact a client direct.

We will only ever deal direct with you unless you give us specific instructions to ensure you retail your client/accountant relationship. In sensitive cases where audits may be qualified either your practice or your client may request direct contact.

How are queries managed?

When we identify issues that prevent us from completing the work, we will provide you with a query form which outlines the nature of the issue and, where possible, the recommended solution.

You are requested to complete the form by entering your response and attaching any associated documents. If you believe the matter is resolved you can mark the issues closed. For more information please see our query form instructions.

What are the costs involved?

The costs are shown under fees and services.

Will there be an allocated person whom we can contact to monitor the progress of the job?

You will have a dedicated account managed allocated who will be your first point of contact

Do you offer discounted rates for volume of business?

Our prices are fixed in order to give you and your clients 100% certainty of the costs involved. Naturally, some funds are simple and some more complex, by offering a fixed fee and having no hidden fees we believe that the service is cost effective. If you have a specific circumstance (eg large volume or highly automated processes), then please contact us and we would be happy to discuss further.

Technology

What SMSF software do you support?

BGL SimpleFund, BGL360, Class, Handisoft (subject to negotiation).

Security

How do I know my data is secure?

Keeping client information secure is paramount. We ensure that the data which you send to us remains secure when you upload to our site, when our team works on the files and when you finally download it.

We achieve comprehensive security and confidentiality over your files by:

  • Managing the latest online technologies (SSL etc)
  • Independent Audits of our internal and external systems
  • Complete network administration and monitoring
  • Engaging suppliers who meet our Due Diligence

What level of security is provided?

First Class. Physical (eg. security passes) and Logical security (eg. Restricted access, data encryption, passwords and certificates). The primary supplier is ISO 9001.2008 certified organization.

Only authorised personnel will have access to client data and servers. The company has ISO 27001 certified Information Security Management systems in place.

Is I.T. support or any other resources supplied externally?

No. The company has in-house IT team to handle all IT related issues to support clients.

About SMSF Engine

How do I know what documents to provide?

Generally we will require the same documentation as your clients currently provide. This would include initially the trust deed, prior year accounts, member details and tax return plus the annual financial information. We have an fund checklist that will guide you through exactly what we will need based on the funds profile.

How do I communicate with SMSF Engine?

Our team is always available to you on the freecall number (1800 77 666), our admin team will take you call or receive your email and we will escalate to the accountants and managers for more complex the queries.

All documents can be securely uploaded or downloaded from the portal using our file manager process. These will be available in your client workflow area when you log in to the Engine. You will also receive email notification whenever we communicate with you and you can send messages and attach files from within the portal.

We discourage the use of email for sending or receiving documents as this is less secure.

Who owns the firm? Is it an Australian?

We are an Australian Public Company domiciled in Melbourne, Victoria. Our strategic alliances with various industry bodies, groups and partners, most notably the National Tax and Accountants’ Association allow us to provide value added services and products to our network of accounting firms.

Is any of the work done outside Australia?

Our best of breed approach means that we source companies that deliver expertise and value in specific fields to support our overall services model. We currently have an offshore team run by a specialist outsource organisation with offices and staff permanently based in Australia.

How can we be confident the work is accurate?

Qualified Chartered Accountants and MBA’s review the work before sending out to clients.

What qualifications are held by the company/staff?

Senior and Middle management staff are qualified Chartered Accountants from The Institute of Chartered Accountants. The International branches of the ICA have a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) to recognize the qualification, training of each other and admit the members in good standing. As per the MRA graduate members of ICA are also eligible for CPA Australia membership on passing one paper on Business Strategy and Leadership.

The staff are commerce graduates, MBAs and Cost Accountants with average 3 to 5 year of experience in Australian accounting. Many of our managers are professionally qualified Chartered Accountants, Cost Accountants or MBAs. Over 30 staff are RG146 certified. RG 146 defines the initial minimum training standards that an individual must meet in order to provide financial planning advice in Australia.

What Australian Accounting bodies is the outsourcer a member of?

SMSF Professionals Association of Australia (SPAA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

How are staff trained?

The company has a Learning and Development Vertical that caters to the training and developmental needs of their staff plus additional SMSF specific training through SPAA.

How do you keep staff up to date on Australian accounting and tax legislation?

Updates are received on accounting and tax legislations from various sources. The Learning & Development team communicates to the staff.

What are your office hours?

Our hours are 9:00 to 5:00 Monday to Friday.

Can you provide customer references?

We have documented case studies and testimonials on our website. If you want more information please contact us and, based on the size and nature of your firm we can put you in touch with a client of similar nature.