Heffron unveils outsourcing package for accountants

12-Aug-2013

By Krystine Lumanta

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Heffron has launched its new offering for accountants, the SMSF Administration Outsource Service, to help them deliver better value to their SMSF clients but also retain control of their relationships.

Accountants who use the service will be able to outsource the accounting and compliance functions to the SMSF service provider, which would be more cost effective by covering the white labelling of financial statements, member statements and draft tax returns.

In addition, the service, which was launched last Friday, would handle the calculation of annual pension amounts, record minutes and complete independent audits.

Heffron sales and marketing director Ben Smythe said the offering would allow accountants to continue offering their SMSF service to clients, but effectively outsource the administration to someone who had the expertise and resources to maintain compliance.

“The major difference is that they keep control of the SMSF client relationship and continue as a tax agent,” Smythe told selfmanagedsuper.

“The challenge they face is obviously the cost pressures, but accountants are also having staffing problems as it’s hard to retain someone to look after SMSFs and maintaining competence around the changes.

“Particularly if you have 50 SMSFs in your practice, it’s very hard to invest in training, technical support, software and so forth.”

He said as there were more opportunities for trustees to consider when it came to the different types of services available to them now, accountants had to prove their value.

“In a lot of cases, the cost/value proposition is diminishing in the sense that the accountant is charging a lot of money for a very manual bookkeeping service and clients just don’t value that anymore,” he said.

“We estimate about 80 per cent of SMSFs are still looked after by the local accountant and they’re under pressure to maintain the SMSF offering.

“The accountants who are still charging $2000 to $4000 to do a very manual bookkeeping-style service are at risk of losing that SMSF trustee.”

The package would cater to both small and large accounting firms, he said.

“There are some firms that have hundreds of funds and still haven’t bedded down processes, systems or resources,” he said.

“Our business has predominantly been focused on advisers and we’ve had good relationships with accountants through our actuarial services and training days – we can now help accountants with this element of their business as well.

“The accountant or the adviser that’s able to position themselves most favourably to trustees, in other words provide value, will ultimately win the trustee.”

Heffron is charging $1650 a year per fund, including the audit, for the new service.

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