Lowering the cost of your SMSF return
Given that STR charges clients the costs incurred by home-based practitioners to prepare and audit their returns on an hourly basis, together with a modest overhead, efficient bookkeeping by clients of their SMSF’s pertinent records and documents is very helpful in reducing their fees to the minimum possible. Clients should always remember that the more they save in fees over a period, the more monies they will have available to invest and compound to grow the size of their respective funds.
The needless expense is incurred when clients post their documents to STR, which then require scanning (and sometimes de-stapling) before being sent for processing to the practitioner concerned. The documents, contract notes et al. should preferably be scanned and sent to STR in a format that permits easy on forwarding. Likewise, the forwarded material should be clearly presented so as to minimize resultant queries from the practitioner to the client.
The size of a client’s SMSF has no bearing on the fee charged, only the time is taken to complete the respective return. It follows that an SMSF holding $10 million of assets in a form that requires minimum work may be charged a lower fee than an SMSF holding only $100,000-00 of assets in a convoluted form that requires more preparation time to lodge with the ATO.
SMSF’s which hold assets in shares, deposits and other forms of bank and/or institution account can now be availed of a service that greatly reduces the time taken to compile a given return, so reducing costs. Data feeds are now available from most banks, institutions and share registries which automatically input into the accounting system used by STR, and likewise, automatically compile much of the return, leaving less work for the practitioner to complete, before a return is audited and lodged. Similarly, the auditor’s workload is also reduced when this process is utilized.
Some SMSF’s comprise of real estate assets, but again data feeds from bank accounts and institutions that automatically feed into a given return will also save preparation time, and facilitate ensuring cost savings.