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While the beauty of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) lies in its ability to provide Australians autonomy on their investments for retirement, managing one can be complex and time-consuming. Here’s where an SMSF administrator comes in.

SMSF administration service providers handle all the complex processes involved in running the fund, from accounting, tax compliance, regulatory, and investment management.

Having an SMSF does not mean you have the responsibility to DIY everything involved in managing it — even with an SMSF administrator, the general directions and goals of the fund will still be coming from you.

What is SMSF administration?

In the simplest sense, SMSF administration refers to the process of managing and maintaining the financial and regulatory aspects of the fund.

SMSF administration typically includes tasks such as record keeping, compliance, tax reporting, and investment reporting.

In many cases, SMSF trustees choose to manage these tasks themselves, but others opt to outsource them to a specialist or an SMSF administration service provider.

What does an SMSF administrator do?

If you choose to use the services of an SMSF administrator, you can expect that they will help you meet all legal and regulatory obligations and ensure that the fund is managed effectively.

Furthermore, they can provide expertise and experience in areas such as compliance with superannuation laws, investment strategies, and asset allocation.

Here are the areas where SMSF administration services can help:

  • Accounting – SMSF administrators can prepare financial statements and tax returns for the fund.  On top of this, they can assist with bookkeeping, preparation of financial statements, and maintenance of accurate records of investments and transactions.

  • Tax compliance – For many SMSF owners, tax compliance is the most complicated part of managing the fund. With an SMSF administrator, your fund can easily meet all tax obligations on income, capital gains, and GST.

  • Regulatory reporting - SMSF administration service providers can help with the preparation and lodgement of annual returns and other compliance documentation required by regulatory bodies such as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

  • Investment management – With their expertise, SMSF administrators can provide guidance and advice on investment strategies and asset allocation. They can help you and other SMSF members make informed investment decisions.

What should be considered when getting an SMSF administrator?

When choosing an SMSF administration service provider, you must make sure that they have a license from ASIC and professional indemnity insurance.

Here are other factors you should look at when getting an SMSF administrator:

  • Expertise and experience – Ask your SMSF administrator about their track record, or previous experience in managing funds. Look for someone who is familiar with relevant laws and regulations.

  • Range of services – Consider the range of services offered by your potential SMSF administrator. Some administrators provide services for all areas mentioned earlier while some offer a more limited range of services.

  • Fees – The costs of getting an SMSF administrator vary depending on expertise and the level of services they can provide.

  • Technology – Another important factor when choosing an administrator is the technology, systems, and tools they use to manage SMSFs.

  • Communication - An SMSF administrator must be able to keep their communication lines open and must be responsive to your needs and concerns.

Benefits of getting an SMSF administrator

Outsourcing service providers for SMSF administration has several advantages.

Firstly, it can save time and reduce the administrative burden on you and the other trustees. This is particularly important for those who have busy lives and limited time to dedicate to managing their SMSF.

By outsourcing administration tasks, trustees can focus on making investment decisions and growing their retirement savings, rather than getting bogged down in paperwork.

SMSF administrators can also help ensure compliance with the complex and ever-changing regulations surrounding SMSFs. SMSF trustees are responsible for ensuring their fund meets all legal requirements, including record keeping, reporting, and investment restrictions. An experienced SMSF administrator can help ensure compliance, reducing the risk of penalties and fines for non-compliance.

Finally, outsourcing SMSF administration can provide access to specialist expertise and resources.

SMSF administrators have a deep understanding of the rules and regulations governing SMSFs, as well as experience in managing and investing SMSF assets. This can provide valuable insights and guidance to trustees, helping them to make more informed investment decisions and grow their retirement savings.

However, it is essential to note that trustees remain responsible for the overall management of the fund, including the selection of an SMSF administrator and the investments made by the fund.

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Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels.


Advertisement: Planning to start your SMSF? The table below features some of the top SMSF loans on the market today.

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LenderHome LoanInterest Rate Comparison Rate* Monthly Repayment Repayment type Rate Type Offset Redraw Ongoing Fees Upfront Fees LVR Lump Sum Repayment Additional Repayments Split Loan Option TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
6.99% p.a.
7.00% p.a.
$2,659
Principal & Interest
Variable
$0
$230
70%
Featured
  • Available for Purchase and Refinance. No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
  • Access your SMSF loan via our easy-to-use online app Smart Money
7.19% p.a.
7.74% p.a.
$2,712
Principal & Interest
Variable
$395
$1,185
60%
  • Fully functioning offset.
  • Rapid Refinance available - receive approval in as little as 48hrs
  • 50m2 of beach & coastline cleaned with every loan settled.
7.24% p.a.
7.25% p.a.
$2,726
Principal & Interest
Variable
$0
$0
70%
7.49% p.a.
8.04% p.a.
$2,794
Principal & Interest
Variable
$395
$1,185
80%
  • Fully functioning offset.
  • Rapid Refinance available - receive approval in as little as 48hrs
  • 50m2 of beach & coastline cleaned with every loan settled.
7.75% p.a.
7.83% p.a.
$2,866
Principal & Interest
Variable
$0
$995
80%
7.55% p.a.
7.94% p.a.
$2,811
Principal & Interest
Variable
$395
$1,920
80%
7.74% p.a.
7.75% p.a.
$2,863
Principal & Interest
Variable
$0
$0
80%
8.19% p.a.
9.11% p.a.
$2,988
Principal & Interest
Variable
$395
$1,185
90%
  • Fully functioning offset.
  • Rapid Refinance available - receive approval in as little as 48hrs
  • 50m2 of beach & coastline cleaned with every loan settled.
7.49% p.a.
7.50% p.a.
$2,794
Principal & Interest
Variable
$0
$230
80%
Featured
  • Available for Purchase and Refinance
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of .

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