Superannuation continues to generate news headlines for all the right reasons, with quarterly returns back to pre-financial crisis levels. With this in mind, how can accountants help their clients to maximise returns and invest wisely for the future?
More and more accountants are becoming trusted advisors to their clients. The challenge now is how can accountants dominate this new role and provide the best support to their clients. And superannuation is one area which is of increasing concern to the general population, as Baby Boomers start edging into retirement.
Superannuation is a continually changing beast, and with the Federal Government’s finances under debate, there’s talk of major changes to tax concessions and co-contributions. Keeping informed and up-to-date, not just on actual changes but on those currently proposed and debated by Parliament, will help you keep your clients in the loop about any potential changes to their financial arrangements or obligations.
Distinguish tax from earnings
Too often, clients will focus more on trying to reduce their tax bill rather than improving their bottom-line earnings, including when it comes to super. Encouraging clients to separate the two in a bid to reduce costs and enhance earnings will net them a double-pronged boost to their retirement savings.
Know your self-managed super funds
A sizeable number of Australians now self-manage their super. As a result, we’re bound to see a rise in the number of people turning to their accountants for advice. Matters of taxation, co-contributions, withdrawals, asset purchases and deductions can all be areas of uncertainty for many people, so be sure to proactively ascertain your client’s arrangements in order to ensure they are meeting their legal obligations, as well as having the best financial targets in place.
Recommend a specialist
For particularly detailed client enquiries that venture beyond your expertise don’t be afraid to recommend specialist advice. The ATO website is a good place to start or you may know specialist superannuation advisors, brokers and financial planners who can advise on such matters. Rather than lose the client, referring them to trusted partners will see your clients value your services even more highly.
At the end of the day, accounting is about customer service. By enhancing your knowledge base as well as your pool of professional partners and contacts, you’ll be better able to assist your clients in their efforts to secure their financial future.
Take a look through our archive of articles on superannuation for the latest news and information.