A.S.A.P.’s most popular advice service is our fully compliant Statement of Advice on whether to set up an SMSF. The advice is ordered online and is delivered as a PDF via email within 3 working days of A.S.A.P. receiving the requisite information.
A.S.A.P. is built to enable accountants to stay in control of their client relationship and meet compliance requirements cost effectively – by referring to a digital advice platform. Prices start from $250+GST.
Scope of our advice
Protects your client:
Our advice is tailored to ‘self managed’ clients – who don’t necessarily want to engage a traditional financial adviser but expect a level of protection that accountants formerly were able to give under the ‘accountants exemption’ prior to 1 July 2016.
This protection often took the form of a second opinion or endorsement which is now illegal without delivering a compliant advice process. Our service has been carefully designed to compliment the tax and accounting services provided by accountants and lets you quickly refer to us for the personal product advice piece, delivered digitally.
Appropriateness of an SMSF:
We recommend whether or not an SMSF is suitable for your client’s existing superannuation holdings and future contributions based on their personal situation, goals and objectives. In doing so our system examines their situation through a financial planning lens and applies a broad range of checks and balances to the client’s personal situation.
Our advice engine looks at the client’s reasons for wanting an SMSF, such as having access to direct property, the ability to borrow or strategies to have maximum control over their super investments and capital gains tax position.
Our written Statement of Advice highlights the most relevant and pertinent facts that each client should take into account given their personal situation. This would include any issues around rollovers, insurance, property and LRBAs. The advice process incorporates all ASIC guidance around providing high quality SMSF advice.
Where a new SMSF would be funded by rolling over money from existing super funds, our service deals with this very carefully. The only way to provide quality advice on rollovers is to contact each existing fund to obtain details of the client’s entitlements. This includes identifying valuable benefits that would be lost, such as investment guarantees and insurance cover.
NB: We do not recommend keeping a small balance in every fund, ‘just in case’. We make appropriate enquiries and if there is no need to keep a fund then we recommend it is transferred in full and closed to save unnecessary costs and administration.
Fees, balance and investments:
In line with requirements, we examine the cost of establishing the SMSF (as provided by the accountant) against the costs of the client’s existing super funds. Rather than providing a robotic answer, every Statement of Advice is reviewed by a human adviser. Whilst ASIC have a ‘soft benchmark’ balance for an SMSF of $200,000, we look at each scenario on a case-by-case basis.
Where there are issues, we contact you first to let you know what they are and agree how you’d like us to deliver our recommendations to the client. Our purpose is to ensure that clients have received (and understood) compliant advice, not to enforce any particular course of action.
Please note that our advice is for genuine ‘self managed’ clients. As such we do not provide recommendations on what assets the client should invest in but we do provide guidance for the client to consider in this regard.
Our team contact each existing fund to identify what insurance cover is in place and our Statement of Advice sets this out in detail, including the cost of that cover, so that informed decisions can be made in light of the client’s insurance needs.
Insurance is a hazardous issue when dealing with rollovers because leaving a fund will result in losing any insurance entitlements you have. Not only is there the risk of a claim but in some instances replacement cover isn’t possible due to health issues that have arisen since the cover was taken out.
Where the client requires further advice or assistance with establishing new cover, we are able to offer an insurance adviser if the client (and/or accountant) don’t have their own.
Experienced users of A.S.A.P. say it takes them less than half an hour with the client to complete the scoping process and request a Statement of Advice.
For every Statement of Advice we issue there is a full audit trail that accountants can access online. This includes a record of all client decisions, documents and e-signatures.
Once logged in to the platform, accountants can:
- Download the A.S.A.P. Financial Services Guide
- Easily identify what advice is required by the client using our Scoping Tool (patent pending)
- Download our Client Questionnaire for their client to complete
- Access the Statement of Advice and audit trail at any time
Integration with Topdocs
A.S.A.P.’s have partnered with Australia’s leading provider of quality legal documentation, Topdocs. This option allows A.S.A.P. users to quickly and easily use data from the advice process to also order the documents required to implement our advice. (Topdocs fees apply)
Topdocs’ SMSF establishment package includes:
- A fully provisioned trust deed
- Online order process, sped up by pre-filling the form with A.S.A.P. data
- The option to order a corporate trustee at the same time and to have your ABN and TFN application fully populated, free of charge
- The option to receive your documents instantly (by email) or overnight (by express post)
- Optional setup of Cash Management Account application.
The A.S.A.P. Statement of Advice order process is easy and can be broken down into the following easy steps:
- Enter or import client details and, when ready, tell the system to email them our welcome email (including our Financial Services Guide)
- Launch an Advice Order from the platform
- Have your client answer 4 suitability questions to validate that digital advice is appropriate for their needs
- Use our Scoping Tool (patent pending) which identifies what advice your client requires
- Have your client fill in their personalised client questionnaire
- Upload the completed fact find to the platform
- Ensure all required client documentation has been provided to A.S.A.P. (refer to the ‘checklist’ tab within your order)
The finalised SoA will be emailed to you and your client within 3 working days of us receiving all requisite information.
Experienced users of A.S.A.P. say it takes them less than half an hour with the client to complete our scoping process and request a Statement of Advice. A more detailed summary of the order process can be found in our ‘Introductory Guide‘.
The following documents will be eSigned by the client:
- Confirmation of Scope letter – to summarise the advice decisions made in the Scoping Tool
- Client Questionnaire – to confirm the details they have provided are correct. Approx. 2 page length
- Authority to Proceed – this page (within the final Statement of Advice letter) provides a signed record that the client has understood and intends to act on the advice provided by A.S.A.P. This ensures the advice is safe for the accountant to then implement under client instruction
The following document is required to be physically signed by the client, scanned and uploaded into the platform:
- Letter of Authority – where there are rollovers, this letter signed by the client allows A.S.A.P.’s advisers to contact the existing super funds. (Most funds will not accept digital signatures for this purpose)
The following documents are required to be scanned and uploaded via the platform:
- Valid ID document – All advisers must verify the identify of their client. A certified driver’s license or passport will be sufficient
The A.S.A.P. order process requires clients to ‘eSign’ certain documents. If you are not familiar with this process, see the ‘More Information’ tab for further details.
You can create an account with A.S.A.P. to order Statements of Advice when needed. Registration is free of charge.
Already a Member?
Log in now to start an order.
|Statement of Advice||+ Rollovers (additional fee)|
|SMSF Establishment||$250+GST||+$100 per rollover+GST|
Our fixed fee pricing model is simple and covers most transactional statements of advice. Should more complex advice be required we will discuss your clients needs with you. E.g. More than two members in a fund.
John and Sue request advice on whether to establish an SMSF – including whether to roll their existing superannuation accounts into the SMSF.
John and Sue each have 1 existing industry super account.
*Statements of Advice are required to be completed for a household. In this case, John and Sue will be covered under the same Statement of Advice.
In this scenario, the pricing will be as follows:
Statement of Advice: $250
Rollover for John: $100
Rollover for Sue: $100
Total advice cost: $450+GST
How to Pay
Statement of Advice orders can either be paid by the client directly or paid by the accountant and passed on. You have the option to address the invoices to the accounting firm, clients, or their SMSF.
A.S.A.P. invoices can be paid using the in-built credit card facility or by bank transfer (using the Australia Post POLi system).
Pros and Cons of SMSFs
What client information is required by A.S.A.P?
- Full name
- Date of Birth
- Contact Details (Phone number and email)
- Name of existing SMSF (and ABN if possible)
- Copies of Client ID documents (Eg. Driver’s license, passport)
When you start an advice order, our scoping process will confirm that the client is suited to receiving digital advice and provides a safe and easy way to identify exactly what client’s advice needs are. This process [patent pending] protects that accountant and meets ASIC’s requirements in RG 244, RG 255 as well as the ‘best interest duty’ requirements.
The following information is requested in our client questionnaire for each advice order:
- Details of the client objectives
- Personal information such as marital status, health status and whether the client has any financial dependents
- Existing super fund details
- Client superannuation preferences and decisions
Plus, for advice relating to an existing SMSF:
- Details on the client/s current financial position (high level cashflows, assets and liabilities)
At any time you can refer to our inbuilt ‘checklist’ for each order. This makes it easy to see what’s required and if any items or signatures are outstanding.
Contact us if you’d like to see a copy of a typical client questionnaire.
Legal considerations and Safe Use
ASIC regulations are complex. There are a number of areas on which accountants should familiarise themselves since the ‘accountants exemption’ was repealed on 1 July 2016.
To assist in this area, we have produced a detailed ‘Safe use’ guide which sets out how accountants operating through an unlicensed entity can safely provide a service to their SMSF clients. The guide has been reviewed by specialist financial services lawyers Mills Oakley to ensure you can be confident using A.S.A.P. with your clients.
You can access our safe use guide here.
As per ASIC Information Sheet 216, accountants who operate through an entity that holds an AFS license must deliver their tax advice through their license. This means the client must complete a fact find and the advice must be delivered via a written Statement of Advice (or Record of Advice). In this case, using A.S.A.P. as well as this process may not be practical. However get in contact with us if you wish to discuss this in more detail.
Help to introduce A.S.A.P. to your clients
To assist you, we have produced the following materials:
- example client letter
- tips to explain A.S.A.P. to clients
A compliant advice process requires key documents to be signed by the client, including the scope agreement and client questionnaire. A.S.A.P. make this extremely easy using eSignLive as our e-signature facility. E-Signatures are becoming more and more commonplace in a business setting and eSignLive’s Australian data centre ensures that all data remains within Australia. eSignLive is part of VASCO and is used by some of the world’s most trusted and security-conscious organizations.
Our eSign process is handled automatically at key stages in the order process. The client will be sent an email with a link to the document requiring the signature. The client can download this document to keep a copy on file for themselves. Clicking the icon in the bottom left corner will take them to the field that requires signing. Then, they simply click to sign the document. A copy of the signed document will be automatically sent back to the A.S.A.P. system and can be viewed by the accountant in the ‘document store’ of the order.
If you have any queries or require more information, please call the A.S.A.P. support team on 03 6240 1575.