It’s Friday again and time for a new blog. Last week’s edition struck a chord with accountants who want to do SMSF advice but have been told by planners all the time that they can’t, while ASIC provides accountants and tax agents exemptions. We had over 300 on a pop up session and if you did not get the replay video and materials package you can find them here: Our ASIC Advice: Yes, Accountants can establish SMSFs without a Licence.
So, following on from this theme I thought I would give you three revenue strategies that not only bring revenue in immediately but also tightens up your client compliance in terms of companies, trusts and SMSFs. Let’s get into it:
- Successor Director Solution
The recommended advising price for your firm to charge is $350 per company which includes an updated constitution and the binding resolution. This can be compared to legal fees of $1,200 or more to implement for a client.
ASIC has produced guidelines calling on single director companies to have in place a solution in the event the director dies or becomes suddenly incapacitated. As the Commission notes in ASIC GUIDANCE INFORMATION SHEET 73:
“During that period when there is no director, the company may be completely unable to operate. With no-one properly authorized to make management decisions or act for the company, it may be unable to trade. Banks and other financial institutions in particular may be unwilling to accept instructions in relation to a company’s trading account if they are not satisfied there is someone properly authorized to act for it. Equally, staff and suppliers may not be able to be paid, which can quickly have a deleterious effect on the reputation and value of the company to the beneficiaries of the estate.”
The solution to the problem is the Successor Director. This solution involves ensuring that the current company constitution has provision to put in place a pre-directed person as the Successor Director in the event that the Director dies, in incapacitated or under litigation or insolvency attack. It beats Alternate Directors as they cease on death. Coupled with a binding resolution that comes into effect on the relevant event noted in the resolution. Importantly, it is a binding resolution for a contingency in the future so there is no need to notify ASIC at the time of the resolution – only at the time that the Successor Director appointment is actioned.
All of this is done through the LightYear Docs automated Successor Director solution which uses Abbott & Mourly documentation.
The cost on the LightYear Docs platform is $99 per company – so it is a great revenue earner for addressing company worst case scenarios. Your corporate clients need this solution.
Marketing Tip: We recommend sending the following email out to, at least single director company clients and it is not a bad idea to send to all companies as you never know when a divorce turns a multi-director solution into a single director solution.
- Discretionary Trust Upgrades with no resettlement issues
The recommended advising price for your firm to charge is $350 per discretionary trust upgrade.
The discretionary trust has been the go to solution for tax minimisation and also asset protection. However, like any legal structure things get outdated. For most discretionary trusts established before 2012 there is no ability to stream income or differentiate between accounting income. Check an old deed and look for the income definition – it will generally be net income – which is not accounting income as preferred following Commissioner of Taxation v Bamford  HCA 10.
Quite apart from the accounting income and streaming issues, trust distribution minutes must fit within the Trust Deed, so it is important to ensure that there is consistency with trust distribution minutes and the deed – general provisions do not work. You must have streaming clauses, accounting and net income clauses all tied to specific provisions in the deed. The LightYear Docs Discretionary Trust rules tie in with our trust distribution minutes and are based on Abbott & Mourly precedents and follows the ATO determination TD 2012/21 ensuring non-resettlement.
Marketing Tip: We recommend sending the following email out to all clients with Discretionary Trusts. It provides the five reasons to upgrade your discretionary trust:
Use Abbott & Mourly: We understand that many accountants are concerned about touching discretionary trusts despite the Commissioner’s guidelines and we have a legal option through Abbott & Mourly if you are doing a number of trust deed upgrades. The service we provide is a review of the current deed, determination of the relevant parties and preparation of an upgrade of the trust deed rules for the ongoing trust. This ensures no resettlement. The cost of this process is $175 which enables the firm to get a legally compliant discretionary trust upgrade while still charging the client $350 – so win – win – win.
- SMSF Deed Upgrades
The recommended advising price for your firm to charge is $350 per SMSF deed upgrade.
This is right in my wheelhouse and I strongly suggest that you get all of your SMSF deeds updated for the following reasons:
- Increasing the number of members, a SMSF may have from four to six enabling a SMSF to become a true family super fund.
- Enabling younger members to hold their superannuation benefits is a separate investment account to other members of the fund.
- Limiting the payment of superannuation benefits on the death of a member to the deceased member’s lineage or bloodline.
- Ensuring the fund does not breach the pension limit rules and the pension payment rules.
- Enabling the Trustee of the Fund to accept a broader category of contributions for fund members, particularly retired fund members.
- Implementing a SMSF Living Will which provides directions to your Trustee of what is to happen in the event you are incapacitated with a sickness, quarantined, or have dementia. This is crucial to put in place so that your enduring power of attorney becomes your replacement trustee, able to implement and execute your wishes in a binding manner.
- Implementing a SMSF Will which provides directions to your Trustee on what is to happen in the event of your death. This is crucial to put in place, so your Executor becomes your replacement trustee and able to implement and execute your wishes in a binding manner.
- Implementing a SMSF Death Benefits Trust, which is a special purpose testamentary trust created by the Trustee of the Fund for adult children and grandchildren who are bloodline. This trust does not form part of the estate so it cannot be challenged in any contested estate by a person who feels as though they have not been provided enough in the testator’s will.
Marketing Tip: Send out this email to your clients recommending the upgrade based on the eight reasons noted above – SMSF Deed Upgrade Email
Use Abbott & Mourly: We understand that many accountants are concerned about touching SMSFs despite the SIS laws and trust deed upgrades. The service we provide is a review of the current deed, determination of the relevant parties and members then a preparation of an upgrade of the trust deed rules for the SMSF. This ensures no resettlement. The cost of this process is $175 which enables the firm to get a legally compliant SMSF deed upgrade while still charging the client $350 – so win – win – win.
If you’re interested in engaging with Abbott & Mourly legal services as mentioned above, please visit our website