SMSFs are often called 'do-it-yourself funds', but that isn't really the case. Managing your own super comes with a lot of responsibility and involves significant time and effort. A professional who is licensed to provide SMSF advice can help you weigh up the pros and cons of running an SMSF and help you decide whether it's right for you and then keep you on track with all the compliance that is required. SMSF advisers must be licensed to provide this type of advice. If you are using your accountant, they must either have an Australian Financial Services (AFS) Licence or be the Authorised Representative of an AFS Licence holder if they are advising you about your SMSF. You can find out more about the licencing of accountants on the ASIC website.
SMSF advisers who are not accountants must also be licensed to provide this type of advice. You can check by searching for their name on ASIC's financial advisers register and find out what advice they are licenced to give.
In June 2018, ASIC released its findings from a review of the SMSF sector. The review found that around 90% of financial advice about setting up an SMSF did not comply with relevant laws.
Accountants and advisers must also be licenced to provide ongoing advice – for example on contributions, pensions (income streams), SMSF borrowings, and so on.
Make sure you are in the right hands.