Super reporting – What is in and what is out?



The 2017 financial year saw the most significant changes in superannuation law for more than a decade.

The introduction of new concepts including Total Super Balance and Transfer Balance Cap from 1 July 2018 had significant consequences for member superannuation balances in the 2017 financial year and for future periods. Further restrictions contributions were introduced, as well as new reporting obligations for superannuation funds.

In her paper, 'Super Reporting – What is in and What is out?', presented at our National Convention in March, Shirley Schaefer looked at the issues facing advisers.

Speaking to us before the Convention, Shirley told us "With the super goal posts moving at a constant rate, my session provides delegates with a snapshot of current changes and what the obligations of their clients are and how they can help them. It will give delegates the information and tools they need to ensure that their clients keep on the ‘right’ side of the regulators".

Shirley's session looked at the implementation of the Transfer Balance Cap Regime, which has not been the last of the super changes over the past 18 months.

Since 1 July 2017 we have seen proposed changes to auditor reporting, non-arms length income (and expenses) and a SG Amnesty. This is on top of the new reporting requirements for Transfer Balance Accounts.

Her paper covered where SMSFs and superannuation have landed since 2017's reforms and in particular how reporting obligations have changed, either by legislation or influence of case law.


The paper looked in detail at Transfer Balance Account Reporting, covering what has to be reported, and when.

It also looks at changes to the Non Arms Length Income (NALI) rules.

The paper covers the Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty in detail, looking at specific considerations, including:
  • Aged based conditions
  • Non resident former employees
  • Deceased employees
  • Indirect Wage Taxes
  • Arm’s length employers.
Finally, the paper looks at issues in Auditor Reporting. 

2018 saw two successful legal cases against SMSF auditors, with the SMSF auditor being held liable for losses incurred by the SMSF. Shirley points out that, while most auditors agree that there were deficiencies in the audit evidence obtained and the audit procedures in these specific cases, most auditors do not agree with all of the findings of the judgements.

The outcomes have led to many auditors refocussing their audit processes and it is expected that many more SMSF audit reports will be qualified as a result of these cases.

The paper looks at both cases in detail:
  • Cam & Bear Pty Ltd v McGoldrick NSWCA [110]
  • Ryan Wealth Pty Ltd v Baumgartner NSWSC [1502]
Shirley notes that it is expected that many SMSF auditors will either change or augment their audit
procedures as a result of these cases, and concludes her paper with a look at some practical outcomes.


An auditor by training and a SMSF expert by choice, Shirley established a separate Superannuation division at BDO in 1996 to offer technical services to clients with SMSFs.

A regular speaker and author on SMSFs, she was the 2017 winner of the SMSF Adviser Awards for Specialist SMSF Accountant and the Editors Choice Award.

Shirley has also won SMSF Auditor of the Year for the Australian Accounting Awards in 2018 and Auditor of the Year for the Women in Finance Awards in 2018. She is an Accredited Specialist Adviser and Accredited Specialist Auditor of the SMSF Association; a Fellow of the Association of Superannuation Funds Australia; a Fellow of the CAANZ; a Registered SMSF Auditor; and a Registered Company Auditor.

2019 National Superannuation Conference: 29-30 August 2019 | Four Seasons Sydney.

Keep an eye out for more information on this upcoming event. Find out more on our website.

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