SuperStream ‘hopeless’, says SMSF tech consultant
The founding director of a technology consulting company has slammed SuperStream as being an over-complicated process and unnecessarily challenging for SMSF practitioners.
Speaking at the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s National SMSF Conference, Smithink’s founding director David Smith said what the government has done with SuperStream is “hopeless”.
Mr Smith said the SuperStream concept, which involves contribution data coming from an employer and flowing to a fund, is relatively simple. However, he said the process has been over-complicated.
“We now have a concept where the data has to flow to an end point, but there is no obligation to ever pick it up off the end point. It can stay there forever which is a bit weird,” Mr Smith said.
“This is part of the challenge for [SMSF accountants]. You’ve got to go and do all the registration pieces for this, which is a bit of a pain in the backside, and then you’ve got to work out which one of the services [you] will use, because there’s multiple services to connect to SuperStream and use the SuperStream service.
“And you’ve got to be careful about what service you use, because it sort of depends a bit on your admin platform because you want to have an admin platform that’s going to go to the end point and grab the data and actually do something with it.
“So before you go berserk on SuperStream, you’ve really got to go back to your admin software provider and say, ‘I want the SuperStream data to come onto my super fund, which service should I be using?’”
Mr Smith urged accountants to take these considerations into account before deadline. The ATO has similarly encouraged super members and practitioners to get SuperStream ready ahead of 1 July 2015.
“It is important that trustees get in place the arrangements sooner rather than later and certainly not leave it until the last minute,” said the ATO's national program manager, data standards and e-commerce (SuperStream) Philip Hind.
“They are likely to run into problems with getting it complete on time, or not being able to implement, and then they are going to face the potential non-compliance issues,” he said.