SMSF firms encountering poor advice after business acquisitions
SMSF firms looking to acquire other businesses have been warned to undertake thorough due diligence, with a number of firms discovering instances of poor advice given to clients following the acquisition.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Planet Consulting founder and principal consultant Rob Pillans said he has heard a number of reports from accountants who’ve taken over other accounting firms, where the clients have not received the best possible advice under the previous owners.
“It’s a particularly difficult situation and something that I'm actually talking to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand about as well, because there are obligations for people taking over the client, and a process you need to go through,” said Mr Pillans.
“It’s a really tough one. In most cases all you can do is work with the client to try and get them back on track with better advice.”
This can be a very awkward situation, he said, as the new owners of the firm will have to explain to the client that the advice they received previously wasn’t the best advice.
It is very important that the buyers look at the work papers or some of the tax returns lodged by the firm to ensure it’s been done correctly.
“So digging in and looking at some of the work that's been done, and how it’s been documented and so on,” he said.
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.